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Turn On, Tune In and Listen on Demand

I want to listen to more new music, break out of old patterns, discover new bands and get excited about them. So, as I did last year, I'm only streaming music that has been released this year. And not much that I want to listen to has been put out yet – I'm really waiting on the release of David Bowie's new album Blackstar.

But the upside is that I've had more time for on-demand radio, or what I used to call podcasts. January is when I discover most of the broadcasters that I'll come back to time and again throughout the year.

I've always been a fan of radio. Radio offers the most visual storytelling and is the only rich media you can immerse yourself in while simultaneously doing something else such as cooking or driving.

On-demand radio puts you in charge of the schedule, with apps like BeyondPod you can put together playlists, mix and match the voices you listen to and unearth new favourites.

This is something of a golden age for on-demand radio. PRX and NPR have long been go-to sources for great shows, but newcomers Radiotopia have built a strong and growing roster of broadcasters.

A lot of excitement surrounded the launch of series two of Serial – which is unpicking the story of Bowe Bergdahl, the US soldier who walked off his post in Afghanistan in 2009 and was captured and held by the Taliban for nearly five years. And crowd funding initiatives by broadcasters like 99 Percent Invisible have smashed all kinds of records.

There's too much out there to ever hear it all, but with so much on-demand radio to listen to, you need never settle for what the traditional broadcasters feed you. Here are ten shows to treat your ears.

Ten Great On-Demand Radio Shows*

  1. 99 Percent Invisible – Design and architecture with a twist.
  2. This American Life – An hour of stories exploring the same theme.
  3. The Story Collider – Stories about how science made a difference.
  4. Serial – One true story told over the season.
  5. The Allusionist – Why we say the things we say.
  6. Esquire Classic Podcast – Revisit stories from the magazine's archive.
  7. How Sound – The backstory to great radio storytelling. Radiolab
  8. Love & Radio – Otherworldly stories from life's grey areas.
  9. All Songs Considered – New music from emerging bands and musical icons.
  10. The Truth – Movies for your ears.

*Podcasts in old speak.

Happy listening.

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