by Kevin Heffernan

Podcasts are free. So is the knowledge.

We use that “podcasts are free” line at the beginning of every post in our Listen Up series because I once subscribed someone to our own podcast, LIFTED, and they panicked, “What did you just sign me up for? How much will that cost?!” So, a simple reminder, that podcasts are free and fun! The ads are usually just an entertaining. Listen worry-free – this aint Netflix with rising prices.

Snackable Topics
Anyways – back to the show. Each week, our team tells you about what they’ve subscribed to on their preferred platform. For me, it’s Stitcher. Since early 2018, I’ve been listening to The Indicator. I was a fan of its parent podcast, Planet Money, but the episodes were so spread out, I wanted something more frequent. The Indicator to the rescue! Framed around finding more than just an up and down stock market to determine where the economy is headed, The Indicator will seek out things as recognizable as job reports and tariffs or as obscure as the dropping numbers of hunters in the US defunding states’ ecology and conservation departments.

Economic Novices Welcome
What’s best about the podcast is that I was not a business or economics major. When in conversation with friends who were more savvy on these topics, I felt left out, knowing not much more than what I’d hear about the market in NPR’s 5 minute reports on all the world’s news a the top of the hour. The Indicator is accessible and lighthearted. Episodes are 8-10 minutes and they come out every weekday. Daily podcasts are great because you get to know the hosts, producers, and style, and that ultimately leaves you wanting to catch every episode, and find more dailies/weeklies to subscribe to. The Indicator will do an entire episode where its expert witness is a farmer, not a DC bureaucrat pretending to know what a farmer is going through. (Like this episode about peanuts in Georgia, and a Trump-supporting farmer believing the tariffs hurting his business are still the right thing to do)

The News Sucks
Part of the meteoric rise of podcasts is that people want to remain informed about the world and its people, but listening to the news is sort of taxing. You don’t know what content is coming next, and what devastating news out of DC is going to surprise you. The news is also not on your schedule. Streaming/downloading podcasts are indeed on your schedule. They also allow you to curate. That’s not always the best for getting diverse sources and topics into your feed, but alas, it’s where things are headed. And if you’re going to crowd out other sources, then sticking with NPR’s list of podcasts is a safe, informed move due to its factual reporting and mostly middle of the road balance in what it covers.

Get Started – at the Beginning
Like someone who is just now starting Game of Thrones, I’m a little jealous of you if you’re going to go back to the beginning on The Indicator and listen to them all fresh while I wait for just one new one each day. Because the show is not a simple daily market report, the majority of the topics covered are timeless and an early 2018 story is just as relevant in early 2019. Subscribe wherever you like to consume, or enjoy here from Spotify: