Podcast consumption has grown tremendously over the last couple of years. In fact, between 2015 and 2016, the audience climbed another 23 percent, according to research conducted by Edison Research.

Podcast listeners make up 21 percent of the U.S. population - that's nearly 57 million Americans. To put that in perspective, Spotify's listenership hovers around 13 percent.

The growth is thanks in part to the mobility of the content - podcasts can be consumed nearly anywhere - along with the storytelling, educational, and entertainment factors. Podcasts also provide an almost intimate feeling of being behind the scenes or a part of the interview.

While there's no shortage of shows out there to fulfill nearly any muse, one of the more popular categories is business. Indeed, podcasts are increasingly becoming a go-to source of inspiration for business leaders, as they've brought a conference-esque way of learning best practices, pitfalls to avoid, trends to stay on top of, and new strategies to try.

The podcast landscape is saturated with broad discussions, niche topics and everything in between. If you haven't already subscribed to these eight, make sure you add them to your regular rotation.

Get a rare glimpse into the trials, tribulations, failures and triumphs of today's most successful CEOs as they tell the first-person stories of how they founded their iconic brands. "How I Built This" is produced by NPR so the quality is top-notch, and the interviewees this podcast attracts are luminaries across many different industries.

The team at Andreessen Horowitz isn't afraid of getting lost deep in the weeds of issues that are hyper-relevant to today's entrepreneur. The specificity and knowledge on display in the "a16z" podcast makes listeners feel like they're getting a leg up on the competition just by listening to it. Each episode features a different set of thought leaders from various backgrounds discussing topics ranging from company culture to virtual reality.

IDEO Futures

Created by designers, but for everyone, the "IDEO Futures" podcast finds off-the-beaten-path stories of art and entrepreneurship that activate a right-brain approach to thinking about business. With a motto of "don't get ready, get started," IDEO reflects its 'get out there and make something' ideology in its podcast, which carries a refreshing tone.

Ben Thompson and James Allworth host "Exponent," a tech-focused podcast told through the lens of business models. They're not afraid to talk openly and candidly about technology you're familiar with - Snapchat vs. Instagram stories, fake news on Facebook - and they provide ample resources to accompany each discussion.

While not a podcast in the traditional sense of the term, the spoken edition of TechCrunch is a bite-sized way of consuming news, opinion and features from the entrepreneurial world. At 3-10 minutes each, these audio articles give listeners the best of what TechCrunch already offers - insight into startups, who's investing in what, and where the trends are moving. It's a good way to stay on the pulse of what's trending in the startup venture world.

Now in its fourth season, "StartUp" is the work of Alex Blumberg who formerly reported on "This American Life" and "Planet Money." In 2014, with Matthew Lieber he co-founded a podcast media business called Gimlet Media. He documented the entire process of launching Gimlet Media - from ideation to securing funding - during the first season of StartUp.

Subsequent seasons have tracked the stories of other startups, giving an under-the-hood look at the life of an entrepreneur. Every episode follows a storytelling-esque format and often end with a cliffhanger.

James Altucher knows the world is constantly changing, which is why each episode of his podcast gives listeners tools needed to throw out the old rules and create new pathways to success. Altucher doesn't shy away from talking about money and how entrepreneurs can make lots of it. Episodes range from solocasts in which he shares a personal story or interviews a subject matter expert on topics ranging from business success to personal development and overcoming obstacles and fears.

Going on 10 years and more than 500 episodes, digital guru Mitch Joel's insights into digital marketing and media continue to produce stand-out content. Topics range from the nitty-gritty (how to be a better presenter) to the high level (the secrets of human motivation). And the extensive archive means you'll always have the opportunity to find something new.

Published on: Feb 24, 2017
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