Apple unveiled its Best of 2016 list early in December. The list includes the best apps, music, movies, TV shows, books, and podcasts of 2016 across App Store, iTunes, Apple Music, and iBooks.
Podcasts hit an impressive milestone in 2016: globally, Apple listeners consumed over 10 billion downloads and streams over the past 12 months via iPhone, iPad, Apple TV, and desktop. Fresh Air from NPR is the top downloaded podcast of the year.
In addition, iTunes has put together a list of the Best Podcasts of 2016. This grouping of podcasts is described in iTunes as “favorites”. They are simply listed together in one group (and are not ranked against each other). Each is listed with a quote from iTunes explaining why it was selected.
The Best Podcast of 2016 list includes:
Revisionist History – hosted by Malcolm Gladwell – from Panoply
“No one turns history on its head like Malcolm Gladwell. We love his provocative take on everything from satire to Wilt Chamberlain”
How I Built This – hosted by Guy Raz – from NPR
“We were incredibly inspired by hearing the founders of Spanx, Instagram, and other start-ups explain how they made it big.”
In the Dark by APM Reports and reporter Madeline Baran – from APM
“This year’s huge breakthrough in the Jacob Wetterling abduction case fueled a fascinating look at why it went unsolved for decades.”
Jocko Podcast – hosted by Jocko Willink
“Leadership, fitness, military history – retired Navy SEAL Jocko and his guests turn any topic into a riveting life lesson.”
Anna Faris is Unqualified – hosted by Anna Faris
“Anna and her pal Sim have so much fun hanging out and chatting with celebrity friends, we can’t resist joining in.”
NPR Politics Podcast – hosted by NPR’s political reporters
“With their awesome insights and discussion, NPR’s political team kept us up to speed on a truly unpredictable election.”
My Favorite Murder – hosted by Karen Kilgariff and Georgia Hardstark – from Feral Audio
“After one episode, we adored this show like its hosts adore twisted tales and catchphrases. Their gabfests are always entertaining.”
2 Dope Queens – hosted by Phoebie Robinson and Jessica Williams – from WNYC
“We’ll crash this party anytime. Jessica, Phoebe, and their hilarious guests bring enough energy and fearlessness for 10 podcasts”.
Accused – Cincinnati Enquirer
“Powerful and thought-provoking, the story of Elizabeth Andres’ unsolved murder stuck with us long after the final episode.”
FiveThirtyEight Politics – hosted by Nate Silver and the FiveThirtyEight team
“For the kind of deep political analysis that goes state by state and stat by stat, we love listening to Nate Silver and crew.”
Heavyweight – hosted by Jonathan Goldstein – from Gimlet
“Jonathan Goldstein’s clever look at people’s hidden burdens (their “heavyweight”) is as captivating as it is moving.”
Pardon My Take – hosted by Big Cat and PFT Commenter – from Barstool Sports
“The hosts’ call-it-like-they-see-it sports talk made PMT our perfect companion through the Olympics, the World Series, and more.”