How to Listen to Podcasts for Free

If you’re new to podcasts, we’ll help get you listening in no time.

From the academic to the comedic to the downright strange, podcasts come in every genre and cover every topic. You might be intimidated by the sheer number of them (allow us to recommend what we think are the best podcasts), let alone by the mechanics of how to listen to podcasts in the first place.

If that’s the case for you, we can help you get started.

How to listen to podcasts on an Apple product

If you have an iPhone, iPod, or iPad, your device should already be equipped with the Apple Podcast app. (If you’re looking for it, the icon is purple with two white circles surrounding a figure.) Free to use, the app allows you to browse, sample, and subscribe to podcasts. When you subscribe, new episodes will download automatically.

If, for whatever reason, the app isn’t on your Apple device, you can find it in the App Store and download it for free.

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How to listen to podcasts on an Android phone

Many Android devices come pre-installed with the Google Podcast app, which functions much the way the Apple Podcast app does. The Google Podcast app icon features a multi-colored diamond against a white background.

But there are plenty of podcast apps you can use. Popular options include Spotify, SoundCloud, Pocket Casts, and Stitcher. Many of these apps work on both Apple and Android devices, and most of them are free. (Some offer different tiers of service with the most basic one being free.)

There are also podcast platforms devoted to particular genres. Laughable, for instance, features comedic content. If you’re in the mood for something more hair-raising than knee-slapping, these 13 scary podcasts will keep you up at night.

How to listen to podcasts online

Don’t have a smartphone or a tablet? You can still enjoy podcasts because all you really need is an Internet connection.

Many of the apps we mentioned earlier also have their own websites where you can download and listen to podcasts for free. But many organizations, including virtually every major news outlet, offer podcasts as well. If there’s a publication or a public figure you like, just visit their websites. More often than not, you’ll find they have podcasts that are right up your alley.

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