8 Podcasts with Transcripts to Check Out

Updated: August 31, 2023

Tips for Creating an Accessible Podcast [Free Guide]

Podcasts are becoming increasingly popular every year. With over 424 million people tuning in worldwide, podcast listeners account for about 20% of all internet users. 

That growth doesn’t seem to be slowing down anytime soon. According to Insider Intelligence, the number of monthly U.S. podcast listeners will increase by 6% year-over-year. 

With the growing prevalence of podcasts, only 1% of them are accessible to the 430 million people globally with hearing loss.  

You may be wondering – what makes a podcast accessible anyway? 

Podcasts are made accessible with transcripts. A transcript is a written document of speech or audio that is converted into text. Unlike closed captions, transcripts aren’t time-coded. Therefore, they’re especially useful for audio-only content, like podcasts. 

If you’re looking for accessible podcasts, we’ve got you covered. The following podcasts are paving the way for accessibility in the podcasting industry. Here are 8 podcasts with transcripts to check out! 

1. This American Life

This American Life is a weekly public radio and podcast built around storytelling. Each week, the producers choose a theme to explore such as politics, health, and a slew of other topics. 

Hosted by award-winning radio personality, Ira Glass, each episode takes you along a different journey – some funny and entertaining, while others can be surprising and mind-boggling.

The show started in 1995 on the radio and eventually branched into a podcast series. Since then, the show has even created popular spin-offs like Serial and S-Town

This American Life is committed to making its podcast accessible to its 2 million weekly listeners. Each episode that lives on its website is accompanied by a transcript. 

Fun fact: This American Life has been using 3Play Media as a podcast solution since 2011. Check out this case study on how adding transcripts helped boost a podcast’s SEO! 

If you want to listen to This American Life, you can stream episodes on all major podcast apps or listen with a written transcript on their website

2. Pod Save the People

Pod Save the People is a weekly show that chronicles politics, culture, and social justice. It’s hosted by author and activist, DeRay Mckesson, as well as Kaya Henderson, De’Ara Balenger, and Myles E. Johnson. 

Each week the hosts take on the news in a unique approach and even shed light on stories that are often overlooked in mainstream media. 

There’s also an interview segment on the podcast. DeRay interviews many special guests like singer/songwriter, John Legend, and Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi. 

If you’re looking to stay abreast of the latest in politics and social justice, this is the podcast for you. 

You can listen to episodes on all major podcast apps or feel free to check out their website with full episodes and transcripts. 

3. Invisibilia 

Next up on the list of podcasts with transcripts is Invisibilia – a show produced by NPR. 

The show title translates from Latin as “the invisible things”, which seems very fitting because every week the hosts, Yowei Shaw and Kia Miakka Natisse, explore the “invisible forces” that inform human behavior, like ideas and beliefs. 

Using a combination of psychological and brain science with human stories, listeners discover new possibilities on how we live. 

An example of topics that are explored are trust, memories, and empathy. 

This podcast is a crowd favorite. Check out new episodes on your preferred streaming app or listen to the show with full transcripts on their website! 

4. Criminal

If you’re like the millions of true crime junkies out there, hooked on the suspense of the latest thriller, then this podcast is just for you. 

The award-winning podcast, Criminal, launched in January of 2014, is all about true crime stories.

The host, Phoebe Judge, shares “stories of people who’ve done wrong, been wronged, or gotten caught somewhere in the middle.” 

People can’t seem to get enough of true crime podcasts. According to a survey conducted by ABC, 44% of podcast consumers have listened to a true-crime podcast in the past month. 

No matter your sentiments about the latest unsolved mystery, you can catch episodes on all podcast streaming services or the accessible version on their website!

Learn how to make your podcast accessible [Free Guide]

5. Still Processing

Next on the list of podcasts with transcripts is Still Processing, a show that dissects all things society and culture. From dating and relationships to work and the arts, there’s something for everybody. 

This weekly show is hosted by two New York Times writers, Wesley Morris and Jenna Wortham. They’ve got a lot to say about the latest in pop culture so if you’re looking for a new podcast to listen to, this may be the one for you. 

What’s unique about this particular podcast is that it’s produced by the major American newspaper, The New York Times. When new episodes premiere, the news giant also publishes an article to accompany the episode. Not only does this attract podcast listeners, but it also introduces their news subscribers to check out the show too. What a great way to repurpose content! 

You can listen to new episodes on major streaming apps or with transcripts on their website!  

6. Where Should We Begin?

Where Should We Begin is a podcast about relationships and intimacy. It’s hosted by Esther Perel, a world-renowned therapist. 

Each week, Perel counsels real-life couples on the personal, and oftentimes complicated, details on their intimate relationships. 

This Spotify original show looks at dating, marriage, friendships, and the many intricacies of relationships.  

Not only does the host offer great advice, but the show is also committed to ensuring that all listeners, regardless of ability, have access to its invaluable content. 

You can listen to the show only on Spotify or on Esther Perel’s website with transcripts for free!  

7. Freakonomics

Freakonomics is a unique podcast because it started out as a book. The book has now been turned into one of the most popular podcasts in the world and it’s even hosted by the original co-author, Stephen J. Dubner. 

This show explores topics you always thought you knew about and topics you never thought you wanted to know about, like the gender pay gap, work unions, or the economics of sports gambling. 

There’s a reason why Freakonomics is as successful as it is today. It truly offers something for all types of listeners.   

To follow new episodes, you can listen wherever you get your podcasts or on their website with full transcripts for each episode

8. Allied

Last but not least, the final show on our list of podcasts with transcripts is Allied, an accessibility-focused podcast hosted by 3Play Media. 

Since 3Play’s inception, it’s been a priority to provide thought-leadership on the landscape of accessibility. From the long-standing and robust blog to the series of webinars executed every month, accessibility education has remained at the core of what 3Play does. The podcast is merely an extension of this work. 

Every month, host and 3Play’s Senior Inbound Marketing Manager, Elisa Lewis, sits down with accessibility experts across different industries to discuss the importance of a more accessible world. 

Topics covered include accessibility in gaming, the performing arts, and the workplace. 

Now, Allied couldn’t be a podcast on accessibility without ensuring that each episode is made accessible to its listeners. Since its launch in April 2021, Allied has been committed to transcribing every single episode. 

You can listen to all new episodes every month on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, and Google Podcasts, or you can listen to episodes with transcripts on 3Play Media’s website! 

The Growing Importance of Podcasts with Transcripts 

As the number of podcast listeners continues to increase, it’s becoming more important than ever before to ensure that they are made accessible with transcripts. 

Gimlet Media, a podcasting company under Spotify, received a class-action lawsuit for failing to make their podcasts accessible to people who are d/Deaf and hard-of-hearing. This lawsuit was the first of many ADA lawsuits, over the years, that focused on podcast accessibility. As more people become interested in podcasts, the prevalence of accessibility features, like transcripts, will become more in demand. 

The benefits of providing transcripts for listeners go beyond accessibility for people with hearing loss. In addition to accessibility, there are many other benefits to podcast transcription such as: 

  • Improves SEO
  • Increases traffic to websites 
  • Avoids litigation and legal action 
  • Repurpose content more easily 
  • Get quoted in other blogs, articles, or publications
  • Enhances listener experience 

3Play Media has extended its transcription services to the podcasting industry. No other solution on the market produces high-quality, accurate transcripts at an affordable rate

3Play focuses on streamlining the transcription workflow with custom APIs and a variety of file formats so that podcast producers can focus on what they do best – creating engaging and insatiable shows! 

Thanks for reading our list of podcasts with transcripts to listen to. Did we miss any? Let us know in the comment section below about your favorite podcasts with transcripts!

Tips for creating an accessible podcast. Download the guide.

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