Every year, Apple Podcasts releases its top 10 podcasts of the year. Beyond keeping up with trends, knowing what people are listening to can help you as a podcaster better understand how your content can fill in the gaps and bring a unique angle to your genre.
In this blog, we'll go over the top 10 list and include some honorable mentions!
Resource: Want to start a podcast in 2024? Check out our free How to Start a Podcast Guide.
Apple Podcasts Top 10 Podcasts 
According to the data garnered from Apple's podcast charts, the top 10 most popular podcasts of 2023 were:
#1. Office Ladies
Office Ladies is a weekly podcast hosted by Jenna Fischer and Angela Kinsey, best known for their roles as Pam Beesly and Angela Martin on the hit TV show 'The Office'.
In each episode, they delve into behind-the-scenes stories from the show, share their unique insights, and occasionally bring on special guests from the cast and crew. This podcast is a must-listen for die-hard fans of 'The Office', offering an intimate, fun-filled trip down memory lane.
#2. Call Her Daddy
This podcast is unfiltered, hilarious, and sometimes shocking discussions about relationships, sex, and the NYC lifestyle. Hosted by the charismatic Alex Cooper, this podcast has become a cultural phenomenon, attracting a dedicated fan base who refer to themselves as the "Daddy Gang." It’s candid nature and provocative content have made it a mainstay on the podcast charts.
My Favorite Murder is hosted by comedians Karen Kilgariff and Georgia Hardstark, and takes a unique, humorous approach to the true crime genre.
Each episode sees the hosts sharing their favorite tales of murder and mayhem, offering captivating storytelling mixed with a dose of comedy. This podcast has been consistently popular, garnering a passionate fanbase known as "Murderinos."
#4. Crime Junkie
Hosted by Ashley Flowers and Brit Prawat, Crime Junkie is a gripping podcast that immerses listeners in the world of true crime.
Each episode unfolds a meticulously researched crime story, from unsolved mysteries to infamous serial killers. The podcast's storytelling approach, combined with the host's compelling narration, has earned it a spot among the most popular podcasts in the world.
#5. The Daily
A product of The New York Times, The Daily is a news podcast that offers comprehensive coverage of the most significant global events.
Hosted by Michael Barbaro, each weekday episode presents in-depth analysis and commentary on a specific current event or topic, featuring interviews with reporters, newsmakers, and experts. With its journalistic integrity and captivating storytelling, The Daily has become a trusted source for listeners seeking a deep understanding of the world around them.
#6. Dateline NBC
The Dateline NBC podcast is a spin-off from the long-running television news magazine, the Dateline NBC podcast delves into the compelling real-life stories and investigative journalism that the show is known for.
From true crime tales to in-depth probes into the biggest news stories, this podcast offers listeners a riveting auditory experience, making it one of the most popular podcasts in the world.
SmartLess is an engaging comedy hosted by Jason Bateman, Sean Hayes, and Will Arnett. Each week, one of the hosts brings on a surprise guest, leading to fascinating conversations that span a variety of topics.
This American Life is known for its deep-dive storytelling format that captivates listeners. Hosted by Ira Glass, each episode explores a new theme through a variety of stories, often combining humor, tragedy, and thought-provoking insights. Its unique blend of journalism and narrative has made it a consistent favorite among podcast enthusiasts around the globe.
#9. Morbid: A True Crime Podcast hosted by Alaina Urquhart and Ashleigh Kelley
Morbid is a thrilling addition to the true crime genre. This podcast dives deep into the darkest aspects of humanity, examining horrifying crimes, unsolved mysteries, and the psychology of killers. Its meticulously researched narratives, delivered with a touch of dark humor, have struck a chord with listeners, securing its place among the most popular podcasts.
#10. Hidden Brain
Hidden Brain delves into the unconscious patterns that drive human behavior. Hosted by Shankar Vedantam, it combines science and storytelling to reveal the unseen forces shaping our lives, decisions, and relationships. The podcast's intriguing exploration of the human mind has made it a favorite among listeners, earning it a spot in the top 10 most popular podcasts.
Note: This is the official list released by Apple Podcasts and does not account for other popular podcasts hosted on other platforms. For instance, the Joe Rogan Experience, which was not included on the list, was in the Edison Research top 10 every quarter.
Some honorary popular podcasts
In addition to the top 10, there were several other podcasts in 2023 that garnered significant attention and popularity. Among these standouts were:
- The Happiness Lab: Hosted by Yale professor Dr. Laurie Santos, The Happiness Lab explores the science of happiness and offers practical tips for enhancing well-being.
- How I Built This: NPR's How I Built This, hosted by Guy Raz, shares the stories of innovators, entrepreneurs, and idealists, outlining their journey from inception to success.
- Michelle Obama: The Light Podcast: The former First Lady's intimate conversations about relationships, health, and community quickly found a broad and appreciative audience.
- Wiser Than Me with Julia Louis-Dreyfus: The beloved actress and comedian's podcast features candid conversations with top celebrities, offering a glimpse into their lives and careers.
While these podcasts did not make Apple's top 10 list, their high-quality content and dedicated listenership contributed to their immense popularity in 2023.
Final thoughts and tips
It’s fun to learn what everyone was listening to in 2023, but you can also use this data to your advantage as a podcaster. You can use these top 10 lists to their advantage by analyzing what successful podcasts have in common and gleaning insights into the strategies they use.
And also, lists like these can help you identify trends and gaps in the market–despite their popularity, what could they do better, and what are these shows not addressing? If a particular podcast genre or topic is underrepresented, it could signal an untapped opportunity.
Want to learn more about how Podpage can help you grow your podcast in 2024? This comprehensive guide breaks down everything you need to know!