What are the best business podcasts UK?

Three men on a podcast set

Business podcasts are one of the most popular podcast genres – and understandably so! This diverse category covers everything from interview podcasts with business leaders and entrepreneurs to expert analyses of the latest economic trends. There’s so much valuable information out there, and all of it is waiting for you on your platform of choice.

Whether you’re a CEO looking to stay abreast of key developments or an aspiring entrepreneur wanting to learn from experienced leaders, business podcasts have a huge amount to offer. But what if you’re wanting to start your own business podcast? Perhaps you want to launch a B2B podcast to help your business grow. Or maybe you’re looking to start a business podcast with no audience, confident that you’ve got important stories and insights to share.

Either way, your best approach is to learn from the very best. You need to ask: what do the top business podcasts do to hook their listeners, and how can I do the same? And that’s exactly what we’re going to be looking at here.

In this post, we run down the top five best business podcasts in the UK and explore the secret of their success. By looking at how the leading lights of the business podcast world achieve their staggering success, you’ll be well-placed to follow suit.

1.  Diary of a CEO

Steven Bartlett’s Diary of a CEO was the second-most popular podcast in the UK in 2023 – after the Joe Rogan Experience, of course. Bartlett himself is now absolutely everywhere, from taking a spot on Dragon’s Den to hitting the top of the bestseller lists with his business strategy book (also called Diary of a CEO).

The podcast itself is, in many ways, a familiar prospect. Bartlett hosts interviews with prominent figures from a range of backgrounds, from business leaders and neuroscientists to social media influencers and athletes. In each case, Bartlett explores not just their unique insights and specialist knowledge, but also their motivations. He’s not just interested in what they know, but what makes them tick.

And it’s this deeper and more personal approach that makes Diary of a CEO more than just the usual interview podcast. Bartlett himself is more than willing to discuss his own vulnerabilities, exposing his anxieties and self-doubt in a way that is rarely seen from someone who turned their startup into a $600 million juggernaut. Bartlett’s own openness about his difficult journey to success isn’t just highly relatable – it also brings out the best in his guests, who are often willing to be more open than they otherwise might.

As a result, Diary of a CEO provides both helpful advice on a range of topics – from leadership and business to health and lifestyle – and an unmatched insight into the worldview of high achievers from all walks of life.

Why it works

  • A self-help focus. Bartlett draws valuable and potentially transformative insights from his guests. The podcast positions itself as something that could truly help you achieve your business aims – or even shift your entire worldview. That’s a compelling hook, and something that will keep listeners coming back.
  • Relatable and authentic presentation. Bartlett himself is a skilled interviewer whose openness brings the best out of his guests. At the same time, the podcast also provides a fascinating insight into the mindset of Bartlett himself, a hugely successful CEO. For business leaders or aspiring entrepreneurs, this kind of insight is invaluable – and worth coming back for each episode.
  • Going deep with guests. Bartlett is willing to push his guests out of their comfort zones. He can move suddenly from a specific question about their area of expertise to a much more personal question, like “what makes you happy?” This often leads to truly unexpected insights and makes Barlett’s approach stand out from the crowded interview podcast landscape.

Key takeaway

Podcasts thrive on authenticity. Yes, a diverse and engaging array of guests helps, as does having a background story that singles you out as someone worth listening to. But ultimately, what makes Diary of a CEO so compelling is knowing you’re likely going to hear conversations that go beyond the usual surface discussion – and that’s something to bear in mind if you’re taking an interview-based approach.

A close up image of a microphone arm position in front of a chair

2.  The Next 100 Days

If Bartlett’s Diary of a CEO explores the entrepreneurial mindset through interviews with high-profile guests, The Next 100 Days focuses on the nuts-and-bolts reality of running a business. It’s less glamorous and perhaps less inspirational, but in terms of practical advice from experienced leaders, it’s hard to beat.

The title itself highlights what is so engaging about The Next 100 Days. Hosts Kevin Appleby and Graham Arrowsmith argue that 100 days is the perfect time frame for measuring success – long enough to see results but not so long that you’d need to reassess your priorities. And so each episode focuses on a business strategy or piece of advice that you can implement during this timeframe, whether that’s pioneering a new marketing strategy or planning a new product launch.

Due to this focused approach, The Next 100 Days provides the kind of detail and insight that is invaluable for business owners or entrepreneurs.

Why it works

  • Practical, action-oriented advice. There’s no abstract talk about growth mindsets or theories of leadership – the podcast provides specific, helpful advice that’s designed to be put into practice right away.
  • A well-defined concept. The 100 days concept is a great framing device that not only helps shape the podcast’s aims but also gives it a clear and easily relatable hook – perfect for attracting new listeners.
  • Knowledgeable hosts. As with Diary of a CEO, part of the podcast’s appeal is the fact that you’re getting insight not just from the guests, but from the hosts, too.

Key takeaway

In our blog post on starting a podcast with no audience, we talked about how important it is to find your niche. You want your podcast to have a clearly defined appeal with a simple and compelling hook to attract an audience. And that’s even more important in a crowded genre like business interview podcasts. The Next 100 Days shows how a simple and effective structuring device can make your podcast stand out from the crowd.

A image of two men laughing while on the set of a podcast

3.  The Ian King Business Podcast

If the previous two podcasts were about practical lessons and insights for building your business and striving for success, The Ian King Business Podcast is more about staying up-to-date with the latest news from the business world. Its format is focused on discussions and analysis of weekly business news, all guided by the experienced business journalist Ian King.

The core of the appeal for The Ian King Business Podcast is the importance of feeling that you have your finger on the pulse – especially if you’re a business leader or an aspiring founder. You don’t want to just know about the latest trends, you want to truly understand them. And that’s something your social media feed won’t deliver. You need the analyses and insights of experts, which is exactly what Ian King is offering.

By combining expert guests with a global perspective and a focus on the latest news and trends, listening to The Ian King Business Podcast will ensure you’ve got a handle on key developments in both the UK market and across the world. And what businessperson wouldn’t want that?

Why it works

  • A highly skilled host. Ian King has decades of experience as a business journalist, including as business editor of The Times from 2011 to 2014. This makes him not only a skilled host and interviewer, but also highly knowledgeable and able to explain complex topics clearly and effectively.
  • In-depth analysis. King invites guests from across the business world who are able to help him illuminate the latest developments. Listening to the podcast is like eavesdropping on a conversation with top CEOs discussing key global developments.
  • Daily updates. The podcast has new episodes every weekday. That means there’s not only plenty of content to keep you engaged, but also you can get an immediate reaction to the latest news developments.

Key takeaway

King’s podcast proves that, when it comes to news-focused shows, expertise and immediacy are the best combination. You want to offer more than just the facts – after all, listeners can get that from news sites or social media. But at the same time, you don’t want to leave people waiting weeks for your analysis. Balancing frequent updates with impactful insights isn’t easy, but it can lead to major success.

A image of two women on the set of a podcast speaking into microhpones

4.  The Bottom Line

If Ian King’s podcast is a source of serious, focused insight into the latest trends, The Bottom Line takes a more humorous and open-ended approach. Evan Davis – probably best known as the presenter of Dragon’s Den – hosts panel discussions that cover a wide range of business topics, from practical questions (what is the right age to retire?) to emerging trends (are nightclubs in terminal decline?) and even imaginary scenarios (how would you handle this business crisis?).

The breadth of topics and the focus on debate, discussion and light-hearted humour make The Bottom Line an endlessly engaging experience. Yes, there’s an element of learning – you’re hearing top business leaders discuss important topics and offering their advice and insight. But there’s also something that it’s easy to miss when you’re dealing with a serious topic such as business: there’s fun.

With its highly varied content and focus on back-and-forth banter amidst all the serious discussion, The Bottom Line shows you can cover even drier topics without the risk of boring your audience.

Why it works

  • Engaging and humorous style. Evan Davis injects light-heartedness and humour into proceedings without detracting from the seriousness of the topics covered. This is a difficult achievement, but one that makes this a highly enjoyable listen without limiting the insights on offer.
  • Focus on debate. The panel-style approach separates this podcast from the largely interview-focused podcasts discussed previously. With multiple guests sharing their perspectives and engaging in debate, the listener gets a broader overview of key topics. And who doesn’t enjoy hearing a bit of friendly back-and-forth?
  • Wide range of topics. The podcast doesn’t just stick to one particular theme, nor does it always take the same approach. From debating imaginary scenarios to predicting future trends, the episodes cover a genuinely diverse range of topics, making for a varied listen.

Key takeaway

Podcasts are a dynamic medium – they are the ideal vehicle for interaction, conversation, debate and discussion. For even the most serious and complex of topics, finding ways to encourage an enjoyable and engaging dialogue will help you connect with your listeners. And that can mean adding in a little humour to liven up proceedings, too.

A image of a camera mounted on a tripod filming two women on the set of a podcast

5.  The Twenty Minute VC (20VC)

When Steven Bartlett started Diary of a CEO, he was already running a multi-million pound marketing agency. Similarly, Ian King brings his long experience in broadcast journalism to his podcast hosting duties. It’s easy to look at these examples and think you’ve got to have a platform already if you want to see success.

Well, this last example proves this is not true. Harry Stebbings started 20VC as a teenager with no experience in the venture capital world – or in podcasting, for that matter. As Stebbings himself is willing to admit, he was not a great host when he started.

But what he did have was a willingness to commit to a niche topic that he was deeply passionate about. He read books on the VC world, read blogs written by the VCs he most admired, and just got started.

The result? Ten years later, he’s hosted Rishi Sunak on his podcast (twice, in fact!) and raised $140 million for his own venture fund. Okay, this is a fairly extreme example of what can happen when you start a podcast with no audience – but it shows that a lack of contacts or an established brand shouldn’t hold you back.

What Stebbings’ success also shows is the importance of targeting a well-defined niche. If you’re Steven Bartlett, maybe “interviewing interesting people” is enough. But if you have nothing to build on, you need a much more targeted appeal. Stebbings wanted to interview venture capitalists – people who have a great deal of power and influence but are often not very well-known. It was a unique pitch – and it worked.

Why it works

  • Specific, well-defined niche. If your idea is to start a podcast about entrepreneurship, you’re going to be joining the back of a very long line. Try to find a novel, interesting focus – and commit to it.
  • Passionate and enthusiastic host. Stebbings is clearly deeply interested in the VC world, making him a knowledgeable and engaging foil for his guests. When it comes to engaging your listeners, it cannot be overstated: your own excitement for the topic needs to shine through.
  • Find underexposed guests. There are plenty of influential figures and entrepreneurs who have been on every podcast going. Part of Stebbings’ success came from identifying a group of people (VCs) who were powerful but often completely anonymous to most people. That meant his podcast was the only destination if you wanted to learn more.

Key takeaway

Stebbings’ success with 20VC offers a fundamental lesson for aspiring podcasters: just get started. Yes, you may lack experience or contacts. You might not have the readymade skills as a host or a list of high-profile contacts you can leverage to pad out your guest list. But if you have enthusiasm and commitment, you too can ascend to the heights of podcasting success – and from there, who knows where you might end up?

An image of a microphone arm placed in front of a blue couch

Get your business podcast off the ground with Liverpool Podcast Studios

The success of the business podcasts genre isn’t hard to understand. They offer unparalleled insights into the mindsets and strategies of the world’s most successful people. They’re a great way to stay up-to-date with key developments and hear insightful analysis from experienced leaders. At their best, they can inspire your own approach to business, whether you’re an ambitious CEO or an aspiring entrepreneur.

And of course, the best business podcasts are a great source of tips for those who want to start their own. By emulating the best of the best, you can get your business podcast off the ground faster and more effectively, instead of spending months or years pursuing failed strategies.

Of course, starting your own business podcast can be an overwhelming prospect, even with examples to emulate. If you’re not sure where to start, check out our guide on the best podcast equipment to invest in. And if you’re not confident when it comes to your technical skills for recording and editing, read our post on why you should consider recording your podcast at a podcast studio.

Here at Liverpool Podcast Studios, we’ve helped some of the country’s most ambitious and exciting podcasters to elevate their production quality and deliver professional-grade audio that keeps listeners coming back. Could your business podcast be next? Get in touch today to learn more about how we can help.



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