(I never could "zone out" and program while a podcast is on like some people, I need ambient/classical/electronic music to do that)
It's funny the market effect, if you're, say, John Dolan, it's vastly more time efficient to spend an hour and a half talking to your buddy and get paid for it than it is to spend many hours researching and writing a 1000 or 2000 word essay on a topic that nobody wants to pay for. It's kind of interesting the psychology here: people will pay for things which take hours out of their week, but won't pay for the thing which takes 3 minutes to read, even if the 3 minute thing contains more information. From my perspective; the denser information is more valuable!
The podcasts I listen to are all from the BBC, so they're scripted and produced for radio, rather than just being people chatting. Listen to e.g.  or  and it's all on topic (and being the BBC, ad-free).
Think of it more like the old days of broadcast radio or TV. You listened to whatever happened to be on while you were listening and if you didn't hear something. . . who cares it's just entertainment?
Most of my podcast subscriptions I listen to only rarely. It's more like a shortlist of channels that have things I might be interested in hearing.
That being said, for me, the biggest downside of podcasts is that although I'm willing to pay, there's no easy method of discoverability of high-quality, ad-free podcasts.
edit: However, I jump around in media fairly often - I often go months without listening to podcasts, so I have no interest in paying a subscription fee. I just want to pay a per-episode rate and get DRM-free audio files that I can use as I wish.
I don't know what kind of talks those are, but the podcasters I listen to spend a lot of time researching for the episodes. I'm guessing few people can just ad-lib 90 minutes of interesting stuff every week.
Just like you get radio shows that are talk radio or on a specific subject you get podcasts that are more akin to radio plays, like welcome to night Vale.
Like, which conveys the situation better, "Oh the humanity" or the audio as recorded (you can in this case ignore the video, which was recorded separately)?
I've yet to find any good History podcasts that serves good to great episodes on a regular basis either. The BBC's history podcast stood out as vaguely better. But I was always left craving for something more in-depth, like some of the better History lectures you can find on YouTube. That being said, there are a few great shows from time to time, like Slate's Slow Burn (on Richard Nixon and Bill Clinton) and Standoff (on the Ruby Ridge incident) or MSNBC's Bag Man (on Spiro Agnew).
NYT The Daily and NPR's Up First podcast can get you up to speed while doing all your daily hygiene stuff. And NPR's weekly politics roundup is good.
If you like history "Futility Closet" has a lot of good esoteric history stuff.
Reply All is eclectic and fun. Radiolab has good hard science stuff. Hidden Brain is more social sciences oriented.
Qit is designed for finding/playing shows by topic, so you can (for example) search for shows about GraphQL: https://qit.cloud/search/graphql
devpodcasts.app lets you browse shows by latest release or by tag: https://devpodcasts.app/shows
Looks like devpodcasts.app is a bit behind though, so I'll write a ticket and get that fixed up soon :)
I don’t want to listen about a new fitness test introduced in 2011 that they’ve already replaced, or how they’re asking for feedback on programming language design changes they already made half a decade ago.
Also if I get into a podcast and it only has three episodes and then forgotten about I then have to go looking for a new one immediately rather than subscribing and then always having something to listen to.
Of course, some others talk so quickly that 1x is the best you can do.