6 Popular Podcast Formats - The Podcast Haven

6 Popular Podcast Formats

Staying consistent with podcast formats is just as important as producing content within your podcast niche. Your audience will come to expect your show to be more or less the same each week. It would feel odd to the listeners if one week you ranted, the next week you sat down and interviewed an expert in your industry and the following week you did a roundtable with friends or a sentimental solo-cast.

Once in a while it’s fine to add in a different segment, bring in an interesting guest or talk about something going on in your personal life. But, for the most part, stick to one of the six popular podcast formats. This is especially true in the beginning. I highly recommend you get 15+ episodes under your belt before you try spicing things up. Your listeners want consistency, they’ll come to expect your show to have a similar flow each time they listen.

6 Popular Podcast Formats

1. Interview

This is where you and/or a co-host(s) sit down and interview someone or a few people that have influence in the field/genre of your podcast. Think of an FM Music Radio station interviewing a couple members of a band who just put out an album.

2. Roundtable/Conversational

A more casual approach to a podcast, where a group of friends have a discussion. For example: The Patriots just won the Super Bowl and you and your co-host are going to be discussing the game.

3. Instructional/Educational

Educational podcasts teach you a specific skill. There are numerous podcasts out today that teach you how to trade stocks.

4. Solo-Casts

This is where you, the host, does the show alone and gives advice, talks about things going on in their personal life, teaches a lesson, does comedy bits etc… It’s a great way to connect with your audience on a deeper more personal level because it’s you alone on the mic and it feels a little more vulnerable and relatable to the audience.

5. Narrative/Story-Telling

These podcasts aim to tell compelling true stories about events that have happened in the world. You could aim to tell the stories of the Charles Manson murders, by interviewing witnesses, the police that were involved at the time, family members etc. These shows require quite a bit of journalistic and editing experience because you have to dive deep into historical research and conduct compelling interviews. Think of these as almost mini documentaries. These podcast series can take months or even a year to fully produce.

6. Audio Drama

These are scripted podcasts. They’re like a TV show. There are characters that need to be cast and a story that has to be written. If you’re interested in creating audio dramas or comedies, you’ll need to write out each episode line by line and cast voice actors to play the characters in your story. The really compelling and successful audio drama podcasts are often turned into TV shows. For example, Gimlet’s “Homecoming” was turned into a TV show on Amazon Prime.