Popular Podcast Formats

Popular Podcast Formats People Love To Listen

Once you decide to start a podcast one of the important steps in the journey is to decide your podcast format. There are many popular podcast formats you can select one as a starting point. Podcast format will give you a structure to build your podcast. It will also make it more convenient for the audience.

There are few things you need to check out before you decide your podcast format see our articles here on Selecting Your Podcast Topic and Selecting the name for your podcast.

Once you decide your podcast format it is easy to structure your episodes around it.

Do you really need a format for your podcast ?

Podcasting is all about consistency. Getting your shows out at a defined frequency is the key. Consistency of your show format is also important. It makes it easy for the audience to decide what to expect from your podcast.

If you decide to follow one of the following formats it is easy for you to produce your episodes. It kind of creates a template wherein you can fit your content and offer to your audience.

If you start with  a blank page every time, then it will be very difficult for you to produce a show and it will also be confusing to your audience and eventually you may lose your audience.

Popular Podcast Formats

There are many popular podcast formats. These are not episode formats but an overall podcast format. Here is the list of 7 formats that you can select from to start with. You can always create your own version of it but its s a good starting point.

Podcast Formats

Interview Podcast Format:

An interview style podcast generally has a host and a guest who is being interviewed. The guest brings in his/her experience or expertise on a topic of discussion.

After an initial round of introduction and some information about the guest to the audience , the conversation on the topic begins. Host will lead or control the conversation by asking questions about the topic. Many times, the audience has already emailed some questions on the topic that they want answer for it is the job of the host to get that information to them through this interview.

In some cases, the interview can be not on a topic but to get to know the guest better from audience point of view or more personal in nature than professional.

Generally, these types of podcast run once a week for about 30 to 60 minutes.

One particular podcast season can have guests related to a particular theme , this helps the audience to select and download what they want.

This is a very popular podcast format but at the same time involves a lot of work. Needs a good setup with multiple mics and recording equipment , needs to arrange the guests and match their timings , preparation for interview is also a key.

In interview type of podcasts your guest speaks more than you and your job is to keep the conversation interesting and useful for your audience.

Some examples of popular interview podcasts.

  • The Joe Rogan Experience
  • Katie Piper’s Extraordinary People
  • The Comedian’s Comedian
  • The TED Interview
  • WTF With Marc Maron
  • Conan O’Brien Needs a Friend

Here is a list of most popular Interview podcasts on player.fm

Solo or Monologue Podcasts

This is by far the most common type of podcast format and also very easy for beginners. Nothing much is required in terms of equipment , you just need a mic and free recording software and you are good to go.

You need some knowledge on a topic or some kind of expertise or skill which people are interested in. You can decide everything and just start recording.

It is not necessary to speak directly while recording the podcast , you can actually write everything down and then read it as if you are having conversation with your audience during recording.

You can decide when to record , what to record and when to air an episode. This is why this podcast format is the most popular , it gives you complete freedom.

Since there is no conversation however , it can get a bit boring for audience and hence it is essential for the host to strike a conversation with audience itself. The show’s success or failure depends on you and you only which is a positive and negative as well.

Some Examples of Solo or Monologue Podcasts

  • New Solo
  • The Creative Introvert Podcast
  • Inner Monologue

Here is the list of most popular monologue podcasts from player.fm

Educational Podcast Format

This can either one of the above two formats. It can be a mono podcast if you are the expert and you are giving some kind of education to people interested in this topic.

In some cases, you can call guests and do the session together in a question answer format or a discussion format. The idea here is education and not entertainment and show must be focussed on that topic.

You need to have the expertise on the topic to have an engaging conversation with the audience for longer periods of time. Audience is looking for answers for some specific topics and you need to be precise in providing those to be successful.

Though this format is easy technically to start but is hard to continue for a long time unless you can come up with new content or cover a wider area around your topic.

  • 50 Things that Made the Modern Economy
  • Hardcore History
  • You Are Not So Smart
  • Stuff You Should Know
  • 99% Invisible
  • Overheard at National Geographic

Here is the list of most popular educational podcasts from player.fm

Conversational/Co-Hosted Podcast Format

This is another common podcast format. It involves two people known as co-hosts having a conversation on a topic , they generally have a good chemistry and run the show in a cheerful manner.

Unlike interview podcast format, both of them are hosts and take specific roles to run the show. Both have their responsibility during the show and sometimes time as well.

In many cases, each host will play a specific role in the conversation. One might report the news roundup while the other provides explanation or brings a comic sense. One might tell stories while another draws inference from them etc.

This type of show needs a bit more equipment and investment but is a little easier to conduct. One person does not have to talk continuously, and the overall show is more conversational and easier on ears. It can also bring out different perspectives on the same topic which help listeners.

Here is the list of most popular conversational podcasts from player.fm

The Panel Podcast Format

A panel podcast format is similar to an interview podcast, but with more people involved in the show. Each episode has a single host and many guests.

It is more of a discussion rather than just question and answer. The host will generally throw to question to the group, and everyone will bring in their perspective.

Such types of shows are very expensive and difficult to record in terms of technicality. These will also require a lot of equipment and post production work.

There is always a chance of show not remaining focused and going in all possible directions. The host plays a key role in keeping things on track.

Here is the list of most popular panel podcasts from player.fm

Storytelling Podcast Format

This can be further subdivided into nonfiction and fiction storytelling.

In case of a nonfiction storytelling you can cover personal life stories , travel stories , crime stories or any other real-life true stories or even historical events.

This will need a lot of research and knowledge about the subject but can really intrigue the audience and keep them engaged.

In case of fiction type storytelling also known as podcast theatre, fiction stories are told across multiple episodes.  Large product budget podcast in this are can also have multiple people , sound effects , music etc.

In some cases, it can be a solo or monologue type of podcast as well.

Examples of Storytelling podcast format

  • Serial
  • Strangers
  • The memory palace
  • Criminal
  • Modern Love

Here is the list of most popular storytelling podcasts from player.fm

News and Review Podcast Format

This is also a popular podcast format. It involves a single or multiple host taking a roundup of news on a particular topic or location. Tech reviews , movie reviews , sports roundup etc.

Content is not a problem and such podcasts can run multiple times a week as  well. Since a new movie is coming out every week , a new game is being played every weekend , a new product getting launched every day there is a lot to cover.

The only downside is the life of the show is very limited and the content will get dated very soon. People are not going to listen to old news by downloading your podcast and hence active userbase is the key here.

Examples of News and Reviews podcast format

  • This TEDTalks Technology
  • This Week in Google
  • Slate Political Gabfest
  • The Gist
  • The Daily
  • TechStuff

Here is the list of most popular news and reviews podcasts from player.fm


Podcast format is nothing but a structure around which you can plan and build your podcast. It also gives a clear roadmap to produce your shows.

There are various popular podcast formats, but you can always give it a twist and create your own version of it.

Welcome to your podcasting journey with quickstartpodcast team.

Below paragraphs have links to all our posts in a logical manner starting from being a podcast listener to being a podcast creator.

The podcast Listener phase :

The podcasting journey generally begins with various questions such as what is a podcast , what a podcast is used for ? how to listen to a podcast , what are the best android and iOS apps to listen to podcast .

Depending upon the things that you like you will search for fiction podcasts , educational podcasts etc. Most of the people restrict their journey in podcasting to this level. They just end up being listeners to podcasts. Some of then take the next leap of faith and decide to start their own podcast.

Podcast creator Phase :

How to start your podcast ? is the main question they are faced with . Once that you have decided to start a podcast , what should be the name of the podcast , what should be the podcast format , which podcasting niche should you chose , what should be episode titles , what are popular podcast formats and what should be mine and so on ..

What is the right equipment for creating a podcast , what are the best XLR , USB , Condenser and dynamic microphones available. Can I record my podcast in an iPHONE , What should be the polar pattern , should I use an audio interface or a mixer , do I need a POP filter . There are so many question . How much podcasting will cost me , what are different setups based on my budget.

Once you in the journey of podcasting you will need to decide how should be a great podcast intro , how to record the podcast , how to record podcast online , how to test the mic , what should be length and frequency of my podcast , how to make great sounding podcasts and finally how to make money from podcasting ? ..

Whats is a podcast host and do I need one ?? , Uploading podcasts to google podcast and Apple podcasts are also crucial steps.

The journey starts from being a podcast listener going all the way to being a great podcast creator and quickstartpodcast is there with you in all this journey.

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