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How To Choose a Podcast Format?

podcast format

If you’re a beginning podcaster, you probably wonder whether you chose the right podcast format. Or, maybe you even haven’t chosen a podcast format to follow yet.

No matter what your situation is, in today’s article, we will help you choose the podcast format that will suit your needs. Also, we provide tips on how to make your podcast more interesting! Keep reading!

What is a podcast format exactly?

A podcast format is a form you deliver your podcast in. It gives your show structure and organizes the content. Your show will appear unorganized and chaotic if you don’t have a solid format.

In addition to being more interesting and engaging than traditional radio, podcasts provide a degree of consistency for your audiences. When you stay with a chosen format, your listeners will know what to anticipate with each podcast episode.

Why is a podcast format important?

If your program has a solo podcast format one week, a lighthearted comedy panel the next, and a narrative fiction the following week, you’ll have trouble keeping your audience.

A good format will also help your listeners describe your show when recommending it to others. For example, they’ll say, “It’s two girls drinking wine and talking about the latest TV shows,” or “It’s a ten-episode horror story about a small town in Scotland.”

Word-of-mouth marketing is important for the success of a show. Therefore you’ll want to make it as simple as possible for your listeners to promote for you.

Last but not least, sticking to a single style will save you time and simplify your life. It’s much easier to plan content ahead of time when you know how you’ll shape it for each episode.

Take, for example, a common podcast format – an interview podcast. You may schedule guests weeks or even months ahead of your recording day. This allows you to locate the appropriate individuals and prepare for the discussion.

If you choose a podcast format with two podcast hosts, you’ll learn how to collaborate in time to create an entertaining show for your listeners.

Check out How To Increase Podcast Downloads!

What is the difference between podcast format and podcast structure?

Podcast structure defines how you deliver on your chosen format. It defines the framework of your podcast. Finally, it indicates particular ingredients of your podcast – segments your show will include.

Different podcast forms will employ various structures and frameworks. However, there are several necessary components that every podcast episode should include. The following are the essential podcast structure components:

  • The intro part is where you inform listeners about your program’s theme and offer a call to action to entice them to keep listening.
  • The content of the episode. The style of your podcast will have a big impact on this portion.
  • The outro is the final section of each episode, and it features a call to action, a vow of what’s in store for your program, and asks listeners to rate, review, and subscribe to it.
podcast format

What podcast format to choose? Most popular podcast formats

To help you decide on the right podcast format for the content you create, we’ll present you with the most popular podcast formats.

Interview podcast format

Interview podcasts feature a host or two hosts that interview a guest.

After a quick welcome, the host takes over, asking questions to guide the discussion around the episode’s topic and try to unpick their tales and lessons. Sticking to a core theme will keep your introduction cohesive since each guest is unique.

Having guests on your show is the most effective way to grow a podcast. In addition, the interview podcast format is an effective way to build authority in your niche and tap into the guest’s audience.

Different podcasters prefer to stick with an interview podcast style since it allows them to truly get into other people’s tales and share them.

Other upsides to interview podcasts:

  • You’re moderating the discussion, but your guests do most of the talking.
  • The audience is more forgiving about little mishaps because it seems natural in the conversation. 
  • Your guests promote your podcast with their appearance to their fan base. 
  • You get a wide range of points of view and opinions, which encourages debate and adds value to your audience.

Interview podcast format examples

We present to you several interview podcasts examples:

How I Built This With Guy Raz

The best business executives in the world are brought together to talk about how they started their businesses, from Bobbi Brown, the cosmetics magnate, to Rick Steves, the travel guru.

The Laptop Lifestyle

The Laptop Lifestyle is a podcast for people who use computers to start their businesses, millennials on the move, and those looking to see the world.

New Yorker’s The Daily

It consists of 30-minute episodes hosted by Michael Barbaro, who often interviews Times writers and editors on current affairs. It also includes the segments hosted by journalists from all over the world.

WTF with Marc Maron Podcast

This intimate interview podcast, hosted by actor and comedian Marc Maron, offers guests a chance to share meaningful, often revealing conversations in his house.

Mind Power Mixtape

Common, a well-known artist and award-winning rapper, interviews other artists about their goals and methods of thinking to understand how their unusual thought processes influence their work.

Check out Interview Podcast Questions!

Monologue podcast format

Solo podcasts are pretty popular. It’s used by individuals who want to offer a certain form of expertise. There isn’t much pomp and circumstance and sound effects.

A podcast host just speaks into a microphone. Because it is so easy, many new podcasters begin with this style. You need a microphone and some free editing software to get started.

When choosing this podcast format, you have the freedom to decide how much you want to plan each episode.

A solo host can ad-lib from a few notes, but most find it difficult to talk for 30-45 minutes without preplanned material.

You might choose to create a full script for each episode.

Moreover, solo podcasts have several pros to them:

  • You don’t have to rely on anyone. You can create your schedule.
  • It’s great for brand awareness because the audience knows you more personally.
  • There’s just one audio track in solo shows, so it’s easier to edit the podcast.
  • If you don’t like your sound, you can start over or say it again and cut it out in post-production.
podcast format

Solo podcast format examples

Slate’s The Gist

Slate’s The Gist is hosted by Mike Pesca. A daily afternoon program about news, culture, and whatever else you’ll be talking about with your friends and family tonight.

Live From the 405

Luke Allein began a comedy rant show from inside his car. Every episode is almost completely unscripted; however, there are a few themes of conversation that Allein rants about for the whole program.

Flash Forward

The podcast series is about possible (and not so possible) future events. The show is a mix of audio drama and journalism and goes deep into potential futures and reveals what they truly entail.

Co-hosted podcast format

Some people don’t feel comfortable speaking for an hour alone; we have conversational podcasts.

Co-hosted shows involve two people having a straightforward conversation who generally have great chemistry. Unlike interview podcasts, these two people are both hosts.

In each scenario, each host will play a distinct role. For example, one person may deliver the news snippet while another adds humor or analysis. One might present information, while the other adds anecdotes.

Why conversational podcasts are great:

  • You’re only responsible for half the conversation. You might break down all of the other responsibilities of creating and marketing a podcast.
  • The audience feels like they’re a community member, especially when the hosts provide an entertaining, pleasant atmosphere.
  • Many people prefer organic conversation to a prepared script.

Co-hosted podcasts examples

Crime junkie

It’s a true-crime podcast with two hosts: Ashley and Brit. Ashley usually tells the details of the crime while Brit adds her perspective.

The Boagworld UX Show

Boagworld is a podcast about digital marketing, product design, and user experience. It offers practical advice, industry news, and interviews with leading figures in the web design community.

Panel podcast format

A panel podcast may seem similar to an interview podcast. However, it’s more of a moderated discussion since more people are involved. Each episode has a group of guests.

It can feel like overhearing an organic conversation between friends or colleagues for a listener.

It’s a great idea for a podcast format because each of your podcast episodes is different depending on the guests you invite.

More exciting prospects for panel podcast format:

  • there are more interesting opinions and insights that your guests provide
  • your podcast will differ in every episode depending on the topic and guests
  • Guests create most of the content for you. The role of the host is to moderate the discussion and let the guests do most of the talking. 

Panel podcasts examples

The Panel

Named exactly as it represents, The Panel features a collection of experts in various fields. They discuss optimizing life in many domains, from business to health, to relationships.

The Kitchen Cabinet

Tired of dieting and hungry for a change? The new program will feature two panels, each with several members. So if you’re tired of watching diet ads on TV and don’t want to put more effort into it, this show is for you. It’s hosted by the irreverent Jay Rayner, who presents a culinary discussion series packed.

Check out Ultimate Guide To Podcast Promotion!

Non-fiction storytelling podcast format

Non-fictional podcasts tackle real-life events. For example, you might investigate a string of murders, chronicle an expedition to Mount Everest, or re-create a historical event. One story may be told per episode, or your narrative can span the course of an entire series. Non-fiction storytelling also covers news and commentary on current affairs.

Non-fiction storytelling includes a documentary podcast format. True crime is a really popular genre that follows the stories of missing persons or mysterious murders.

This is a fantastic podcast format for people who enjoy learning more about the world. You can introduce folks to new ideas, concepts, and occurrences.

More upsides to the non-fiction storytelling format:

  • For those seeking to learn more about a certain subject, this podcast structure is extremely addicting.
  • To make it more interesting, you can include other audio elements, like news broadcasts or environmental sounds.
  • There are millions of stories to choose from to showcase in your podcast.

The narrative fiction podcast format

It’s also known as theatre podcast narrative fiction is like a TV series delivered in the form of a podcast. With each episode, the story goes deeper into detail about the characters and their world.

A single narrator tells a few. Others utilize various voice actors, sound effects, and other audio components to tell their stories. These podcasts, like TV shows, use tension, climaxes, and cliffhangers to tell their tales using the same tools as traditional radio dramas.

This is an excellent way for artists who enjoy making characters, developing stories, and constructing fictitious worlds. If you enjoy writing fiction or producing films, this style could be the best fit for you. Some fiction writers read their work rather dramatically as audiobooks and convert them to podcast episodes to release them.

Narrative fiction is a format that needs a detailed script and a great delivery. Therefore, it’s important to come prepared.

Since the medium we’re working with is primarily audio-based, it’s also vital to consider how to create atmosphere through your sound design. This helps your listeners feel as if they were there during the tale!

Reasons to go into narrative fiction format:

  • The story you tell is limited just by your imagination.
  • You can get creative with the story and the special effects, and different sounds.
  • Audiences are highly dedicated because they on hooked on what will happen next.
  • This is the least popular podcast style, so there’s little competition between podcasts.

Narrative fiction podcast format examples

Within The Wires

It’s a podcast that tells a jarring and uncanny tale of loss, trauma, and the power of human connection and deception. Each season of Within the Wires stands alone as its own story, with different narrators and timelines, but they overlap.

Welcome to Nightvale

Every conspiracy theory is true in a tiny desert town named Night Vale, where the citizens receive twice-monthly community news. So turn on your radio and hide. If you’re not familiar with the show, it’s an ongoing theatre podcast. You can start with the latest episode. You’ll catch on in no time.

Video podcast format

You’ve already put a lot of effort into producing informative and engaging content, so why not make the most of it? Why not integrate video with your audio track?

A video podcast is simply a show with a video component. Making the video aspect as simple as you and your guest producing the material is possible. This is familiar territory for Joe Rogan, who hosts The Joe Rogan Experience. The host films himself and his guest sitting in his recording studio discussing things. The audio is published in the conventional podcast format. Then, the video is distributed on YouTube and social networking sites as short videos.

Some podcasters include video footage from different sources to spice up their video podcast. For example, if the host refers to an event from the news, they may insert a clip from that event into their show.

Here are some upsides to starting a video podcast:

  • People enjoy looking at faces. You may provide value to your audience and help them build deeper connections by showcasing people’s faces.
  • A video podcast opens you to a larger audience than text-based podcasts. Many individuals prefer to watch video material, so a video podcast expands your reach.
  • The video presents better on social media. Audiograms are becoming more popular, but there is no comparison to the power of videos on social media. 
  • You’ve already completed most of the work. Adding video to your usual procedure does not add much time.

The greatest aspect of video podcasting is supporting all of the other podcast types we discussed in this post. In addition, you may use video to spice up any sort of presentation.

podcast format

Your podcast format

Of course, there’s also another option – your podcast format that is unique to your show. It’s a tricky subject as people generally like what they know. However, the podcast formats we described above are tried and true in delivering content.

There are several components of a podcast format that may help you establish your own:

  • a podcast format should be predictable
  • mix and match the components that are familiar to the audience
  • take note of what your listeners are saying and ask them for feedback on your format

Check out How To Write a Podcast Script!


Podcasting is a great way to share content with your audience, and there are many different formats you can use to deliver that content. We’ve outlined the most popular podcast formats in this article and provided examples of each type. We also shared why you might want to start a video podcast.

If you’re still unsure which format is right for you, the best way to figure it out is to experiment. Try out a few different formats and see which one works best for you and your audience. As always, ask your listeners for the feedback!


Professional B2B copywriter with an SEO background. Zuza is obsessed with great-quality content that ranks on the first page of search engines.

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