7 Popular Types of Podcasts: Which Podcast Format is The Best
Podcasts are becoming an excellent strategy for building brand authority. They are interesting and easy for listeners to use because they don’t need to be glued to a screen to take in the content. Also, they are easier to get into.
Over the last decade, podcasts have seen a positive growth trajectory. Podcasting revenue in the United States alone is expected to reach $1.73 billion by the end of 2022, representing a 28.6 percent annual increase, according to studies.
However, choosing the best podcast format can be challenging when you’re getting started.
Let’s be honest; starting a podcast is more than buying a high-quality microphone or headphones.
It’s about finding an effective podcast structure that you’ll use to convey your topics.
Today, we’ll show you the best types of podcasts you can choose to kickstart your podcasting career. We’ll also show you the following:
- How to choose a podcast format
- Why choosing a podcast format is essential in creating a successful podcast
- The pros and cons of each podcast format
- A tool that you can use to build your podcast community and monetize it
Let’s geek out on this, shall we?
A podcast format is how you organize and structure your show’s content.
Choosing a podcast format ahead of time gives you a plan for your work and lets you keep putting out interesting content. It also becomes easy to communicate your value proposition, which later helps you attract new listeners and keep them engaged.
Besides, it’s easier for your listeners to recommend your show because they know what it entails.
Now that you’re aware of what a podcast format entails let’s analyze the popular types of podcasts you can choose for your new podcast. We’ll also explain why you need to choose the format and the pros and cons of each podcast format.
Co-hosted, also known as conversational podcast format, involves two hosts with great chemistry.
In this podcast format, the hosts use a more organic conversation that’s spiced up with humorous banter.
A co-hosted podcast makes for a terrific format that you can use to engage your audience and share unique perspectives on a particular topic.
- The podcast does not require script preparation making the conversation organic and entertaining.
- Hosts are responsible for half of the conversation, making it easier to split tasks during production and promotion.
- Both hosts bring their ideas and perspective, leading to more diverse and rich content episodes.
- It requires less planning and structuring, which helps you save time producing any episode.
- The co-hosts can ask each other questions creating room for clarification of certain ideas.
- This podcast format requires you to choose a co-host with good chemistry; otherwise, you ruin the mojo or cannot creatively entertain your audience.
- Getting equal speaking time for each co-host can be challenging.
- You must actively develop creative topics and themes to keep your audience engaged.
- You both need topics you have good expertise on. Otherwise, one co-host might not have much to contribute.
Interview podcasts are probably the most common format. This podcast involves one or two hosts requiring the guest to share their expertise or story using a series of follow-up questions like, you know, an interview.
With this podcast format, you can always make new content without having to do much creative work. That’s because the interviewee here is deemed the expert.
And as the host, you’ll be steering the interview by asking relevant questions, and the guest will do most of the work by educating your reader or sharing the story, depending on the topics involved.
- Maintains a constituent flow of unique and fresh ideas every time you bring a new guest to your show.
- You can expand your audience when your guests share the episode they appeared in with their audience.
- Less post-production is required since the show features two people having a conversation.
- You’ll need to put a ton of effort into your outreach and scheduling to invite new guests to your podcast, which can be time-consuming.
- Depending on your guest’s location to interview them over tools like Zoom, Google Meeting, or Skype, you’re likely to experience interruptions and sometimes poor-quality audio depending on your guest’s audio input equipment.
The only difference between an interview-based podcast and a panel podcast is that the panel podcast has more than one guest.
Unlike interview-based podcasts, the roundtable podcast is more of a discussion than a question-and-answer session. The host will pose a question to the group, and everyone will respond with their thoughts.
Usually, this podcast format is more casual than interview podcasts. The listener will feel like they are overhearing a conversation from a group of friends, making the episodes engaging and entertaining.
- Having multiple participants enables you to create episodes full of unique and interesting ideas.
- It’s easy to keep the convo going since the panel of guests do most of the talking and bounces in to add, emphasize or oppose their fellow hosts’ thoughts.
- Panel podcasts create room for lively conversation.
- Inviting multiple guests to your show requires a lot of time and effort since you need to do outreach and create schedules with your guests.
- Some guests may end up talking for longer than expected, and you must constantly cut them off to give others chances to contribute.
- Recording audio from several sources makes you prone to technical problems and requires heavy post-audio editing to make it crisp.
Let’s face it, finding a new topic to share with your audience in each of your episodes can sometimes be challenging. Non-fictional storytelling podcasts help fix that.
This type of podcast features real-life stories and events. In this podcast format, you can cover everything from crime stories to personal life stories or even travel experiences.
Even though this type of format requires a lot of research and knowledge of the subject, it has the potential to keep your audience’s attention and interest.
- Since your content is based on real events that happened, it requires less creativity to make up a story, and you don’t need to develop completely new topics or details.
- It’s easier to keep the audience returning for more, especially those looking to learn more about a specific topic and event.
- Your episodes are based on real-life stories and factual information, so your audience may come to you as a resource hub.
- Pre-planned content makes it easy to record.
- Much research and planning are involved before recording the podcast, which makes this podcast format time-consuming.
- Involves high production value, which means the time intervals between episodes can be more than producing other podcast formats like interview-based podcasts.
Educational podcasts concentrate on teaching or sharing expertise on a particular topic. This type of podcast addresses your audience’s pain points and shares content that offers solutions. For example, a podcast on growth hacking helps listeners scale their businesses and generate revenue.
- High-value and educational content will attract existing and new audiences, making you a one-stop for your audience who want to learn about a particular topic.
- Helps you build authority in your niche and generate more leads,
- It helps you create supplement content like videos or even full courses to involve your audience at different stages of conversions.
- Some topics may require visual presentations requiring the creation of supplement content like PDFs or videos to convey your message.
In this podcast, you take existing content material and modify it to get value. This can be great for getting more value from your underperforming content. For example, say you have your own blog posts that are getting close to no traffic. You can convert them into an audio version and upload them to your podcast.
- Production of this content is easy because you already have it. Instead, you must make a few tweaks to fit the podcast format.
- The production budget is quite low since you already have the content.
- You’ll be able to breathe life again into content bringing in no traffic or conversions.
- Most of the proposed podcast content requires heavy editing to match the context and format.
- Not all reformatted content will sound right based on the original version of the piece.
Just as the name suggests, the podcast involves a single host. It’s just you with your microphone running the show.
There’s usually not much fanfare in these podcasts; to be honest, keeping your audience engaged throughout can be a bit challenging.
However, solo podcasts strike gold if you are an expert sharing your knowledge. And the good thing is that solo podcasts are very flexible regarding topic coverage.
- You have a flexible schedule since you don’t have to wait on anyone or reach out to any guest to run the show.
- It’s easier to edit a single audio track.
- As the only host and star of the show, you’ll be able to easily bond with your audience, which is ideal for building brand trust and authority.
- Carrying the entire conversation for nearly 30 mins or more can be tiresome.
- The editing workload is on your shoulders unless you hire editors.
Choosing a podcast format can be challenging, especially when you are starting. But all in all, you need a format that follows a regular structure to create consistency for listeners who know what to expect from your show.
Here’s how to choose the best podcast format.
Let’s be real.
You don’t want to start a podcast and pump in your resources, time, and money only to get a zero or ridiculous return on investment.
Like any business, you want to get your brand known and generate higher-converting leads.
Choosing the right podcast format plays a vital role in the success of your podcast because it helps you choose the best format that aligns with your business goals.
For example, if you own a SaaS product, you would want to choose a podcast format that educates your readers on how your product can help them. In that case, a solo podcast or theatrical podcast format will not perform well. Instead, if you choose an educational or conversational podcast format, your brand is likely to do well.
The way you want to talk about your topics is a big part of how you choose a podcast format. Some tones seem to work best in some formats, while others don’t.
For example, a casual tone works best in co-hosted and panel podcast formats. It makes the conversation more fun and engaging. On the other hand, a very casual tone may not work perfectly for educational podcasts.
Instead, a friendly tone works best because it is lighthearted and kind and builds trust, which is important in educational content.
Analyzing the competition of a podcast format will help you figure out how you can make your show stand out.
You don’t want to choose the format everyone follows and get your podcast lost in the crowd. When everyone is using the same design, you have a chance to stand out by using distinct forms.
For example, if everyone in your niche is following the co-hosted podcast format, you can decide to go for the panel format to make your podcast diverse and engaging.
Preparation, editing, and outreach requirements will vary depending on the podcast format. In the panel podcasts, there’s a ton of work in editing and outreach. You will have multiple audio tracks, and you will need to invite guests to appear on your show.
If you are on a shoestring budget and can’t afford a team of editors, handling all the tasks yourself can be quite challenging. In that case, the panel podcast may not be the best format. Instead, you would want to use the co-hosted format, where you can split the tasks with your partner.
Starting a podcast can be a great way to build a relationship with your listeners, boost trust in your brand and generate high-qualifying leads.
Out of all the seven podcast formats we’ve discussed, choosing the right format depends on how you want to use your podcast, audience, budget, and expertise. Once you’ve chosen the best format, you’d want to build a community and house them in your own space.
You’ve guessed it right. We’re talking about a membership website where you can engage your audience at a personal level.
At GroupApp, we help you build a community of loyal fans. Our community builder includes all the tools you need to launch your first community, membership site, and, even more importantly, online course.
Get started with our community builder and build your community around your podcast for free.