5 Most Popular Podcast Format: Finding the Right Fit

podcast format

Why do the majority of podcasters stick to a single podcast format for the entire show?

Well, the answer is simple. A static podcast format creates consistency for your listeners. The right layout will assist you in keeping the podcast content and zest organized and structured. However, without one, your show will sound disappointed and messy.

Furthermore, different podcast format attracts a different audience. It provides distinct experiences and derives diverse levels of engagement. 

While some podcast formats let the listener connect more with the host, some spotlight more on the guests, many require extensive research, whereas some also build up organically during the recording.

And most importantly, sticking with a pre-decided podcast format will make your podcasting journey much more effortless. Because, with a rough idea of the show’s flow, you can easily plan content pillars ahead of time and shape the episode as you will.

But first, let’s understand, what exactly is a podcast format.

What is a Podcast Format?

A podcast format is essentially presenting your show’s content in a logical structure. By selecting the right format, you can organize your information and make it easier for your audience to understand and enjoy.

Listeners appreciate the stability that a podcast format offers. Plus, if you select and adhere to a defined structure, your listeners will know what to anticipate from each episode.

Furthermore, word-of-mouth advertising, which is essential to a show’s success, is made simpler for listeners by a decent podcast format, making it easier for them to recommend your podcast to their friends.

Here, SayWHA Radio Network will help you explore the five most in-demand podcast formats, plus a secret to running a successful podcast at the end.

5 Most Popular Podcast Formats

Every podcast episode can be roughly divided into three sections:

  • The Intro: Introduction of the host/ co-hosts/ guests with a hook to keep the listeners interested
  • The Content: The primary content depends upon your podcast format and niche.
  • The Outro: It typically includes a call to action, requests for reviews, comments, or subscribe to the show, or a little glimpse into the next episode.

Now, with that off the table, here are the top five most popular podcast formats:

1. Interview Podcasts

When you think of the podcast, interview format shows are probably the first ones to pop in mind. With consistent hosts talking with new guests over every episode, interview podcasts have become the most popular podcast style.

Given the zest of the show, each interview can vary as per the guests’ expertise but with a theme binding the show with the episode. 

For example, in her podcast, The Live Adventurist, Jenny Holla uncovers a wide range of topics focused on inspiring you to live a life filled with inner peace, authenticity, and freedom. With a new expert in every episode, she focuses on finding what lights you up inside

Crown Chakra with Emily Rivera

Pros of the Interview Podcasts

  • Credibility
  • New perspective and energy with every episode
  • Opens your show to immense popularity by utilizing your guest’s fan base

Con of the Interview Podcasts

  • The popularity of the format makes standing out tough
  • Need for top-notch interviewing skills
  • Finding the right guests can be tedious

2. Co-Hosted Podcasts

Other than interview formats, there is one more podcast style that includes two or more individuals recording engaging episodes. For example, a co-hosted podcast usually comprises two hosts whole typically get along well, having a simple and fascinating talk. 

Unlike interview podcasts, however, all the speakers in the show are hosts.

In many instances, each host will contribute in a particular way to the discourse. For example, one can give commentary or comedic relief while the other reports the news clip. One can provide knowledge, while the other shares anecdotes from their own experiences.

SayWHA Radio Network has three such fun and insightful co-hosted podcasts, SayWHA Radio Podcast, the Hollastic Life, and Cool Black Nerds.

Zinc #30

Pros of the Co-hosted podcast

  • Different perspectives in every episode
  • Fans feel like a member of an exclusive club, especially when the hosts create a welcoming and fun atmosphere.

Cons of the Co-hosted podcast

  • Since the episodes are essentially conversations, following the scripted outline can be a problem.
  • Depending on where your co-host is located, you might have to record separately and edit the audio together if you don’t have a production partner firm.

3. Solo Podcasts

Similar to a monologue, a solo podcast involves only one host sharing their knowledge and perspective on a topic. 

A solo podcast model can be categorized into three types of episodes:

  • The Listicle (describing speeches, books, shows, etc.)
  • The Framework (In-depth explanation of some topics or life lessons)
  • Story (personal/mythical story with a moral or big story at the end)

Mostly, solo episodes aren’t as lengthy as interviews and round-the-table podcasts. Primarily because there’s only one host with one perspective. However, the best solo podcasts are the ones that sound natural and not the host reading off the scrip. So, make sure to go with a flow, and if something doesn’t sound right, there’s always editing.

Here at SayWHA Radio Network, we have three solo podcasts, Life as P by Phoneix Ash, What the Finance by Starry Washington, and The FIT Life by Justice Mosley.

Okay to be Mistaken

Pros of Solo Podcast

  • Conversation-based format, thus less time spent in planning
  • Time flexibility, with no need for scheduling recording with anyone else
  • Better grip on the content you want to produce

Cons of Solo Podcast

  • Carrying out entire conversations alone can be tough
  • Could get monotonous if not done right
  • Recording, editing, publishing, and marketing alone can be strenuous until you hire experts to ease your way into creating a successful podcast.

SayWHA Radio Network specializes in helping podcasters start their podcast from scratch and make them monumental. Learn more about how we can help you become the podcaster you aspire to be.

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4. Narrative Podcast

Not sure how to come up with new stories for your show every week? So, why not create a podcast based on real-life incidents, news, or the latest updates of a specific niche. 

Unlike interview or round-the-table podcasts, narrative podcasts are story-driven shows. These stories can be both fictional and non-fiction.

In the non-fiction narrative podcast, you can choose to dive into a series of historical events, murders, and investigations. Or you can simply report the latest news of the industry. It’s an excellent choice for hosts who like to learn more about the world and stay updated on the current happening.

The One About Depp Vs Heard #224

Pros of Narrative Podcast

  • Super engaging and captivating for listeners
  • Stories tell themselves
  • Addictive for listeners

Cons of Narrative Podcasts

  • You must be an excellent storyteller
  • The production process can be pretty intensive unless you hire experts

5. Your Own Podcast Format

One of the things that make podcasts a fantastic medium is that it’s just dynamic as video or writing. As a podcaster, you are free to experiment with your podcast format. And if it works, you can attract your target audience, keep your listeners interested, and deliver quality content without any hassle.

So, it’s completely okay if you want to create something original that doesn’t fit into the pre-existing podcast format. So, try out your own style or combine multiple trends to create something wholly new.

Who knows, maybe your unique style will become the pinnacle of podcast formats!

Finding Your Right Fit

Choosing the right format for your podcast can be tricky. As a beginner though, you can choose to experiment with different methods over the first 10-15 episodes. Then, based on feedback and your convenience, choose the one that feels right.

Even in the later seasons, you can switch to a different podcast structure. Experiment and ask for feedback. Keep innovating your show to become more compelling, of course, alongside producing awesome content.

The Secret to Running a Successful Podcast

Yes, the podcast is an incredible medium to skyrocket your marketing game or establish a personal brand. However, we also understand that running a podcast that connects with your listeners, engages with the audience, and ranks higher in podcast directories can be daunting, especially if you are doing all the tasks single-handedly.

So, why not change that?

Podcast Marketing: choice between a good and bad podcast
The choice is yours

With over 12 years of experience, SayWHA Radio Network can help you build your podcast dream from scratch to a successful show. Want to know how we can help? Book your first podcast consultation and get all your questions answered.

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