What podcast formats are there?

There might be tons of podcasts but there are only a handful of podcast formats. This list is an attempt to catalog the most common podcast formats. Keep in mind that many shows are a combination of formats. Hopefully this list will help you come up with ideas for your next podcast!

Recycled This format might be the most common podcast format. It includes all content that is not natively a podcast. This content was recorded and then repurposed as a podcast. For example, most radio station podcasts are just recycled broadcasts. This format also includes recorded lectures, sermons, and speeches.

Examples: Town Hall Seattle Civics Series This American Life Seattleā€™s Morning News with Dave Ross

Fiction These podcasts are not real. They tell a fictional story. They can range from highly produced radio plays to a single person reading a story.

Examples: Dented Dimension The Black Tapes The Clarkesworld Podcast

Explainer This is a type of educational podcast that explores a single or a few topics in each episode. The goal being to explain things.

Examples: Grammar Girl Reply All

Roundtable Roundtable discussions are probably the second most popular podcast type. These are panel discussions about particular topics.

Examples: This Week In Tech Slate Gabfest

Interview This is another very popular format. Most interview shows will be one on one interviews. Some will be a panel asking questions of the guest. The big difference between a roundtable and a panel show is the focus. On an interview show the focus is on the guest.

Examples: The Tim Ferriss Show WTF with Marc Maron Podcast Talk To The Left (My Podcast)

Magazine These podcasts are highly produced. They have various segments. Sometimes they will have a mix of interviews, news, or commentary. These shows are very hard to make as an amateur podcaster.

Example: Trumpcast The Daily

Newreader This format is usually just one person reading the news to you.

Examples: Daily Tech News Show Podnews Podcast

Documentary This format has become hugely popular. Especially, in the true crime variety. It also includes personal narratives.

Examples: Serial Happy Face Slow Burn