Different Podcast Formats
There are many, many, many, many (think that’s enough to symbolise) podcasts out there, and 99% of them you may encounter are three guys around an iPhone talking about films or football…. And why not, whatever floats your boat.
However, with a podcast tailored to a niche or for the idea you have nailed down; it is always best to decide on the format you are going to base around. There are a few different types of podcast formats…
But to note, I am not saying by any means you should conform to just one of these podcast formats. Mix it up, experiment and by all means break some rules. Here’s a guide to the different podcast formats that you could use:
1.) Interview based – A host interviewing a guest or series of guests either to tell a story, learn experiences or study expertise. This is bar far one of the most popular and heard podcast formats.
Podcasts such as Marc Marons WTF have made this a hugely popular podcast format.
2.) Storytelling / human interest – Stories are the new way to market, we remember them and we relate to them. If you can tell a story either through interview, anecdote or a great tale… you can really win over an audience. An incredible example of storytelling podcasts have been the hit acclaimed Serial series.
3.) Scripted fiction – These have become more popular lately as bigger companies have moved into podcasting. They require a lot more levels of production, more voices and wayyyy more editing, but some of the best podcasts are done in this format. Some companies have even used this format as a branded podcast, only revealing the brand in the final episode.
I love the Gimlet show Homecoming which does this podcast format brilliantly.
4.) Live – As it says on the tin, a recording of a comedy show, interview panel or table read for example.
5.) Information based (I call these info nuggets) – Often used in between interview shows as a quick update or a nice piece of information that helps the audience to be more inspired or learn a piece of news that helps them develop.
6.) Chat Show – Probably the most common type of podcast. Discussion between hosts about various topics from the walking dead, through to gardening tips. These range from highly produced comedy chat shows to two blokes talking about their dogs that they recorded for the family to hear.
Like I said previously, don’t ever think that you need to conform and stick to just one of these, podcasting is all about breaking the rules and you need to think about which of these would work for your idea, topic and most importantly: your audience.
You could mix together two of these podcast formats into one show, or mix it up and use storytelling in one episode of the month and news in another.
Have a think about which of these podcast formats will work best for your idea!
If you run into any trouble or need any more help with getting set up, please do drop a comment below and I will be happy to help.
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