A Breakdown of The Most Popular Podcast Formats
Thinking of Hiring a Podcast Production Agency?
Are you considering launching a podcast of your own? If this is the case, selecting the appropriate format is of the utmost importance. You will be able to deliver your message and subject more effectively if you use the appropriate format.
And although deciding on a format for your podcast can seem to be a simple task at first glance, it’s really more involved than it would first appear. The interview podcast and the solo podcast are just two examples of the many different formats that are available for podcasts.
And to make things even more confusing, there are subcategories and hybrid styles to choose from inside each of the several sorts of formats.
But does it really matter what format your podcast is in? Absolutely, that is the case! The formula for a successful podcast really includes a number of components, one of which is your format.
Your material will shine the brightest if it is presented in the appropriate manner, which will ensure that your program continually produces great information. And it may even assist in the formation of those all-important connections with your audience in a more effective manner. Therefore, it is critical that you choose an appropriate format for your program.
And so, to assist make that decision a little bit simpler for you, in this piece, we are going to take a look at some of the many sorts of podcast formats that are available to you.
Let’s get started!
The Most Popular Podcast Formats
1. The Solo Format
To start things off, there is the solo podcast. This kind of podcast is perhaps the one that is used the most, and it is not very difficult to see why. In a presentation using the Solo Format, just one individual is responsible for presenting the information. Because there is only one person involved in the production of the episode, you will have a great deal of control over its final product, making it much simpler for you to produce an episode of a high standard when compared to the other formats that we will discuss in a later section.
When there is just one person’s raw recordings, the podcast format is often employed since it may be edited in a shorter amount of time than other types of media.
However, because to the fact that it is so widespread, you will need to dedicate a considerable amount of time and work on a regular basis in order to make your podcast stand out and achieve the level of success you want.
You’ll have a lot of success as a single host if you can hit the sweet spot between being prepared and being natural.
2. The Interview Format
The interview style is often what individuals have in mind when they fantasize about beginning their own podcast. This is due to the fact that it seems to be an incredible opportunity to interact with notable people, such as celebrities or leaders in the field that you are interested in breaking into.
The structure of an interview is an ideal option if you have a subject that demands in-depth expertise, thrives on a range of perspectives, or is one to which a large number of individuals may participate.
Although there are a lot of celebrities and well-known hosts in this particular category, you don’t have to be renowned to participate in this format. You are able to conduct an interview podcast on almost any subject or inside any specialty, provided that there are knowledgeable individuals or leaders in that sector that you can interview.
In order to achieve success with this format, you will need to refine your interviewing abilities and brush up on your research skills in order to be able to ask those insightful questions that are exclusive to your program. Listening attentively is essential if one wants to be a successful interviewer. Don’t forget to polish those talents, too!
3. The Co-Hosted Format
The co-hosted podcast is another popular kind of audio content. In most cases, the show’s genesis involves members of the same family, circle of friends, or even place of employment who all have an intense interest in the same subject matter. In today’s society, a discussion along the lines of “Hey, why don’t we start a podcast together?” is certain to take place at some point in time.
When it comes to finding success with this format, the winning mix includes hosts who are educated on the subject matter of their show, who are dedicated to sharing the burden, and who have fantastic natural chemistry.
If you get this combination just right, the co-hosted model might be a contributing factor to the success of your podcast.
4. The Panel Format
The structure of the panel show might be a highly plausible option for a format since it can be utilized for almost any subject or specialty that can be imagined. However, due to the fact that it necessitates the use of a few essential components, it is not always the option that is given the most consideration.
To begin, you will need your panel. And this may be difficult, as you need to find the correct mix of ‘characters’ in order to keep your audience amused and involved in what you are presenting to them. When discussing a subject, your goal is often to provide a range of perspectives on the matter. Therefore, every participant, whether they are for or against the issue, ought to feel strongly about it. In order to prevent one or two individuals from taking control of the discussion, all of the participants must be willing to take turns speaking into the microphone.
Because of this, the issue calls for a dedication as well as preparation in order to be successful. On the other hand, if all of the hosts do their part and are committed to working together to make the program a success, there is a very good chance that it will be!
5. The Non-Fiction Narrative Format
The non-fiction narrative style is the one that best describes the majority of true crime podcasts. Despite the fact that this category is so popular, it has practically become its own format!
The structure of a non-fiction narrative podcast recounts a story based on real events over a series of episodes. This particular subcategory is really well-liked, as was just indicated. Because of this, in order to perform well with this format, you will need to have great research abilities, as well as the ability to tell a tale in a way that is clear and consistent so that you can hold your own.
However, if you have an interesting tale to tell, you could discover that this structure is the best fit for your work.
6. The Fiction Narrative Format
The podcasting medium has had a meteoric rise in popularity over the last several years. And some of the most well-known people in cinema and television are getting in on the fun as well! Due to the excellent production value of many of these podcasts, many people now refer to the programs that fall into this category as audio drama. This is because of the growth of the format, which is also increasing the quality of what it has to offer.
The Marvel franchise has contributed to the development of the ‘audio drama’ genre by producing several excellent fiction podcasts, which can be found on their website. Additionally, there is a wealth of opportunities for the next generation to take advantage of. Story Pirates and The Radio Adventures of Eleanor Amplified are two highly popular instances of this kind of show. Their concept is a wonderfully entertaining spin on the pattern, which is why the show is so successful.
Writing and producing a high-quality fiction podcast is an excellent approach to get your work out there if you have a desire of seeing your tales come to life but feel that getting a book contract is now out of your grasp.
7. The Repurposed Content Format
Additionally, there is a format known as Repurposed Content. If you already share information via another medium, or if you plan to start doing so in the near future, repurposing that content for a podcast might be the ideal method to break into the market and advance your brand at the same time.
8. The Improv Format
The improv format is a subgenre of narrative tale telling fiction, which evolved from the more traditional style. If improv is your passion and you’ve already polished this talent to a decent amount, then this podcast format may actually work well for you. All you need is an internet connection and a microphone.
The improv format may take the shape of a solo hosted program, or it can be an undertaking including a full-cast or panel, but the core assumption is that all of the material is improvised or adlibbed on the spot. This can be done in a variety of different ways.
There could be a basic screenplay that goes through a general overview, or there might be a broad topic that has to be discussed, but other than that, the material in this kind of format is free to travel anywhere it wants to go.
Due to the flexibility of the improv podcasting format, it is possible to adapt it to a variety of distinct subgenres or approaches. However, in order to be successful while utilizing this sort of format, you need to have a high level of talent in the area of improv that you are focusing on, whether that be story-telling, comedy, poetry, or anything with a greater emphasis on education. Improvisation is only successful when it’s impossible to recognize when someone is making things up on the spot.
Therefore, if you are aware that this is something that you are capable of doing, then the improv style may very well be the perfect match for both you and your podcast.
9. The Table Top Format
The term “real play podcasts” may also be used to refer to this format, which is a term that can assist describe the format a little bit better.
Players of a tabletop game (often of the role-playing sort, such as Dungeons & Dragons) record themselves actively playing the game as it is being broadcasted as a podcast in this particular style. They then publish new episodes of their podcast based on the sessions of their campaigns or rounds.
As a result, the table-top style podcast occupies a very specific niche. Additionally, the podcast format is best suited for a certain subset of the available tabletop games. (I don’t believe anybody is going to tune in for a round of Go Fish, regardless of how intense the game becomes in real life!)
But if you execute any of these formats successfully, you have the potential to achieve a significant amount of success. Therefore, if you and some of your close friends are dedicated Dungeons & Dragons (D&D) players, for instance, this could be the best option for the format of your podcast.
The Adventure Zone and Adventure They Wrote are two fantastic shows that exemplify this genre.
10. The Hybrid Format
What options do you have if, up to this point, you haven’t identified a format that fulfills all of your requirements? You find that you appreciate aspects of a handful of the forms that we’ve suggested, but you can’t quite see your program blending in perfectly with any of the aforementioned formats.
If this is the case, you may be interested in the hybrid format. The hybrid format is great to use if your specialized subject matter does not directly correspond to “conventional” podcast formats. If you are searching for additional versatility with what you want to give through your podcast, the hybrid format is another fantastic option that you should consider.
It’s possible that any combination of the following podcast formats may be considered a hybrid format for a podcast. This gives you the chance to exercise your creative side and devise a framework for your show that is one-of-a-kind both to you and the people that listen to it, as well as one that demonstrates your theme or specialized subject area in the most effective way.
For instance, you might create a hybrid show that consists mostly of solo portions but delves into interviews if you are able to get exceptional guests who will provide a great deal of value to your audience. The structure of the non-fiction narrative story-telling, which also includes panel discussions, is one option for you to consider. Or a kind of improv that also includes written audio drama-type material in its repertoire. When one gives it some thought, one realizes that the potential outcomes are almost limitless.
When it comes to selecting the hybrid format, however, we would want to make one important caveat clear. You need to have absolute certainty that this format is the one that will serve your program in the most effective manner. The possibility of using a hybrid approach increases the risk that you will not put in the necessary amount of time and effort to firmly establish yourself in a certain market segment.
It’s possible that you’ll give up on that routine too soon and “settle” for the hybrid structure instead. However, this may not be the approach that will provide the greatest results for either your issue or your audience.
The success of a hybrid podcast is contingent upon the fact that the mix of styles or formats contributes in some way to the experience that the listener has with the podcast as a whole. If the sole reason you chose this format was because you are unsure of what you want to accomplish, then the audience will likewise be quite puzzled by what you have to say. And if this is the case, we shouldn’t expect them to be around for long.
Before you choose “hybrid” as the format for your podcast, make sure that you have a very clear idea of the audience you want to reach and the specific niche you want to fill.
11. The Video Format
The video format has been chosen as the final format. Despite the fact that the format is not “traditional” for a podcast since it is video, more and more people are listening to video podcasts.
Because podcasts are so popular, YouTube is quickly becoming one of the most popular platforms on which to listen to them.
As a result, giving some thought to adapting your podcast to a video format is something you should do. You may launch a podcast using YouTube as your only distribution platform, or you can expand your existing podcast to include video content.
However, despite the fact that video podcasting is unquestionably on the rise, there are certain markets, fields of study, and sorts of podcasts that will lend themselves more naturally to the video format.
Podcasts that make use of the table-top format, as was discussed before, would be an excellent candidate for video. Since this format already contains a visual component (i.e. the game that is being played), all that would need to be done to film your play would be to record it on video.
If you tend to interview people who are at least somewhat well-known, you could find success with the video format. Your listeners are likely to have a significant amount of curiosity in actually viewing your interviews. If you give your interviews an appealing presentation, the video format may enable you to reach an even greater number of people.
The video format is suitable for use with podcast subjects that have the ability to offer a visual element of appeal. If there is a hands-on, instructional, or demonstration component to your niche and issue, the video format may be the most effective way for you to serve your audience.
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