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8 Types of Podcasts: Today’s Top Formats and Genres

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Types Of Podcasts

Podcasts are more than just voices on air – they’re an experience. From gripping tales to lively debates, there’s a unique flavor for every listener’s palate.

Whether you’re into investigative stories, humorous banter, or educational discussions, understanding these different types and styles can spark inspiration for your podcast.

One key step in this journey is identifying content that resonates with your audience. This decision can guide the ideal format for your podcast.

Use this guide to explore the many types of podcasts and find the one that fits your niche and style.

📋 Key Takeaways

  • Choosing the right podcast format hinges on aligning with your niche and understanding your target audience‘s preferences.
  • True Crime, Comedy, and Educational are highlighted as some of the most popular podcast genres, reflecting current listener trends.
  • The success of a podcast depends on the creator’s ability to consistently deliver engaging content that resonates with their audience, regardless of the chosen format.

Formats/Types of Podcasts

🎙️ Interview PodcastsThe podcast host interviews one or more guests. This format can be used across various genres.
📖 StorytellingNarratives, which can be fiction or non-fiction.
🔵 Roundtable DiscussionMultiple hosts or guests discuss a topic.
📰 News and Current AffairsRegular updates on current events or deep dives into recent news.
🗣️ Solo CommentaryA single podcast host sharing thoughts, insights, or expertise on a topic.
👥 PanelA consistent group discusses topics, reviews content, or shares insights.
🎥 DocumentaryIn-depth exploration of a topic, often involving multiple interviews, field recordings, and research.
❓ Q&AHost(s) answer questions from listeners.
📞 Interactive/Call-inListeners participate directly, often in real-time.

8 Most Popular Types of Podcasts

There are eight different types of podcasts, which include Interview Podcasts, Monologue Podcasts, Conversational Podcasts, Panel Podcasts, Storytelling Podcasts, Podcast Theater Formats, Repurposed Content Podcasts, and Hybrid Podcasts.

1. Interview Podcast

Interview Podcast

This type of podcast involves a host or pair of co-hosts who interview one or more guests, usually a person of interest. This format is similar to a TV talk show.

The interview format is an excellent choice if you plan to provide listeners with varied opinions, especially from experts.

In this case, your guests provide expert input, different shades of opinion, and insight into the subject at hand. This format is common when interviewing thought leaders, industry leaders, and politicians.

However, this podcast format is not limited to sharing expert views.

Entertainment journalists and comedians can use this podcast format for entertainment-style interviews, where guests are invited to share their interesting life stories with the audience.

Examples of interview podcasts include:

The interview podcast format seems easy – after all, the guest is doing most of the talking.

While that may be true, you need to know how to creatively steer the conversation and draw out interesting stories from guests.

To make this a success, you’ll need to do extensive research and hone your interviewing skills.

Keep in mind that this is a highly popular podcast format, so standing out will require concerted efforts, patience, and consistency.

Of course, it is a lot easier if you are already a celebrity or have many followers.

On the bright side, this format opens your show to a varied audience since many of your guests are highly connected people and will attract their fan base.


  • 👍✅ Brings diverse perspectives by featuring guests with different expertise.
  • 👍✅ Can attract a wider audience by leveraging the guest’s following.
  • 👍✅ Keeps content fresh and engaging with new stories and insights in each episode.


  • 👎❌ Requires significant effort in finding and scheduling guests.
  • 👎❌ The episode’s quality heavily depends on the guest’s communication skills.
  • 👎❌ Preparing for interviews demands thorough research to ask relevant and engaging questions.

2. Monologue Podcast

Monologue Podcast

As the name suggests, a monologue or solo podcast involves only one host doing all the talking throughout the episode.

This might be worth considering if you are an expert in a specific field and want to share your vast knowledge with your audience.

Many beginner podcasters choose this format, and it’s quite easy to see why. You don’t have to fuss and worry about setup – you hit record and talk into your mic.

Provided you have a good microphone and free podcast recording software, you’re good to go!

While there are a couple of widely popular podcast styles, the solo or monologue format ranks among the easiest of all types of podcasts.

It is a good place to start if you don’t have any experience with podcasting.

Check out these great examples of monologue podcasts:

This type of podcast is powerful for building your brand, as the format allows your audience to get to know you more intimately.

Keep in mind that building a great reputation doesn’t happen overnight. It takes a lot of work and consistency.

And whatever you do, don’t treat a monologue-style podcast like an audiobook! Your audience wants to hear you speak naturally and not read a script.

Although this format doesn’t provide any room for bouncing ideas off any guest or co-host, it gives you the flexibility of making things happen on your own schedule and not waiting for someone else’s involvement.

Plus, editing a monologue during post-production is much easier. That’s because you are editing only your voice, which is much easier than working on multiple tracks at the same time.


  • 👍✅ Full content control allows for a personal touch and direct connection with listeners.
  • 👍✅ Easier to produce and edit as it involves only one speaker.
  • 👍✅ Great for building personal brand or authority in a specific field.


  • 👎❌ Can become monotonous if not varied in delivery or content.
  • 👎❌ The host needs to be engaging enough to retain listener interest solo.
  • 👎❌ Limited perspectives as the content is from a single host’s viewpoint.

3. Conversational Podcast

Conversational Podcast

Conversational or co-hosted podcasts are another popular format similar to a traditional radio show.

The format has two podcasters having interesting conversations on specific topics and themes, such as trending news. 

This format is usually great for two people who have great chemistry together, share the same interests in a particular theme or topic, and want to start a podcast together.  

Similar to a radio show, each host has a specific role in the conversation. For example, one host may lecture on a topic or lesson, while the other shares personal stories related to the lesson.

Or one host might provide insightful or humorous commentary after the other reports a trending news item.

Check out these examples of conversational podcasts:

It is quite easy to create a friendly and entertaining feel with each episode with this type of format.

It doesn’t take long before listeners will start to feel they are part of the conversation, especially if the entire session feels natural instead of scripted.

However, both podcast hosts need to make sure that they stay on the same page overall instead of creating a conflict for listeners.

While this is a fun podcast format, editing two voices is usually more work than editing one.

But the good thing is that a co-hosted podcast means sharing the workload of creating a podcast with someone who is equally thrilled about your idea.


  • 👍✅ Dynamic interactions between hosts can make episodes more engaging and relatable.
  • 👍✅ Shared workload in content creation and production.
  • 👍✅ Natural flow of conversation can lead to unexpected insights and humor.


  • 👎❌ Potential for off-topic tangents that might not interest all listeners.
  • 👎❌ Requires strong chemistry between hosts to maintain a coherent and engaging narrative.
  • 👎❌ Balancing speaking time and ensuring equitable contribution can be challenging.

4. The Panel Podcast

The Panel Podcast

Panel podcasts or roundtable shows are somewhat like interview-style podcasts. However, in this format, the conversation involves a group of hosts instead of interviewing guests.

This is a great format if you find the right group of friends who share the same passion as you and are excited about sharing their different points of view on specific topics.

The format allows for the flexibility to discuss (or banter on) just about any topic of interest to the group.

If the group pulls this one off, gathering a following of eager and passionate listeners will be quite easy.

That’s because audience members are quick to feel like they are part of the group with this format, and long-time listeners can easily pick up personality quirks and jokes from the different hosts.

Here are examples of the panel podcast:

Usually, one of the hosts anchors each episode while other co-hosts fill specific roles in the conversation. However, coordinating this type of podcast may not be easy.

You will have to consider the conflicting schedules of the hosts, and you may problems if the different personalities don’t blend quite well.

However, the panel podcast can be a huge success if all the hosts collaborate.


  • 👍✅ Offers a variety of viewpoints on a single topic, enriching the discussion.
  • 👍✅ Can cater to diverse listener interests within the same episode.
  • 👍✅ The dynamic interaction among panelists can create engaging content.


  • 👎❌ Coordinating schedules and recording logistics with multiple participants can be challenging.
  • 👎❌ Risk of dominant personalities overshadowing others, leading to an imbalance in the discussion.
  • 👎❌ Can be harder to edit and manage due to multiple audio tracks and potential cross-talk.

5. Storytelling Podcast

Storytelling Podcast

Storytelling podcasts share real-life stories in each episode. So, this format should suit you if writing non-fictional events is your thing.

The format allows you to share events, unique perspectives, and first-hand stories with interested listeners.

These stories may span several series episodes, or you may choose to tell or share one story per episode.

Here are a few examples of storytelling podcasts:

This podcast format offers an unlimited number of stories to share with your audience, so you’re not likely to run out of content quickly.

However, it requires thorough research skills and getting the facts correct.

Remember that this is supposed to be a medium for sharing non-fictional events, such as true crime stories or historical events. Your audience may not forgive readily if you don’t correct your facts.

However, if you do this right, the format can quickly attract addictive listeners, especially those wanting to learn more about the topic.


  • 👍✅ Captivates listeners with compelling narratives, making content memorable.
  • 👍✅ Great for exploring deep, complex topics in an engaging format.
  • 👍✅ Can build a strong emotional connection with the audience.


  • 👎❌ Requires significant time and effort in scripting, planning, and possibly researching stories.
  • 👎❌ High production value might be necessary to convey the narrative effectively, increasing costs.
  • 👎❌ Risk of listener drop-off if the narrative doesn’t consistently engage.

6. Podcast Theater Podcast Format

Podcast Theater Podcast Format

The podcast theater podcast also goes by the name fictional storytelling. Similar to dramatic television, this format essentially uses the medium to entertain audiences with fictional stories across several episodes.

The format can use the voice of only one podcaster, but it involves many voice actors in many cases.

In some cases, it can even use sound effects, sound engineers, and an entire cast to make the story more captivating and give listeners a more immersive experience.

Some examples of the theater podcast format include:

This is an ideal format if you enjoy creating characters and weave fascinating plots. So, if you have a fictional script you’ll like to make into a podcast, the podcast theater podcast format is your best bet.

As you probably already guessed, this will involve a lot of work and effort. However, it is one of the least common podcast formats, so you won’t face stiff competition like other types of podcasts.


  • 👍✅ Offers immersive storytelling with the use of voice actors, sound effects, and music.
  • 👍✅ Unique format can differentiate a podcast in a crowded market.
  • 👍✅ High creative freedom in crafting fictional worlds and stories.


  • 👎❌ High production costs and complexity, involving multiple contributors and technical elements.
  • 👎❌ Requires strong scriptwriting and storytelling skills to maintain listener engagement.
  • 👎❌ Niche format might limit audience size compared to more mainstream podcast types.

7. Repurposed Content Podcast Format

Repurposed Content Podcast Format

This podcast format involves taking already existing content and transforming it to provide more value for your audience.

This is an easier way for bloggers, vloggers, and content creators in other mediums to reach a new audience.

You can split the original content, add to it, or transpose it into a new medium.

For example, you can record your lectures, transform your blogs into podcasts, or turn a weekly sermon into a downloadable podcast.

Obviously, you’ll have to do some editing to make the original content suitable for a podcast.

Depending on the original content, editing this type of podcast might take less time and effort than creating it from scratch.

To give a clear insight into what a repurposed content podcast is, check out the following examples:

Keep in mind that people have other ways to access the original content. So, make sure they get additional value by listening to your repurposed content podcast, or you’ll lose them fast!


  • 👍✅ Efficient use of existing content can save time and resources.
  • 👍✅ Can reach new audiences by adapting content to the podcast format.
  • 👍✅ Offers a way to rejuvenate and give new life to evergreen content.


  • 👎❌ Content might not translate well to audio format, losing its original impact.
  • 👎❌ Risk of redundancy for followers who consume content across multiple platforms.
  • 👎❌ Requires creative adaptation to make the content engaging for audio listeners.

8. Hybrid Podcasts

Hybrid Podcasts

This list of the major types of podcasts will be incomplete without mentioning the hybrid podcast format.

Consider going for the hybrid podcast format if you are looking for more flexibility with the different things you’ll like to do on your show.

It is also an excellent choice if you can’t seem to box your niche topic into a more traditional podcast format.

Here are excellent examples of a hybrid podcast:

This type of format simply means mixing and matching a couple of different podcast types to create something unique to your style and niche. It is absolutely up to you and how creative you want to get!

However, you want to be careful about “creativity” so that your podcast will still make sense while providing value to your listeners.

If you are fusing different formats, ensure the entire episode is cohesive and won’t confuse your audience.

For example, you may want to split an episode of a panel show into different segments where the main host will carry on a solo or monologue for a while before tying back to the panel.

Or, you may choose to interview guests occasionally on a monologue-style podcast.

The bottom line is that people should come away from the podcast experience with value and appreciation for your unique podcasting style. If you can achieve this, your hybrid podcast will succeed greatly.


  • 👍✅ Flexibility to incorporate various elements from different formats, keeping content fresh.
  • 👍✅ Ability to tailor content style to the topic of each episode.
  • 👍✅ Can cater to a broader audience by varying content types.


  • 👎❌ Lack of a consistent format might confuse or alienate some listeners.
  • 👎❌ Demands greater creativity and planning to integrate different formats seamlessly.
  • 👎❌ Risk of becoming jack of all trades, master of none, without a clear focus.

Different Genres of Podcasts

🔍 True CrimeInvestigative storytelling focusing on unsolved mysteries or crimes.
😂 ComedyHumorous content, which could be in the form of interviews, discussions, or storytelling.
📚 EducationalContent aiming to teach or inform.
🎬 Reviews and CritiqueContent focused on reviewing books, movies, music, etc.
💪 Health and FitnessCovering well-being, mental health, fitness routines, etc.
✒️ Personal JournalsIndividuals sharing personal stories or experiences.
📱 Tech and GadgetsFocused on technology news, reviews, and discussions.
💼 Business and EntrepreneurshipStartups, finance, business strategies, etc.
🌱 Self-Help and Personal DevelopmentProductivity, personal growth, motivational content.
🎨 Hobby and Interest-BasedContent based on specific hobbies or interests.
🏛️ HistoryContent revolving around historical events or figures.
🌎 Culture and SocietyContent discussing societal issues, trends, or cultural phenomena.
⚽ SportsContent based on specific sports, teams, or events.
✈️ Travel and PlacesTravel stories, tips, or destination guides.
🔬 ScienceContent based on various scientific topics or discoveries.
🎵 MusicDiscussions, reviews, or explorations of music and its elements.
👪 Parenting and FamilyDiscussions or advice about family life or parenting.
👻 Mysticism and ParanormalGhost stories, unexplained events, etc.
✝️ Religion and SpiritualityContent focused on spiritual practices, religious texts, or philosophical discussions.
🍿 Pop CultureDiscussions or reviews of pop culture trends, movies, TV shows, etc.

Most Popular Podcast Genre

True Crime

Explores real-life criminal cases, often delving into unsolved or mysterious crimes. These podcasts may include interviews with experts, victims, or even perpetrators, and aim to unravel the truth behind the crime.


It provides light-hearted entertainment through humor through stand-up, satirical commentary, comedic interviews, or humorous storytelling.


It aims to inform or teach listeners about specific topics. These can range from academic subjects like mathematics or history to life skills or professional development.

Reviews and Critique

Offers opinions, analysis, and critiques on various forms of media or products, helping listeners make informed decisions or discover new interests.

Health and Fitness

Covers topics related to physical health, mental well-being, fitness routines, healthy eating, and medical advancements.

Personal Journals

Features individuals sharing personal experiences, thoughts, or life journeys, creating a sense of connection and relatability with listeners.

Tech and Gadgets

Provides updates on the latest technology trends, gadgets, software, and the impact of technology on society.

Business and Entrepreneurship

Explores the world of startups, business strategies, financial management, and entrepreneurial journeys.

Self-Help and Personal Development

Focuses on personal growth, improving productivity, motivational content, and providing tools for self-betterment.

Hobby and Interest-Based

It is tailored to specific hobbies or interests, such as gardening, gaming, crafting, or other leisure activities.


Delves into historical events, figures, or periods, often shedding light on lesser-known facts or perspectives.

Culture and Society

Discusses societal issues, cultural trends, social justice topics, and the human experience within different societal constructs.


It covers a range of sports-related content, including commentary on games, athlete interviews, and sports news discussions.

Travel and Places

Shares travel experiences, tips for travelers, destination guides, and explores different cultures and places.


Explores scientific discoveries, discussions on various scientific topics, and interviews with experts in the field.


Delves into the world of music, exploring different genres, reviewing albums, or discussing the music industry.

Parenting and Family

Provides advice, discussions, and stories related to family life, parenting challenges, and the joys of family.

Mysticism and Paranormal

Explores unexplained phenomena, ghost stories, and the mysterious in a sometimes thrilling or chilling way.

Religion and Spirituality

Discusses spiritual practices, religious beliefs, and philosophical discussions and explores the human spiritual experience.

Pop Culture

Engages with the latest in pop culture, reviewing new movies, TV shows, celebrity news, and discussing cultural trends.

Podcast Type FAQs

What are the different types of podcasts?

There are eight types of podcasts: conversational podcasts, narrative podcasts, fiction podcasts, interview podcasts, educational podcasts, news podcasts, roundtable podcasts, and solo podcasts.

How do I choose the right podcast format?

When choosing the right podcast format, consider your target audience, your content goals, and your preferred podcasting style. Consider whether you want a conversational format, a storytelling format, or an educational format.

What is the most popular podcast genre?

The most popular podcast genres include true crime, comedy, news and politics, society and culture, sports, and business. However, the popularity of genres can vary over time.

Conclusion – What kind of podcasts are there?

Choosing one from the various types of podcasts comes down to identifying your preferred niche – what you really enjoy talking about – and the content your target audience is most likely drawn to.

Once you figured out these, how successful you are will depend on your skillset, consistency, and patience.

Remember, there is no best podcast format. It all boils down to how well you use any of the podcasts types listed above.


Brett Robinson

Head of content and marketing over at Wired Clip HQ. I'm an Audio enthusiast and have been interested in anything from microphones to speakers. I am the lead guitarist for a small band and my main passion is editing our tracks.

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