The 8 Types of Podcast Formats

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
Seattle’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


Tell me what you think. Did I miss any formats? Do you have any more example podcasts to add?