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vector graphic showing an illustration of different types of podcasts

Unless you have been living under a massive rock, you know that podcasts are all the rage right now.

They have taken over every corner of the internet and millions of people listen to them.

Podcasts are essentially audible versions of blogs with a little more room for interaction.

Because they are inherently conversational, podcasts draw in people with different interests and attention spans.

They have replaced morning talk shows and afternoon radio. But why are podcasts so popular?

If you have not taken a drink from the podcast cool aid, allow me to convince you to try it out.

Here are the best types of podcasts to check out:


What Are the Three Types of Podcast Formats?

While there are numerous kinds of podcasts, they all fall into one of these three types: nonfiction narrative story-telling, fictional story-telling, or hybrid.

  • Non-fiction story-telling podcasts include monologues, interviews, news, and more. They tell true stories in an engaging format.
  • Fictional story-telling podcasts are scripted and performed podcasts. They usually involve stories like bedtime tales, scripts, or just fictional stories.
  • Hybrid podcasts are podcasts with a set host but different guests on the show for each episode. These are very common and almost like the original podcast form.  


What is a Podcast Category?

A podcast category is required to generate an RSS feed for a podcast.

It helps podcast platforms like Spotify and Apple podcasts to properly recommend podcasts.

The best podcast platforms usually maximize podcast categories to ensure each podcast reaches its intended audience.

How Do I Choose a Podcast Category?

To choose a podcast category, you need to have an understanding of the different types of podcasts.

You also need to decide who your target audience is and what your main topic of discussion is.

Consider the podcasts you want to be recommended alongside yours as well as which ones are most similar to yours.

What Are the Different Types of Podcasts?

When learning how to listen to podcasts or how to set up a podcast yourself, it is important to explore many podcast categories.

These are the most popular types of podcasts:

1. Interview Podcasts

Interview podcasts are podcasts where guests are interviewed on various topics.

This type of podcast focuses on the guest, their knowledge, and their interests.

Usually, they interview interesting or obscure figures but your podcast can also interview figures and specialists in a specific industry.

Minnie Questions with Minnie Driver and Vox Conversations are popular interview podcasts.

2. Solo Podcasts

Solo podcasts are also known as monologue podcasts.

The host of the podcast simply talks throughout the episode.

This is a popular type of podcast for influencers and celebrities as they are already known figures whose lives are interesting to others.

Solo podcasts focus on happenings, nuggets of wisdom, life hacks, or general updates from the host.

One of the most popular and loved solo podcasts is Anything Goes by Emma Chamberlain.

3. Co-Hosted Podcasts

Co-hosted podcasts are dialogue podcasts.

This type of podcast features two or more set hosts who spend each episode talking.

Co-hosted podcasts feel like a conversation with friends and can focus on one topic like business but often revolve around general life topics in a rotating format.

Pod Save The World and Dope Queens are great examples of co-hosted podcasts.

4. One-on-One Interview Podcasts

Similar to interview podcasts, one-on-one interview podcast focus on asking a guest questions and getting them answered.

The difference is that this type of podcast is strictly for one host and one guest.

A podcast cannot fall into this category if it is hosted by two or more people or if many people are interviewed in a single episode.

How I Built This by Guy Raz is a good example of a one-on-one interview podcast.

5. Conversational Podcasts

Conversational podcasts are podcasts that focus on chatting and talking as opposed to interviews or monologues.

These podcasts feel like a chat between friends and the topics covered in each episode can seem haphazard and hectic.

However, the aim of the podcast is to entertain and/or inform without formality and to encourage authenticity.

The Joe Rogan Experience is a popular conversational podcast.

6. Panel Podcasts

Panel podcasts are podcasts that feature a group of people discussing a particular topic.

They are basically TV talk shows in podcast form.

The Writer’s Panel and The Kitchen Cabinet are examples of panel podcasts.

This type of podcast focuses on flowing conversation on a specific topic.

7. Storytelling Podcasts

Storytelling podcasts involve people telling non-fictional or fictional stories.

It is a narrative podcast that employs good story-telling habits to hook the listener and build a narrative.

The American Life and UnFictional are great examples of storytelling podcasts.

8. Performance Podcasts

Performance podcasts are podcasts that give advice on increasing performance or rating performance in different fields.

The most common is sports performance podcasts like Raising Your Game.

However political performance, job performance, and general life performance podcasts also exist.

Daily Life is considered a political performance podcast.

9. Repurposed Content Podcasts

These are a type of podcast featuring content that was not created for a podcast initially.

Repurposed content like news articles, blog posts, news items, YouTube videos, and so on can also be used to create a podcast.

Instead of writing new podcast content, podcasters use the content they already have and record or edit it as a podcast.

10. Hybrid Podcasts

Hybrid podcasts are a mix of two or more other types of podcasts.

They usually have a set host or two and guest speakers on some episodes.

The podcast can be a panel discussion, interview, conversation, commentary, monologue, or conversation.

Hybrid podcasts often focus on one topic like sports or wellness but have a different way of bringing the information to listeners every time.

The Skinny Confidential Him&Her and On Purpose with Jay Shetty are great hybrid podcasts.

11. Limited Series Podcasts

Like limited series on television, limited series podcasts run for a short period.

They are often based on a novel, situation, or crime.

Once the case is resolved or forgotten or the novel is finished, there are no new episodes on the podcast.

The Chernobyl Podcast and The Missing CryptoQueen are examples of addictive limited series podcasts.

12. Educational Podcasts

This type of podcast aims to educate the listener.

They can feature specific academic subjects, industry knowledge, life hacks, or niche lifestyle tips.

Radiolab and Stuff You Should Know are great educational podcasts.

13. News Podcasts

News podcasts are like news TV channels.

They usually feature highlights of the news from the day or week and sometimes are very specific to feature news from a specific perspective.

These podcasts aim to inform the listener about happenings they may have missed and sometimes have the host’s opinion on the matter.

The Daily and Today In Focus are news podcasts.


What Are the Most Popular Types of Podcasts?

There are several popular types of podcasts including:

1. Comedic Podcasts

These are funny, relaxing podcasts that help people take their minds off the stress of the day.

Comedic podcasts are popular because they offer relief and anyone can listen to them.

Additionally, this type of podcast can play in the background while one works.

Check out Conan O’Brien Needs A Friend and WTF With Marc Maron to get a good laugh.

2. News

News podcasts are popular because many people like to stay informed on the happenings of the day or week.

They offer news in short, bite-sized forms and often come with commentary that helps the average person understand the background and importance of the item.

Today Explained is the perfect example of this.  

3. True Crime

True crime podcasts have taken over true crime YouTube videos.

With a wide female audience, these podcasts provide in-depth and intricate analyses of true crime stories from across the world.

They feature the host’s opinions on the matter, analysis of the evidence, and even interviews with the involved people.

Serial and Criminal are beloved true crime podcasts.

4. Sports

Sports are beloved across the world. Every country has a sport that nearly 70% of the population follows religiously.

This is why sports podcasts continually rank well across all podcast directories.

Whether the hosts discuss all sports or focus on breaking down games from a specific sport, these podcasts are listened to by hundreds of thousands.

Pardon My Take and The Bill Simmons Podcast are popular sports podcasts in the US.  


How Do I Choose a Podcast Category?

Choosing a podcast category is not rocket science.

Ask yourself these three questions to pick the perfect podcast category

What Kind of Information Do You Want to Share?

It is important to decide what information you want to share on your podcast from the get-go.

Constantly having new, unrelated content will make it hard to pick a category.

Additionally, hopping from one topic to another makes it hard for any audience to know what type of podcast you are.

If you do not have a topic already in mind, ask yourself which podcasts you want to be recommended alongside yours.

Podcast directories often recommend podcasts in a similar category or podcasts that share similar information.

This will help you settle on a topic to share on.

How Do You Want to Organize Your Show?

Depending on how your podcast show is organized, you can fit into several categories.

As you can see in the types of podcasts listed above, you can organize a podcast in many different ways.

You can choose to make it conversational with a co-host or two, conducts interviews, have a panel, or solo.

How you structure your podcast can help you pick a category and subcategory for your podcast.

Who is Your Target Audience?

Figuring out your target audience will help you find the best category to use.

Ask yourself who you are speaking to when recording your podcast.

It is paramount that you pick your target audience well to avoid incorrectly categorizing your podcast. If you do, you will likely get bad reviews.

When your target audience is deciding where to listen to podcasts, the podcast categories often play a big role.

If it is hard to find podcasts they like or categories are not properly selected, they often switch it off.

It is important that whatever platform you choose to use, you properly select the category.  

What Are the Most Listened-to Podcasts?

If you have never listened to any podcast, try listening to some of the best podcasts available.

We have listed a few niche ones below, depending on your interests. 

1. The Joe Rogan Experience

The Joe Rogan Experience has a sort of cult-like following.

Joe Rogan is funny, and entertaining and features a wide array of guests that talk about everything.

His interview show is conversational and his episodes are engaging.

The podcast is a great listen for those not afraid to hear outrageous and uncommon ideas but it does feature lots of vulgar language.

2. Crime Junkie

If you want to start your true crime addiction journey, Crime Junkie is the perfect podcast.

Ashley Flowers hosts an episode every week where she shares a true crime case she has been obsessed with.

She’s great with details, building suspense and keeping you on the edge of your seat.

3. The Daily

The Daily is a news podcast by the New York Times.

It is a short, twenty-minute podcast featuring the news highlights of the day.

There are new episodes every weekday, hosted by Michael Barbaro and Sabrina Tavernise.

4. This American Life

An entertaining, journalistic show, This American Life is a podcast enjoyed by millions.

It features weekly episodes on a specific theme.

The hosts find stories across the USA that fit that theme and share them with their listeners.

Frequently Asked Questions

Here are the most commonly asked questions regarding the best types of podcasts!

vector graphic showing an illustration of a podcast vs youtube

What is a short podcast called?

A short podcast is known as a mini-podcast when the episodes are between fifteen and thirty minutes.

Shorter podcasts of five to fifteen minutes long are called microcasts.

These short-form podcasts are becoming increasingly popular and are easy to record and edit.

How many different podcasts are there?

There are various types of podcasts, including the 13 we listed in this post.

Across the world, there are more than a million podcasts available in different niches, featuring different themes.

Wrapping Up

Podcasts are audio blogs, vlogs, and TV shows that have quickly overtaken radio.

There are many types of podcasts in various niches, all with varying themes.

You can start a podcast about anything you enjoy talking about, including yourself, and build an active and vibrant community.

If you have any questions regarding the types of podcasts or podcasts in general, don’t hesitate to comment below.