Formats: Pros and Cons ~ Part 1

So you’ve decided to start a podcast for your service! Well done. One of the things you need to decide is what sort of podcast you’re going to produce.

Depending upon to whom you speak there are about eight different formats. Great! Now not only do you have to decide on mics, editing software, studio and host but what sort of podcast.

Let’s look at the pros and cons of the various options, shall we?

  1. The Solo Show
  2. The Interview
  3. Panel/Roundtable Show
  4. The Co-Host/Conversational/Ramble and Rant Show
  5. True Story
  6. Story
  7. Audio from other sources
  8. All of the above.

The Solo Show.

My favourite format.


Complete control of content.

Perfect for self expression.

Great as a fully scripted audio essay.

History shows are perfect for this format.

Easily edited.


Can be lonely.

Can be self indulgent (Not necessarily a bad thing.)

Dunning-Kruger effect can be very real.


The Interview

There are so many of these they must have something going for them.


Everybody knows what to expect.

Content creates itself.

Some of the lustre of the guests rubs off on your show.


Finding guests can be a hassle.

You cannot be sure what content you’ll get.

Editing can be a complicated matter.



A great way to discover different points of view.


A dynamic can be established quickly.

Multiple viewpoints expressed.

Synergies from a group situation.

A base number of hosts with guests rotated through the episodes.


Can become a shouting match.

Can be a self reinforcing of ideas exercise.

Coordinating can be troublesome

Editing is complicated

Recording can be difficult, technically.


The Co-Host/Conversational/Ramble and Rant Show

Two friends having a chat.


A way to explore topics in depth without too much conflict.

A friendly atmosphere with potential for real depth.

Generally a supportive feel.


Editing can be problematic.

Getting two people on the same diary can be an issue.

Friendly banter can become argumentative.

More in part two!



  • Each format has benefits
  • Each format has drawbacks
  • What feels best for you?
  • The style is not set in stone – your show, your choice!

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