Podcast Format: What To Know To Prepare It


If you are also thinking about making a podcast, know that one of the first things you will need to do is take care of the definition of  the podcast format . Essentially, you will have to decide what general structure your audio project should have.

Each podcast has a specific format that defines it and draws its essential features. A bit like what happens with the formats of television or radio programs. 

The goal of this article is to understand:

  1. what a podcast format is and why it is important for the success of your project;
  2. what are the elements that compose it, in particular I have identified 9.

Once these two points have been analyzed, I'm sure it will be clearer to you how to structure the format of your project.

What is the format of a podcast?

I'll start by telling you that the podcast format is the  structure of the audio project , that is, the scheme that defines it. It is a sort of team that, clearly, determines all the identifying elements that make it up and that dictate its development, both from a stylistic, narrative and technical point of view. 

I want to make a clarification because the term format also indicates the typical structure of the podcast itself, that is the technique that you choose to adopt to develop the topics: for example a monologue , a podcast free talk , an interview or narrative model .

What we will deal with today concerns the preparation of the general format that we can consider as the skeleton of our project. 

It is vital that you define your podcast structure in advance for two reasons:

  • it will help you to outline the boundaries within which to develop your idea; 
  • it will help your future listener to follow you better while listening because he will have a sort of guide, a clear path that will accompany him episode after episode. 

The podcasts you usually listen to have their own specific format even if, perhaps, you have never noticed. I would like to offer you an experiment. 

After reading this article, try to identify what are all the elements that characterize your favorite podcast. After that, try to identify the format on which it is built. 

If you like to share your analysis with me, I will be very happy to read it. 

If, on the other hand, you are not a regular visitor to audio platforms, here you will find a collection of podcasts for which I have personally followed the production as a Podcast Coach.

Let's see now how to write a podcast format. 

How to write a format: 9 key elements

There are key elements to consider in order to write a podcast format effectively: I have identified exactly 9. However, I must make a premise before going into the merits of each of them.

The definition of the format is an activity that must be done after having defined the objectives and the target of your audio project. Without first you don't work on marketing and podcast goals you won't be able to define the structure of your future project.

Let's now analyze the different elements that make up the format. 

  1. The definition of the concept , that is the central idea on which the entire design is based and from which the editorial plan will derive. It can be defined as the subject, the fulcrum of the project itself, in which the Value Proposition of the podcast is summarized.
  2. The definition of the title  which, in a very concise way, must reflect the message and characteristics of your podcast. I know it's no easy feat, that's why I wanted to write a whole article on how to pick a title that will be useful to you.
  3. The  number of speakers . How many people will host the podcast? Will there be a single conductor who will discuss the individual episodes or are guests or co-hosts expected? These questions must be answered before starting a podcast because, for example, the choice of the number of speakers can determine a different impact from an organizational and technical point of view.
  4. The narrative technique or method of development. For example: will it be a one-voice talk or a free conversation between several co-hosts? Are you planning to make a narrative podcast or do you want to develop the topics in the form of an interview?
  5. The purpose of use . Define whether your podcast will be educational, informative, or entertaining. This will lead you to find the mood.
  6. The mood of the podcast . It is intended both as a tone of voice, style of communication and language, and as a sound atmosphere, therefore with reference to the musical genre that will accompany your text. To help you understand which mood to choose, try to think about what kind of emotions you want to arouse in your listener and the audience you are targeting.
  7. The internal structure of the bets . Divide the single episode into blocks and for each of them indicate what will happen and how long it will last. This methodology will help you prepare your lineup or script. Decide if there will be an intro, a theme song or an external audio contribution and which and how many recurring sound elements.
  8. The structural characteristics of each episode . Will they be self-concluding episodic episodes in which each episode will focus on a different topic from time to time or will they be serial episodes in which the story will unfold across multiple episodes? Will there be serial or recurring moments, which are repeated in each episode? All elements that should be defined a priori in the format of the podcast project.
  9. The type of publication  that is, think carefully about: duration, number of episodes and frequency of publication (for example daily, weekly, fortnightly or monthly). These three items will be essential to organize your production process and ensure that your project is based on a criterion of sustainability, a concept that I also talk about extensively in the article on the  Podcast Model Canvas .


I am sure that, having reached this point, it is now clearer to you that writing the format of your podcast means developing a whole series of characteristics that combine to build the precise identity of your audio project.

This is why a format that is structured according to these 9 key elements is, in all respects, a real compass for the listener who feels guided in listening to your podcast. 

Returning to the experiment that I proposed to you at the beginning of this article, have you been able to identify which format follows the podcast you examined?

I am waiting for an email from you to know your answer as well as you can write me to request a personalized consultation if you are thinking of designing your podcast. 


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