Branded podcasts have been around for some time now…

But even today, the formats chosen by some of them do not match their content or are not suited to the intended target. It could be detrimental to a brand’s credibility and for the performance of the program (not what we want, is it?).

However, in comparison to the competition of other media (TV, Youtube, Instagram, etc.), the podcast offers such a huge opportunity for your awareness brands, that it would be ridiculous not to seize.
Are you in need of inspiration? In this short article, we have put together a compilation of the most popular podcasts formats.
Whether you are in the process of launching your podcast or looking for ideas to create it, the next few lines should enlighten you.
Not convinced? Read on, you’ll see!


1. The “Solo” format

At the top of this list is the “solo” format.
Without a doubt, this is the most common style of podcasting!

Why is the “solo” format the most popular?

Because it is easy to set up.


Unlike the other formats (which you will discover below), this one is the least restrictive!
A single voice can represent your entire brand. Forget long and tedious castings: we will take care of finding this host!
Production is simple and edits are easier to carry out.


The “solo” format comes with countless possibilities. You can choose to go for:

  • a monologue-based podcast.
  • fiction or nonfiction storytelling.
  • a Q&A on a specific topic or issue.

What makes it hard to create a solo podcast?

Because creating a solo podcast is extremely easy, we often forget that it still requires discipline and regularity.
Also, the host must be talented and captivating or listeners will quickly “Without specific host talent, listeners will quickly give up listening to your podcast.”
Content and delivery must come together to provide a show that is:

  • Passionate,
  • energetic,
  • and unique.

Being alone in front of a microphone is not an easy task but CALLIOPÉ is here to guide and assist the chosen host!

Most podcasts listeners want to hear someone speak, not read!

Another element that will determine the success of your podcast. The native aspect!

If what you say on the microphone sounds scripted or gives the feels of a TV anchor who reads from a teleprompter, the result won’t be impactful.

Alternative to the solo format: the “co-created” podcast format

If you don’t feel like going solo, the co-created podcast option is available for you (it is also called “co-hosted”). This association between two hosts often occurs naturally through:

  • a common passion for a topic
  • mutual affinity etc.
Why does the co-created podcast work?

The content is key here!
It seems obvious, but collectively, we often create more valuable content: more stories, more diversity, more perspectives… It is also a lot more fun for the hosts!

The listener has more reasons to listen to your podcast!
It could appreciate :

  • the natural chemistry,
  • the offbeat humor,
  • the alternative points of view.
Sharing of the workload

Due to a lack of time, lack of motivation, or lack of creative ideas … Many give up their podcast along the way!

When you have a co-hosted podcast, you can share the workload and motivate each other to make your podcast a success.

2. The “Interview” format

Many celebrities, influencers, and experts have chosen the interview format for their podcast.


They know the movers and shakers of their industry, they are well connected… They can leverage their network to create conversations with very interesting guests. Through the podcast, they bring the discussion they have behind the scenes to the forefront.

Do you need to be a celebrity to use the interview format?

Your network, no matter how small, will do.
You surely have a colleague, a family member, a friend, a friend of a friend, who masters a subject. Take a minute to think about it.
Very often they will be happy to share their knowledge, expertise and connect with your audience.

How do I know if the interview format podcast is right for me?

The interview format is a great choice if you have a subject:

  • that is suitable for expert input,
  • can be enhanced by various opinions,
  • on which many people can contribute.

What does the interview format require?

This format requires the host to have:

  • Excellent interviewing skills,
  • Research skills,
  • Excellent listening skills, which is a must if you want to be a great interviewer.

Doing an interview requires a lot of work.

Here is an example of this Interview format, from the Brittany Region and its podcast called

Add to that the idea that you must:

  • continuously find suitable interviewees,
  • validate their relevancy,
  • take care of all the booking processes.

An alternative to the Interview format: the “Guest Panel” format

Daily you interact with friends, colleagues, and acquaintances who are passionate about your sector/industry.

They like to share tips, tools, pieces of advice… What if these conversations could be shared on a greater scale?
This is the purpose of the “guest panel” format in comparison to the interview one.

What is the advantage of the “guest panel” format?

It can be used for almost any topic!

And if you get a good mix of:

  • personalities,
  • points of view,
  • dynamics,
  • and tasteful humor…

…you are sure to convince your listeners, episode after episode, to keep listening to your podcast.

What are the difficulties of the “guest panel” format?


While attractive, the “guest panel” format also has its share of concerns. Indeed, having multiple contributors means dealing with multiple schedules. It could be a headache!


Even at the bar with friends, depending on the topic, tension can arise, people get carried away and we stop getting along!
Without the right environment, that could also happen during a podcast.

How to smoothly run a “guest panel” podcast?

Nothing is worse for a listener than hearing voices raised above each other.

Here are a few tips to avoid that:

  • Make sure you select your contributors well,
  • Give communication guidelines,
  • Choose a moderator responsible for balancing the conversation.


3. The “non-fictional story” podcast format

The majority of “true crime” podcasts fall into this category.
Very popular, the non-fictional format is often delivered in a particular narrative style.
ex: an audio documentary that reveals a unique historical event or a true story, over several episodes.

How do I know if the “non-fictional story” format is right for me?

Ask yourself these questions: do I know a story that should be brought to the forefront? Do I have a talent for solving mysteries?

If you answer yes to both of these questions, then you may want to consider this format.
However, this podcast format will require:

  • great research skills,
  • a good dose of storytelling: the content needs to be understandable, consistent, and engaging.


4. The “Fictional” podcast format

If you love to create stories from scratch, this podcast format is for you.
Already adopted by the Marvel franchise, this format is very popular with media platforms and broadcasting companies.

Why is the fiction format popular with brands?

With the help of a good copywriter, what if you were able to:

  • give life your brand through an original story?
  • take on your audience on a journey?
  • build a community of fans around your fictional story?

This is exactly what this immersive format brings to the table. Your community of listeners will emerge in your fictional world thanks to:

  • Sound effects,
  • Background music,
  • An array of voices.

CALLIOPÉ is using this format to tell compelling stories such as:

  • “Dior Tales” for Dior

  • “All About Trust” for Bureau Veritas, a podcast that shows the involvement of the company in our daily lives.

  • “The Dreamers” for LMDE (La Mutuelle Des Etudiants), a program that conveys real-life issues faced by young adults.

5. The “Hybrid” podcast format

At this point in the article, you probably feel that the ideas you have for your podcast could suit different formats altogether… Well, we have a solution. You should be interested in the hybrid format.

Far from the classic podcast format, the hybrid one offers flexibility.

For example, some of your episodes might:

  • Include monologues and segments with a panel of guests,
  • Have a non-fictional storytelling section that also includes guest interviews,
  • Have elements of scripted fiction that sometimes turn into improvisation.

And these are just a few examples of you being creative in producing a unique podcast!

“A hybrid format can combine any examples from this list”

What should you pay attention to when choosing the hybrid format?

Cohesiveness: it is the magic word here!

Make sure the combinations you put together are cohesive.

Like a perfectly balanced dish from a chef, the overall experience your podcast delivers should make sense to the listeners. They shouldn’t be confused at any time.

This format is perfect for bringing added value to your content, allowing your listeners to be more captivated. Here are a few examples:

  • SNCF RESEAU and its podcast “Entre les lignes”,

  • and Bouygues Bâtiment podcast entitled SONOPOLIS.


Would you like to know more ?

Let’s dig deeper!

Discover how we have responded to various marketing and brand content issues through the production of original audio content, take a look at our Client cases!

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