15 Most Popular Podcast Genres To Consider for Your Next Show

Most Popular Podcast genre
March 22, 2023 By / In Planning and Growth

Are you curious about what a ” podcast genre” is and the nuanced differences between the different genres? Podcasting is an increasingly popular pastime, with many individuals taking up the mic to share their stories. However, with so many listeners and shows, it can be hard to determine which genres are the most popular. 

To make your decision easier, here’s a rundown of the 15 most popular podcast genres for you to consider when launching your show. So, if you’re an aspiring podcast creator or a passionate listener who wants to learn more; we’ve got you covered.

1. What is a Podcast Genre?

A podcast genre is a category or style under which a particular podcast can be classified, containing episodes that all use similar themes, topics, and language. 

The podcast genre plays an important role in the rapidly growing podcast industry. It saves time by directing listeners to find those that are most suitable for their interests. Podcast genres typically include categories such as comedy, music, education, health & wellness, crime & mystery, and fiction & literature, among many other topics. 

2. How do I Choose a Podcast Genre?

  • Pick the Subject You Love

Pick a podcast subject you find engaging and research episodes within that subject. Once you’ve narrowed down the subject you want to focus on, look through the available topics. There may be several topics with similar episodes, so it may be necessary to go through a few trials before deciding on a particular one.

  • Focus on Your Strengths

Consider the topics you know best and what you enjoy talking about, as they are likely to be well-received by listeners. Determining your strengths can also provide guidance when it comes to defining the target audience of your podcast — a critical component for successful podcasts. Understanding who you are best suited to speak to will make all the difference when it comes time to build a community of engaged listeners.

  • Choose a Niche People Will Enjoy

When selecting a niche, consider what content your audience will appreciate and what conversations they may have. Choose topics that appeal to a broad audience and those with niche interests so that you can reach more people. Keeping in mind the level of expertise your average listener has with the subject matter is also important. 

  • Avoid High Competition Niches

Avoiding high-competition podcast niches may help your podcast stand out from the crowd and attract more listeners. Determining which topics you are passionate about is essential, as this can add authenticity and contribute to higher-quality content. Research into related conversations and listening to other shows in the same field can help narrow your choices when selecting a genre for your podcast. If you need further guidance, you can consult industry professionals.

3. 15 Popular Types of Podcast Genres

3.1. Business

Business podcasts have become increasingly popular in recent years becoming one of the  top podcast genres. They offer a unique platform for professionals to stay up to date with industry trends and pick up tips from experts in the field. Business podcasts come in all types: from interviews of inspiring business leaders to roundtables discussing the latest news. It can be challenging for busy professionals to decide which ones to listen to – thankfully, there is plentyavailable when it comes to curating a list of the best business podcasts. 

Examples of Business Podcasts –  

  • Entrepreneurs on Fire – This business podcast helps inspire and educate entrepreneurs with the latest happenings & trends in the business world. 
  • Ambitious Entrepreneur Show – Covering various business topics such as leadership, business management, branding, and online marketing – this podcast help entrepreneurs in their journey.
  • The Introvert Entrepreneur – This podcast features advice on promoting your business successfully, tackling your fears, and achieving success. 

3.2. Comedy

Podcasts have quickly become one of the most popular sources of entertainment and comedy. With comedy being one of the most popular podcast genres among listeners, many top comedy shows across various channels/platforms are creating podcast versions of their content. It has increased competition in today’s market and given rise to new comedy shows creating fascinating content that can be enjoyed anytime and anywhere. Comedy podcasts allow you to access some of the best comedy acts from all over the world, whether it’s  interviews, monologues, or storytelling. 

Examples of Comedy Podcasts – 

  • WTF with Marc Maron – This is an old comedy podcast hosted by stand-up comedian Marc and received many positive reviews in The New York Times and Entertainment Weekly. 
  • SmartLess – It is a highly entertaining podcast by Sean Hayes, Jason Bateman, and Will Arnott that revolves around tenuous conceit. 
  • Trashy Divorces – By Alica and Sracie, this podcast is a non-celebrity tittle-tattle that takes you through various romantic stories. 

3.3. Drama

The podcast genre today is vast and diverse, offering listeners a variety of topics and experiences. The drama podcast has been popular over the past few years. By creating immersive sound effects, drama podcasts weave intricate tales that give listeners an engaging multimedia experience. Drama podcasts are an ideal listening choice for those looking for quality sound effects, suspenseful storytelling, and compelling characters. Whether you’re into mysteries or comedies, this genre offers something for everyone – creating a world of stories for listeners to get lost in.

Examples of Drama Podcasts –  

  • Give Me Away – Focused on a crashed spaceship titled ”Te Ghosthouse”, this podcast is an authentic piece of science fiction with a psychological aspect.
  • Pleasure Machine – This is an intelligent and provocative drama series for those struggling with social constructs, freelance, and societal pressure.

3.4. Education and Learning

Education and Learning is one of the most popular podcast genres. Whether you’re a student looking to improve your skills, a professional striving for growth, or just someone who loves to learn something new, educational podcasts provide an ever-expanding knowledge base via various experts in different disciplines. These podcasts might include lectures, presentations, question-and-answer sessions, information, junk shows, and radio plays. No doubt, these podcasts are proving to be invaluable resources in developing new skills and enriching current ones.

Examples of Educational Podcasts – 

  • Stuff You Should Know – This educational podcast covers everything in pop culture, history, science, and many more – no matter your interest. With deep insights into each topic, the hosts’ Josh and Chuck, provide undeniable enjoying podcasts. 
  • RadioLab – With a perfect sound design, information, and light-hearted format, this is an ideal podcast for those interested in science and philosophy. 
  • Encyclopedia Womanica – An excellent podcast about incredible women in history that reveals stories of women across different centuries, cultures, and countries. 

3.5. Fiction

The increased popularity of podcasting over the past few years has seen the emergence of numerous genres. One such genre is fiction podcasting – specifically for broadcast or digital downloading. If you look at notable fiction podcasts, you will see that they have dealt with various stories, ranging from science fiction suitable for younger audiences to complexly woven adult mysteries. The creativity and depth in fiction podcasts provide excellent opportunities for storytellers, influencers, and writers to expand their reach and showcase their talent.

Examples of Fiction Podcasts –

  • Unwanted – If you are looking for an unpredictable fictitious story, this must be added to your list.
  • Limetown – This fiction narrative podcast follows a reporter who investigates the disappearance of over 300 people in the innocent village of Limetown.
  • 36 Questions – This podcast follows the story of a husband and wife attending to bring their marriage to an end with 36 questions.

3.6. Finance

If you are looking to manage your debt or make your first budget, finance podcasts provide an accessible platform for people to discuss a wide range of financial aspects. They come in many different styles, from educational lectures to interviews with financial professionals, allowing listeners to gain knowledge on finance-related topics. They often range from investment strategies to budgeting tips, retirement savings, home buying, and more. The numerous finance-focused podcasts available make this podcast genre one of the most exciting and insightful ones.

Examples of Finance Podcasts –  

  • Listen Money Matters – It focuses on financial and practical topics such as – buying a house, student loan, avoiding debt, and more. 
  • The Investors Podcast – It showcases interviews of billionaires to gain knowledge and lessons on investment
  • Afford Anything – This finance podcast by Paula pant teaches you how to make daily decisions without any financial stress.  

3.7. Health

This podcast genre primarily focuses on health topics, specifically nutrition, routines, and physical health. A variety of blogs dedicated to health and wellness produce audio content for listeners. In addition, health podcasts offer advice on lifestyle changes that can help improve health outcomes in the long run. They can be an excellent source of information for those looking to become more informed about health-related topics. Whether it is tips on nutrition or ways to fit exercise into your everyday life – health podcasts have become especially useful.

Examples of Health Podcasts  – 

  • The Model Health Show – If you seek the best advice on brain health, weight loss, stress, and related issues, this weekly health podcast is worth checking out.
  • Dishing Up with Nutrition – Get trusted advice from dieticians and nutritionists about food, relationships, and everything over a cup of coffee. 
  • Chasing Excellence – Want to give your best performance in and out of the gym? Check this podcast for the best tips on your fitness journey.  

3.8. History

With the explosion of podcasts in recent years, history is not just limited to books but has become more accessible to those interested in the medieval era, monuments, and cultural heritage. History podcasts are particularly alluring as they allow listeners to delve into history from different perspectives. With topics ranging from Roman history to civil rights movements, history podcasts offer a dynamic learning experience. Unlike traditional history lessons, history fans can explore and capture immersive stories. In short, history podcasts have unlocked unique storytelling chapters that have captivated history buffs as well as casual listeners. 

Examples of History Podcasts – 

  • Slow Burn – This history podcast deeply delves into modern American history. With in-depth explainers, you will be captivated from beginning to end. 
  • The Memory Palace – Hosted by Nate DiMeo since 2008, feels more like a memory than a history lesson. 
  • Uncivil – want to know about global conflicts? Check out this fantastic podcast that gathers mainly unknown stories of global wars (often taught in history books). 

3.9. News and Current Events

This podcast genre has grown recently, offering different content and topics. In addition to traditional radio-style programs, such as news reports, live events, or debates – these podcasts provide unique perspectives on newsworthy stories. In most cases, they delve further into an issue or take a closer look at the consequences of news headlines. Many news and current event podcasts employ a conversational style that encourages listeners to stay engaged with their material for an extended period. For this reason, news and current events podcasts are popular among listeners looking for insightful opinions on news headlines.

Examples of News Podcasts – 

  • The Daily – “The Daily” is an excellent example of a news podcast that helps listeners understand the stories they put in their newspapers.
  • On the Media – This podcast gives insights into WNYC’s exciting programs.
  • Today, Explained – This news podcast covers a deeper analysis of daily news by thoroughly exploring stories.

3.10. Philosophy

Philosophy podcasts provide you with thought-provoking discussions on questions ranging from morality to humanity’s place in the universe. While philosophy was until recently thought to be limited to academic circles, philosophy podcasts demonstrate how philosophy can be accessible and entertaining. From long-form lecture series to casual conversations between experts, these podcasts are an excellent way for listeners looking for something stimulating. Also, they serve as an effective platform for philosophers for public engagement.

Examples of Philosophy Podcast –

  • Elucidations – This philosophy podcast by Matt Teichman tackles challenges in moral psychology and religious freedom. It takes you through the expertise and philosophical beliefs of prominent philosophers.
  • Philosophize This – This podcast introduces you to the teachings of Plato, Socrates, Aristotle, and modern-day philosophers in the simplest ways possible.
  • In Our Time – for those who want to understand the concepts of life, In Our Time talks about how the philosophies of ancient philosophers apply to the real world. 

3.11. Pop Culture

With 2-3 million podcasts worldwide, you might wonder what this pop culture podcast is all about. Well, if you are a fan of film, television, or theatre, dozens of podcasts feature interviews, events, and stories of your favorite shows. Pop culture podcasts often interlace celebrities, entertainment, music, film, and analysis to help you stay up-to-date on everything. Whether you want to listen to funny chats about good TV shows, meme explanations, or celebrity news – turn on your favorite pop culture podcast.

Examples of Pop Culture Podcasts – 

  • Back Issue – Want to know how high-fives became an international gesture? Want to know it was when there was no internet? Street Studios takes you through lessons about the past, modern, and the future world via ”Back Issue”.
  • The TMZ Podcast – Like on the TV show, Harvey and the TMZ crew bring their perspective on trending success stories in their podcast.
  • Deux U – Love gossiping? From entertainment news to insiders, you can hear exclusive content on celebrity gossip that has not yet been shared on social media. 

3.12. Science

For those who want to keep up with science, there is the science podcast genres. They feature expert interviews, discussions surrounding scientific news or topics, and even personal stories centered around science-related issues. Science podcasts have become increasingly popular in recent years, from topic-specific programs to light-hearted science shows. So whether you want expert commentary on science news, the latest space events, or want to go through debunking science theories, there is plenty of science podcasts. 

Examples of Science Podcasts – 

  • Invisibilia – Hosted by Alix, Lulu, and Hanna, Invisibilia aims to investigate unknown forces that shape our ideas and control human behavior.  
  • The Infinite Monkey Cage – It is a panel-format podcast with a series of exciting episodes that delve into science-related topics like – quantum mechanics, the universe, physics, and more in easy to understand way. 
  • Science Friday – Want a regular dose of science every week? Listen to this podcast with a lot of information on science, vaccines, success stories, and more.

3.13. Sports

Turn on ESPN, and you will see considerable controversy or play within the sports world!! Sports podcasting is a popular podcast genre that covers various sports-related topics, from sports news and advice to sports culture. These are great resources for sports enthusiasts to stay up to date on sports news, gain insights into upcoming matchups, relive the most significant moments in sports history, and more. With sports podcasting becoming so popular, sports fans now have access to an incredible range of engaging content that relates directly to their interests.

Examples of Sports Podcasts – 

  • I Am Athlete – Hosted by Marshall, I am Athlete is a podcast that’s more like a group therapy session, interview, tailgate party, and intervention – all rolled into a podcast. 
  • The Bill Simmons Podcast – With notable sports personalities on the show, it is a valuable asset for those who love sports. 

3.14. Technology

Technology podcasting has emerged as a popular podcast genre, allowing people to connect with deep conversations and thoughtfully explore the latest technological advancements. Minute-by-minute breakdowns of recent innovations paired with welcoming hosts create an enjoyable technology podcast experience. Whether you want to learn about cryptocurrencies and cybersecurity – or want to scale your tech company, you will find great content. Explore everything from hosting interviews with technology professionals to helping beginners learn how to use technology. 

Examples of Technology Podcasts – 

  • Over the Air – Want to know about IoT? Check out this podcast by Ryan, CEO of Very, who discusses his biggest technology mistakes and lessons they have learned.  
  • Accidental Tech Podcast – With episodes on technology subjects like apple products, phishing scams, and e-readers – this podcast covers everything about the latest technology buzz. 
  • How I Built This – This technology podcast hosted by Guy Raz of NPR is about the inner workings of reputed technology companies. 

3.15. True Crime

True crime is one of the most popular podcast genres. These  podcasts deep dive into many true crime stories, ranging from high-profile mysteries to in-depth overviews of convicted criminals’ lives. If you love thrillers or murder mysteries, you’ll surely appreciate how these podcasters often break up each episode with personal reflections, discussions, and observations. It is a unique blend of in-depth coverage and emotional connection that makes listening to true crime podcasts fascinating and engaging.

Examples of True Crime Podcasts –

  • My Favorite Murder – This is the best crime podcast for true crime junkies. Hosted by Karen and Georgia, who break down the cases, it follows a classic format.
  • Suspect – It’s an unsolved murder case of a 24-year-old strangled in Washington. The hosts, Matthew and Eric, question the listeners about the issue. 
  • True Crime Obsessed – want to recap popular true-crime documentaries? This podcast, hosted by Patrick and Gillian, gives a light-hearted and sassy twist.

4. FAQs

  • What are the top 5 most popular podcasting genres?

The top 5 podcasting genres are – comedy, news, fiction, technology, and sports.

  • How Many genres of podcasts are available?

There is a wide range of podcast genres that range from comedy to drama, music, fiction, technology, sports, and history.

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