Choosing the subject for a podcast is one of the most important aspects of the entire project. You want to make sure you pick a subject that you are knowledgeable enough about to provide good information to your listeners. You also want to make sure that your topic isn't too broad or too specific. If it is too broad you run the risk of having too much information to work with and overloading your listeners. If it is too specific, you may not have enough to talk about, or have too small of a potential audience. If you are recording this podcast for yourself and not for an audience, then you open yourself up to even more options. The possibilities are endless.
There are many types of podcasts. Here are a few and some examples of each kind.
Educational podcasts serve to educate the audience in a given topic. They are often fairly specific in either their overall subject, or the subject of each episode. They can serve to educate an audience about serious matters, or can aim to be more entertaining. If you choose to create an educational podcast, the most important thing to remember is to have good, verifiable information. You are putting yourself out there as the expert on the topic, so you don't want to mislead your audience. Some examples of educational podcasts are:
Hardcore History: Hardcore History is a podcast by Dan Carlin. He discusses various historical events and moments in a "long form" fashion. He keeps audiences engaged by having a unique and listenable storytelling style.
Philosophize This!: Philosophize This! is a podcast by Stephen West. Each episode contains a summary of the basics of a philosopher or branch of philosophy. He breaks complicated subjects down into manageable chunks of information and time.
News Podcasts are designed to give the listeners an overview of the events happening in the world. People are often too busy to sit down and read a news article or watch a news story, so a podcast is a good way to stay connected to the world. If you are considering starting a news podcast, you may want to focus on a type of news that isn't readily covered. This could include local news, or news on specific topics such as technology. Some examples of news podcasts include:
Up First: Up First is a podcast produced by NPR. It is designed to give a concise overview of what is going on the world each day. It takes three major news headlines and condenses them into an easily digestible format. Perfect to listen to on your morning commute.
The Gist: The Gist is a daily podcast produced by Slate Magazine. Host Mike Pesca gives an overview of daily news and culture reports.
Sports and game podcasts are similar to news podcasts in that they aim to provide information on a subject, but in this case a sport or game. It could be anything from headlines in the world of sports to strategy for video or card games. This would be a good choice for someone who feels like they are knowledgeable about a game and wish to pass some of that knowledge on. This would be especially useful if it was a game or sport that does not receive a lot of media coverage otherwise, such as video games or trading card games. Examples include:
Effectively Wild: Effectively Wild is a baseball podcast presented by Fangraphs.com. It releases three times a week and covers news and stories all around the world of baseball. It sets itself apart by being willing to cover sillier aspects of the game as well as the day to day news and information.
Arena Decklist Podcast: The Arena Decklist Podcast is hosted by Gerry Thompson and Bryan Gottlieb. It is a strategy podcast for the trading card game Magic: The Gathering. This weekly podcast keeps its listeners up to date on the latest news and strategies in the world of Magic.
Entertainment and comedy podcasts primarily exist to entertain their audience. They may choose a topic to riff on or they may be based around a gimmick. It is important to remember that comedy is different for everyone so finding an audience for a comedy podcast can be a bit tricky. Some examples are:
We Hate Movies: We Hate Movies is a comedy podcast in which four friends talk about a movie that they generally didn't like. They banter back and forth about the decisions made in the production of the movie and generally try to find something fun in movies that may not be fun on their own.
Overdue: Hosts Andrew and Craig discuss books. Each episode involves one host telling the other about a book that they recently read. Their discussions often veer off into strange places and while they often discuss important books, they do it in a way that is lighthearted and fun.