The most interesting podcast ideas for radio shows

Despite its origins as a gaming platform, Twitch has diversified greatly.

Today, viewers can find a channel for just about anything. One of the biggest trends over the last year has been iGaming. As more gamers explore lists of offers from specialist platforms, they’re interested in trying their own hand at slots, blackjack, and roulette.

Or, in the case of Twitch, they’re interested in seeing someone else sample popular casino games. While it might not sound like the most riveting topic, it’s all about the host. A host can break down how slots work, what RTP means, and more—the same goes for highly complex games like blackjack.

And that’s the precise magic of a host. They can turn just about any topic into a fascinating exploration. Beyond the realm of casino gaming, there are makeup tutorials, nature walks, guides to instruments, and so much more. Given its visual element, Twitch bridges the worlds of radio and video. 

But that doesn’t mean there isn’t fodder for radio hosts to explore. In fact, throughout the realm of Twitch streams and podcasts, which pair much better with radio, there are dozens of creative approaches to new content. If you’re a radio host looking for a little inspiration, dive into the ideas below, borrowed from Twitch and the podcasting world.

A Case for Card Games

Let’s circle back to our introductory point: casino games as content. Slots, which are largely visual, aren’t a good fit for radio. However, strategy-driven games like poker and blackjack offer tons of highly intriguing content. For example, Jennifer Shadade’s The Grid takes a highly nuanced and theoretical approach to poker. 

In the show, the professional poker player takes listeners on a journey of poker’s finite hand rankings. She dives into each hand with guests to explore how and when they should be used. In other words, a host doesn’t need to play a game of poker or blackjack live on the air—they just need to dig into the games’ incredible logic and their complex rules, strategies, and variations.

Blackjack provides a more concrete approach than poker. Because the game’s rules are so straightforward, especially compared to Texas Hold’em or Omaha, it might even be suitable for a quick-draw round on air, asking hosts to hit, split, or fold at lightning speed.

Visual Novels (VNR)

One of the first radio phenomena around a century ago was novels. Most in the industry remember the famous tale of H.G. Wells’ War of the Worlds being broadcast to American audiences… who immediately panicked after assuming the broadcast was a news announcement rather than a fictional tale of an alien invasion. Clearly, novels and radio are highly compelling when paired together.

But what does that have to do with a visual novel? Visual novels are relatively new games that let players navigate a narrative rather than an action-based plot. Instead of scoring goals or slaying enemies, they’re making social decisions with fairly straightforward instructions. And while it might not sound like highly intriguing content for radio, the setup lets Twitch hosts walk down their own interactive journey—with the help of subs and co-hosts, of course.

Mixing Battles

Not all Twitch channels are focused on games. In fact, one trend from the platform is already spreading to the radio. Or, as many would argue, this trend kicked off on live radio and has since become a popular trend on Twitch. This is the art of a live mixing battle. For decades, radio networks have pitted musicians against one another on air to battle it out—sometimes rapping, sometimes singing, and, more recently, mixing. 

A mix battle isn’t a new concept either. Back in the days of vinyl, DJs would ‘battle’ to see who mixed best and who had the best tracks—a bit like a collectible card game. Today, most mixers are electronic. This means that hosts are able to challenge DJs to mix songs on the fly. In some cases, they might even use a spinning wheel to randomly assign DJs songs, then see if they can immediately mix them together.


Crime Content: True Crime vs. Murder Mysteries

True crime has taken over the North American market—and it’s quickly spreading around the world. The UK, for example, is home to classics like They Walk Among Us. And despite the fact that this category doesn’t land with all audiences, some radio shows are looking to incorporate true crime into their content.

However, not all groups are interested in hashing out the latest murders and heists. To touch on the interest in true crime without going full tilt, some hosts are instead focusing on fictional mysteries. These cases, such as murder mysteries and lighter whodunnits, are a great way to connect to audiences and get them to interact with a show.

Additionally, some of these mysteries are extended over a period of time, giving audiences tiny clues along the way as they’re tasked with solving a (fictional) mystery or a crime. In some cases, these crime-solving challenges are part of a giveaway or prize. The same goes for our next idea, which brings us to…

Spelling Bees (Recreational)

A spelling bee might bring to mind more elementary topics, but it’s one of the funniest competitions for adults to partake in. Each year, the Scripps National Spelling Bee brings together some of the world’s top spellers. The competition is fierce, the tensions and stakes are high, and there are invariably a few dozen hilarious moments involved. 

Unsurprisingly, some Twitch hosts have taken to challenging subscribers to impromptu spelling bees. The focus isn’t necessarily on spelling as much as it is on presenting a strange or difficult word—one that may be trending or may simply be new to audiences. In fact, this idea has been around for decades.

Back in the 1930s, the UK hosted the Spelling Bee, a 15-minute-long television game show. Given the vast majority of spectators didn’t have television, it became a radio phenomenon. Almost a century later, it seems that trying to spell words like liquefy and nauseous is still highly entertaining for the masses.

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