When is it OK to Include "Podcast" in Your Title
So you're preparing to dive into the wonderful world of podcasting. You have a great idea for a show and you're starting to explore options for your recording gear. But you still need to tackle the biggest challenge of all: naming your podcast. You've seen some other shows that have given themselves name like The Such and Such Podcast or The Made Up Show and you're wondering if you should follow the same formula. Should you include the word "podcast" in the name of your show? As a general rule, no. Tacking the word "podcast" on to the end of your title is usually just wordy and redundant.
We already know it's a podcast.
Most of the time, your show will be viewed and listened to in iTunes or some other podcasting app. If people have gotten far enough to access your show through one of these apps, they're well aware that they are looking at a podcast. You don't need to tell them.
Podcasting has matured.
It's not called The Lion King Movie or The Great Gatsby Book. The medium makes itself clear without having to be spelled out in the title. When podcasting was in it's infancy, podcasters felt the need to spoon-feed potential listeners by including the word "podcast" in their title. It made sense because the general public was simply not that familiar with the medium. As podcasting has matured, most of the successful shows out there have interesting and imaginative titles that don't include "podcast" or "show" or anything like that. Learn from these top achievers.
As with most rules, there are some exceptions; sometimes it does make sense to add the word "podcast" into your show's name.
Working with and Existing Brand
If you already have an established brand or media presence, it can make a lot of sense to add "Podcast" or "Show" to your podcast title. The Simpsons is one of the longest running and most well-known television shows so it made sense to add the word "movie" when they finally decided to make a feature film based on the franchise. An example from the world of podcasting is Freakonomics Radio. Since the podcast builds on an existing book and website, it's helpful to specify that this is the audio show.
If you find yourself in the position of creating a podcast that is an extension of an existing brand, I would recommend that you take a cue from Freakonomics. Words like "radio" or "show" are less limiting than "podcast". Think longterm; what if you want to adapt your show into another form of media in the future? What if something comes along that replaces podcasting? Freakonomics Radio and The Joe Rogan Experiencewon't have to change their names, will you?
Audience Built Around an Individual
If you personally have a sizable audience already, it may make sense to name the podcast after yourself with "podcast" or "show" added on. The Adam Carolla Showis a great example where Adam was already an established personality who used name recognition to convert his existing audience to a new format when he switched to podcasting.
We both know that you're no Adam Carolla, but even if you were, I would encourage you to try to think creatively and add a little more personality to your title. Call Chelsea Perettiis a great example of a show title based entirely on a celebrity persona with a little twist to add interest. WTF with Marc Maron is another phenomenal example. The title is so much more interesting than if he had just called his show The Marc Maron Podcast. Marc fully leveraged a unique, compelling show title to reinforce his brand.
Remember that these are exceptions. The vast majority of shows should leave out any descriptors like "podcast" or "show". Keep it clean and simple. This will help people remember the name of your show, declutter your visual identity and it's just more convenient. Generally, a compelling podcast title can stand on it's own without being propped up by the word "podcast".