How to come up with good podcast name ideas

The best podcast titles have these attributes in common

Transistor Team

7 min

A memorable podcast name can capture the attention of potential listeners, make your podcast easier to find, and make it more likely that people will recommend your podcast to others. Often, it's one of the first things you'll do when starting a podcast. Ready to find the perfect title for your podcast?

Podcast name generator

To start, here's a quick tool you can use to brainstorm podcast name ideas.

Podcasting naming tips based on top charts

Below are our best tips for creating a great name for your podcast.

When we examine the top-ranked shows in Apple Podcasts and Spotify, some patterns emerge regarding what makes a good podcast name.

Top Apple Podcasts charts - best podcast names and titles

Keep your podcast name simple and short

Simplicity is a common thread in most of the top-ranking podcast names. For example: "SmartLess," "Morbid," "RedHanded," "Suspect," "Hidden Brain," "Betrayal," "Radiolab," and "Up First" are all in the top 20. These titles are straightforward and succinct, encapsulating the show's essence without any excess fluff.

Short names are also easier to remember and recommend to others. You might hear a friend say: "Hey, you should listen to Radiolab. I love their science episodes."

If your brand is recognizable, use it

Another trend is the use of host names or well-established celebrities, like "Where Should We Begin? with Esther Perel," "The Joe Rogan Experience," or "The Michelle Obama Podcast." If you have an existing personal or professional brand that people recognize, leveraging that in your podcast name can be an effective strategy.

Sometimes you can use your name in the podcast title even if you're not yet a well-known celebrity.

Jordan Harbinger used his name for the podcast title

For example, although he wasn't yet recognizable, Jordan Harbinger successfully built a podcast based on his name ("The Jordan Harbinger Show"). He achieved recognition by interviewing guests who were well-known; people like Kobe Bryant, Malcolm Gladwell, and Ray Dalio.

Eventually, Jordan became known for consistent, high-quality content, which lead to people searching for his name on Spotify and Apple Podcasts.

Choose a name with relevant SEO keywords

Top podcasts often incorporate relevant keywords in their titles, aiding discoverability. For instance, "Crime Junkie" immediately signals it's a true-crime podcast. When people search for a specific word or topic in podcast apps, like "crime," having the keyword in your title makes it more likely you'll be found.

When you search

Our tests show that most podcast search engines do simplistic keyword matching when listeners search for a word. Therefore, the most effective method for improving your ranking is to include your keyword in your show's title and description.

You'll want to target keywords that people will most likely use when searching, so don't get too fancy with your synonyms. In this example, "farming" is a better word to use than "agrarian:"

❌ Steve Smith – the modern agrarian
✅ The Farming Podcast by Steve Smith

When you use words related to your content, it not only provides a clear picture of your podcast's genre but also boosts your SEO, making your show more likely to surface in relevant search results.

Use an intriguing or evocative podcast name

Some top podcast names pique interest by being enigmatic or emotionally charged. Many of these podcasts have NSWF (not safe for work) content. For example:

  1. "Death, Sex & Money": This podcast immediately grabs attention by featuring taboo topics that people often hesitate to discuss openly. By combining these three impactful words, it creates a sense of intrigue.

  2. "The Girlfriends": This podcast name implies romance, love, and mystery.

  3. "Sexe Oral": This French phrase cleverly plays with double entendre, catching the eye of those familiar with the French language. The name hints at both a sensual aspect and the potential for explicit discussions, enticing listeners to explore further.

The point of an evocative name is to spark curiosity in your podcast. Combining an evocative name with compelling artwork and a descriptive show description significantly increases the likelihood of attracting subscribers and followers to your show.

Create a descriptive podcast title

Finally, specificity seems to be a winning factor. Podcasts like "How I Built This" or "The Happiness Lab" tell you exactly what you'll get. This helps listeners quickly understand the content and topics covered in your episodes.

For example, our podcast, Build your SaaS, is made specifically for people who want to build SaaS (software as a service) products and startups.

Create a new word that represents your podcast

Your podcast name shouldn't be generic! Tom Webster, a seasoned podcaster and branding expert, recommends making up a brand name that is unique. For example, the podcasts "Brandsavant" and "The Freenoter" both use made-up names that are distinctive, easily pronounceable, and searchable.

Webster's advice stems from his experiences in the podcasting industry, where he has observed a recurring issue when podcasts have such similar or generic names that they become difficult to find in search engines. To illustrate this point, searching for the words "The Debrief" ii Spotify results in dozens of podcasts with that name:

Searching for the words

This is akin to opening an electronics store and calling it "Best Buy" - not only would it be illegal, but it would also be a poor business decision as your store would be lost in the shadow of the established brand.

Webster's solution to the discovery problem is simple yet effective: invent a new word for your podcast. He argues that this approach makes your podcast stand out and makes it easier for potential listeners to find your content. When he started his podcast with his wife, they chose the name "The Freenoter," a term they coined themselves. This unique name has made their podcast easily discoverable amidst the countless other "speaking shows" on the internet.

By choosing a unique name, you can help your podcast stand out from the crowd and ensure it doesn't get lost in the digital ether. Invent a new word encapsulating your podcast's essence, and you'll have a unique brand and a solution to the podcasting industry's "discovery problem."

Make sure your podcast name isn't already in use

Many people launch their podcasts without conducting a simple search to see if their chosen name is already in use in the Spotify, Apple Podcasts, and Google Podcasts directories. This makes it difficult for potential listeners to find them.

Use this list of podcast search engines to search for your name before you commit to it.

Also, over at Podnews, James Cridland has a comprehensive list of overused generic words in podcasts. In particular, he recommends not using the word "podcast" in your title:

We were curious how many podcasts have the word “Podcast” in them: it’s a staggering 705,857 shows, or 16% of all podcasts.

Concluding thoughts on naming your podcast

The name of your podcast is more than just a title; it's a brand, an identity, and the first impression for potential listeners. While brainstorming may seem daunting, remember the guidelines we discussed: Keep it simple, relevant, and memorable. Remember to do your research to ensure your chosen name is not already in use. Your podcast name should ultimately reflect the value you want to bring to your listeners.