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How Long Should A Podcast Be?

how long should a podcast be

You probably wonder what the best podcast length is if you think about starting your own podcast.

The answer is – there is no perfect length for your podcast. Making frequent episodes that bring value is more important than the length of your show.

By developing your podcasting skills, you will know what episode lengths perform best and what your audience likes.

However, it’s still worth knowing a thing or two about average podcast episode length and how long a podcast should be to make the best of it.

Should all podcast episodes be the same length?

Consistency is key in content creation. A rule of the thumb is to make all your episodes about the same length.

However, you should always remember that forcing yourself to make your podcast episodes longer is not good. If you feel like you made your point, you shouldn’t stretch it just for the sake of length.

Your priority should be to make your content as engaging and valuable as possible.

Also, be wary of how your audience responds to your episode length. If they frequently comment that your episodes should be longer, consider expanding your average podcast length.

On the other hand, podcast statistics show that the listeners tend to quit before the end of the episode. So try making your episodes shorter.

how long should a podcast be

What is the average length of a podcast? 

In December 2019, the average length of a podcast was 36 minutes.

But according to Acast data from November 2021, based on the previous five podcast episodes of Acast’s top 100 podcasts and weekly downloads in the past 90 days, the average length of a podcast is 38 minutes and 10 seconds.

However, the chances are that the average podcast length will be lower, with trends indicating that shorter podcasts are more popular. 

One of the reasons for shorter podcasts is that they allow you to podcast more frequently. In addition, most individuals prefer to listen to a subject in one sitting.

On the other hand, many of us are happy to take a break and resume longer podcasts over time.

Check out How To Write a Podcast Description!

What is the ideal podcast length for content you create?

Because there’s no perfect length for podcast episodes, it will heavily depend on the type of content you create.

Generally, if your episode has a solid 20 minutes of valuable content that covers the topic well and serves your listeners, then 20 minutes is the perfect podcast episode length.

You could stretch it out to an hour or cut it to 15 minutes. That’s only putting artificial limits in front of you on your goal to create the best work possible.

Live podcast

The exception from the general rule is live shows. This is because it’s hard to make live podcasts scripted entirely, and you can’t make cuts in post-production.

This type of podcast can stretch in time, and it’s natural. However, if you’re planning on making a live podcast, don’t limit yourself with time.

Podcasting is a form of on-demand content, so take as much time as you need to produce an excellent episode. But once you’ve finished it, be careful not to overstay your welcome.

5-Minute Podcasts

In just five minutes, many podcasts deliver all you need to know. The shorter episodes appeal to on-the-go people who don’t have much time to devote to podcasts.

Example of a short podcast

An example of a 5-minute podcast is A Thousand Things to Talk About. The core of this podcast is answering difficult questions.

Andrea Parrish, the host, discusses her research behind the questions in most cases, but she will always allow you to come up with your answers – all in five-minute podcast episodes.

If you’re ever concerned that your podcast isn’t long enough, remember that some successful podcasts require only a few minutes.

Check out How To Choose a Podcast Format!

Multiple Hour Podcasts

On the other hand, some podcasts may run for hours and hours. The longest continuous podcast episode ever lasted 36 hours.

UK Podcaster Michael Russell sacrificed sleep for a day and a half to produce videos. While this was just one time, podcasts now regularly create episodes that last many hours.

Example of a long podcast

One example of a couple of hours-long podcasts is Dan Carlin’s Hardcore History. Nearly every podcast episode is longer than three hours.

Some episodes may last more than six hours. However, it has a large following and is one of the most famous podcasts ever created.

how long should a podcast be

Benefits of shorter Podcasts

When looking for a podcast, there are endless possibilities. So, here are six compelling reasons why producing shorter podcasts may be preferable for you:

  • People frequently choose the most concise material when looking for a certain subject.
  • Shorter podcasts result in more time to produce additional episodes, which leads to publishing more often.
  • Regular, frequent podcasts can help you get more listeners.
  • People are busy. Because you have less time to devote, your audience will likely listen to the end and return for more.
  • Podcast episodes are as popular as binge-watching television series, keeping your audience engaged.
  • Shorter podcasts may be easily integrated into daily walks, runs, or commute.

Benefits of longer podcasts

Longer podcasts may signal that you are a thought leader in your field. They also allow you to delve further into your topic.

This has the effect of absorbing material that keeps your audience interested, engaged, and subscribing. Longer podcasts have various advantages:

  • They allow you to speak more thoroughly on a subject.
  • Allow you to interview other industry specialists or special guests.
  • Allow you to present different subjects or segments in each episode.
  • Help your audience feel comfortable around you by demonstrating that you know what you’re talking about.
  • During lengthy vehicle trips or repetitive house chores or hobbies, entertain and educate people.

Keep it interesting, folks! There’s no need to create a 90-minute podcast if you can’t keep your listeners interested. You’re more likely to lose than gain new subscribers.

What to consider when planning the length of your podcast?

The first thing to consider is how much time your listeners have to devote to your podcasts.

According to studies, an hour or more is important for targeting people’s interests such as video gaming, TV and film reviews, and other leisure activities.

Keep your podcasts to around 30 minutes if you’re into health and fitness, self-improvement, business news, or anything educational.

So, in a nutshell, consider: 

  • Does your podcast topic require a lot of detail?
  • Do your listeners want to listen to a long podcast, or would they prefer short content?
  • Can you upload podcasts regularly and have to keep your listeners happy with the content value?
  • Do you have the time to record regularly and access people who may be interviewed if necessary?

Check out How To Write a Podcast Script!

How long should a podcast be?

There is no one-size-fits-all solution to this problem because every podcast is unique. The fundamental idea behind podcast episode durations, on the other hand, is straightforward.

If your episode runs more than an hour, it’s too long. On the other hand, you’re doing well if you have 40 minutes of good, on-topic material and a one-hour show.

If your episode is shorter than 40 minutes and includes 40% on-topic material, it’s too short.

If you’re consistent and organized with your content, your episodes will likely be within a certain length band overall.

So, in conclusion, the most important thing to keep in mind when it comes to podcast episodes is the quality of your material!

how long should a podcast be

Conclusion

There are several benefits to podcasting, and there’s no right or wrong way to do it. Podcasting is a fantastic method to get your thoughts out there and share them with the world, and there are advantages to doing shorter or longer podcasts.

When deciding on the length of your podcast, you should consider your audience, subject matter, episode frequency, and time available to record.

Keep in mind that shorter podcasts can be just as entertaining and informative as long ones, and don’t be afraid to experiment to find the right format for you.


Experienced psychologist and T-shaped marketer with a deep love for content marketing and conversion copywriting. Privately a big fan of travel, coffee, and jazz!

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