Let’s begin with a straw man, shall we?
The story circulated a few years back that the average commute in the US of A was, at the time 23 minutes. People listen to podcasts while commuting. Therefore the best length for a podcast was 23 minutes. Tad ah!
End of post, 23 minutes is the answer!
Complete and utter nonsense. An average commute is just that, an average.A bit like average rainfall records in Australia, it a midpoint between the extremes that occur each year. So a 23 minute podcast does not “work” for a 3 minute commute nor for an hour and a half.
This also shows a lack of understanding of the medium. People do not listen to a podcast based upon travel times. On a recent series of interconnected air travel legs amounting to 18 hours, I downloaded 30 plus hours of content. You never know when you’ll be held up in a long three leg flight!
In general life, I play the episodes for the day as they come through. Some I move to the top of the play list as soon as I see them, others I drop down the list. The app then plays. If I need to write or talk or stop listening for any reason I pause the flow of episodes and hit play when I’m back to the podcasts.
This is how most people listen to podcasts. The length therefore is NOT dependant on travel time between home and work.
The question, then, still remains: How long should my episodes be?
How much do you have to say???
With World Organic News, the episode run roughly 8 to 12 minutes. On one occasion I produced an interview episode which went much longer. The point is? Your episodes should be as long as you have content for.
Do not fill your episodes with fluff!
Respect your listeners time, their attention and their loyalty. If you only have 10 minutes worth of things to say, produce a ten minute show. If you have five hours, then that’s an option too. You could break that into five one hour shows or you could do as Dan Carling with his show Hardcore History and produce a five hour show a few times a year. Dan has received over 1 million downloads in the first twenty four hours after publishing so it is an option. Have a following like that might take time to build but it’s an option.
A weekly show as part of your life will probably not run to more than an hour. If you have a hour of value for listeners then produce an hour long episode. I’ve got a post coming on the Intro and Outro and, spoiler alert, don’t overdo them. So your hour’s content needs to be an hour long.
If you only have twenty minutes do that. In all likelihood if you have an hour’s recording, you could slash it back to 20 minutes and create a much more powerful show. That comes with time and experience.
Don’t bother your listeners with fluff! Always give value with your content and don’t fret over the episode length!
- There is no set length for a podcast!
- Give as much valuable content as you have.
- Do NOT fill the space with fluff to reach a predetermined length.
- Love your listeners.