The podcast industry is booming! According to a study conducted by Statista in July 2021, approximately 387 million people were listening to podcasts worldwide. This year the numbers are expected to rise to 424 million people worldwide. As the medium continues to grow in popularity, many content creators ponder the question of "How long should a podcast be." What are the main factors that determine episode length? Let's answer these questions together!
How Long Should a Podcast Episode be?
According to Dan Misener's research, back in 2018 the average length of a podcast episode was 43 minutes. This number has remained relatively steady over the past few years, with a slight uptick in 2020. The 43-minute mark seems to be the sweet spot for many listeners, as it allows for an informative discussion on the topic without becoming overwhelming.
Of course, there are always exceptions to the rules! Shows like The Daily by The New York Times may clock in at around 20 minutes. Shows similar to Joe Rogan's The Joe Rogan Experience, on the other hand, can be two hours.
Ultimately, the length of your show should be dictated by the type of content you're looking to produce. If you're aiming for a deep dive into a particular topic, you'll need to create longer episodes. And if you're looking to provide your listeners with some quick tips or updates, shorter episodes will work just fine.
The same study hasn’t identified any patterns when it comes to the length of popular shows. The shortest podcast episodes can be up to a minute long. The most extended podcast episode in the world belongs to Mike Russell, co-founder of the UK Podcasters community and the New Media Europe conference. In 2016, he hosted a 36 hour non-stop podcast beating the world record.
How Long Should a Podcast Intro be?
The average podcast intro is from 15 to 30 seconds. This allows the listeners to get a quick overview of the show and why they should continue listening. Of course, creators are always free to adjust their intro length based on the type of content they're looking to produce. If you're planning to deeply explore a particular topic, a longer intro may be necessary to provide your audience with all the pertinent information. However, a shorter introduction will suffice if you don’t need to provide much context.
It's crucial to keep in mind that first impressions are everything for podcasts. Make sure that the podcast intro is engaging and catchy enough to hook the listener from the very beginning. If your opening is too long or tedious, you risk losing the listener's attention before they even get to the gist of your show. So, make sure to put some thought into your intro before hitting the record button!
Podcast Length Varies Between Topics
Earlier, we mentioned that the length of a podcast might greatly depend on the type of content you're producing. Let's quickly run through the most popular topics to see the average podcast episode length for each one.
Daily News can be divided into four categories: Micro bulletins, Round-ups, Deep-dives, and Extended chats. According to a survey, the average length of micro bulletins is around three minutes. News round-ups last from 10 to 15 minutes. Deep dives tend to be approximately 20 to 25 minutes, while extended chats and interviews may last more than an hour.
If you're interviewed on a business podcast, the host will likely want to keep the episode around 30-45 minutes. This allows for a meaningful conversation without dragging it on for too long.
On the other hand, if you're starting your business podcast, you'll have more control over the length of each episode. In this case, it's essential to consider how much time you realistically have to dedicate to production. Keeping your episodes up to 30 minutes may be best if you're working on a tight budget. This way, you can release new episodes regularly without sacrificing the quality.
Fitness, Health & Motivation
No matter what type of podcast you're looking to create, keeping your episodes relatively short is important. Most people are looking for quick hits of inspiration, health or fitness advice that they can easily consume on their commute or working out.
The average length of such podcasts is 20-30 minutes. This allows listeners to get the information they need without feeling bogged down.
It's valuable to keep in mind that the length of your show will also impact your production schedule. A shorter show will require less time to produce than a longer one. This is something to keep in mind if you're working with a tight budget or limited time.
Additional Factors to Consider
Continuing the topic, let's answer the question: What else should be considered when determining how long a podcast should be? When determining the ideal podcast length, besides the production schedule and the types of content, creators should also consider their target audience.
If you're aiming for a general audience, a length of around 44 minutes is probably your best bet. However, if you're looking to target a specific niche audience, you may want to consider shorter or longer episodes. Analyze your audience to have a better understanding of their preferences. Such a tactic will allow you to cater your content to their particular needs and interests.
So, how long should your podcast be in 2022? As with most things in podcasting, the answer is that it depends! Consider the type of content you want to produce and the amount of time you are ready to dedicate to producing each episode.
Also, don't hesitate to check our guidelines to learn more about the winning ways of getting more engagement on your shows. Once you've considered these factors, you'll be able to determine the perfect length and strategy for growing your show.