A clapboard, headphones and a mic kept together on a surface. A clapboard, headphones and a mic kept together on a surface.

Decoding the Optimal Podcast Duration – Your Ultimate Guide

The duration of a podcast is not only important for the podcaster but also for the listeners. However, it is not the task of seconds to select a podcast’s accurate length. You might have witnessed different average podcast episode lengths all over the world. How long should a podcast be?

Some have a duration of a couple of minutes while others play for more than one hour. Unfortunately, you cannot determine the average episode length that is ideal for every type. Podcasts are popular all over the world, still a consistent duration isn’t one of them.

So how long should a podcast be? More than one factor has the answer to this question. It depends on the key takeaways of your podcast. It depends on the format and template of the podcast.

Here are the best pointers or tips to help you with the right episode length for podcast listeners. Let’s figure it out together!

1. Podcast Length

There is no fixed terminology for ideal podcast length in the production of podcasts. Some people consider a podcast as same as a new episode. While other people refer to a series of episodes as a podcast.

However it is safe to save whether you want to know the duration of a podcast or the course of a podcast episode, it’s all the same thing. How long should a podcast be? Let’s know all the details!

2. What Is the Right Length of a Podcast

There is no fixed answer for the mean average episode length and duration of a podcast. You cannot conclude that shorter podcasts are not better than longer podcasts or vice versa. However, listeners and audiences love short episodes of just a few minutes of podcasts more than the longer ones.

Ultimately it doesn’t mean that people don’t love longer podcasts and you shouldn’t make a podcast with a long duration. But, the most important point of a podcast is that its success is not measured by the duration.

The success and popularity of a podcast is measured by its quality. And depending upon the subject you choose, the duration can be as short as 10 minutes or as long as one hour or more.

two people talking in a padcast.
Image By Austin Distel From Unsplash/ Copyright2019

3. Content Determines the Ideal Length of the Podcast

So, here is the key takeaway: the length of your content determines how long should a podcast be. For example, if the shorter episodes of your podcast have a duration of solid 25 minutes with good quality content then 25 minutes are enough to serve its purpose for the audience.

Why would you stretch out content for one hour when you can cover it in the best quality in just 25 minutes? Podcast required on the topic content.

So take as long as you require to craft a great podcast episode. But, once you have finished the episode, don’t try to stretch it any longer. If you try to reach out any longer then it might distract the audience.

4. Should All Podcast Episode Have the Same Length

a woman with headphones working on computers.
Image By Kelly Sikkema From Unsplash/ Copyright2021

No, there is no fixed rule about the episode lengths of podcasts for every rule. In addition, there is no need to stretch the podcast episode long or short, whenever it is not needed.

However, one of the main key rules is played by consistency. If you want your loyal listeners to come back for your podcast, they expect your podcast to be of a similar duration. But that does not depend upon the subject or topic itself.

It depends upon the process as well as the system when you put an episode together. Soon you and your listeners realize that a series of episodes are in similar lengths. It is because it takes a similar amount of content to cover.

You can have a little deviation from the podcast duration and its length. But if you deviate too much and have no consistency, then it may result in jarring circumstances.

It prevents your listeners from growing and hearing the podcast. It gives the audience an impression of poor planning, the opposite of what your audience wants.

5. Podcast Schedule and Podcast Format Considerations

To understand a little deeper about “content determines the duration of the podcast”, let us explore more!

Another important factor of podcasting is its format. For instance, if you want to produce a documentary-style podcast episode or complex episode, most podcasts take a long time to produce.

The outcome of editing can result in a shorter podcast too. If it is the opposite situation, then podcast episodes are highly long.

This gives us another important and key factor in podcasts, the release schedule. For example, if you want to release podcasts every day then longer episodes production is not possible.

These examples can also be noticed in the case of talk shows as well as daily shows. So, here is the bottom line: the frequently scheduled episodes of podcasts should have shorter episodes and durations.

Another example of a podcast industry is discussion podcasts. These types of podcasts mostly have longer formats and long templates. So they tend to have longer lengths of duration. But it also results in other areas of requirement!

It requires more time for production and editing. So you need a proper schedule to release the podcast episode.

So, if you want the final duration of an episode to be an hour long, it does not always require one hour of work. It might require four or five hours for everything in between.

6. Daily News Podcast 

Another type of popular podcast is daily news as well as flash briefings. These podcast episodes do not need to be of long duration. Daily news, discussions, and flash briefings can be 10 minutes long too.

These types of short podcasts are becoming more popular every day. People just listen to them on their smart speakers and build playlists. They can easily update their podcast playlists on their daily interest.

These types of podcasts are naturally short as well as on the point. But these shorter podcasts require higher efforts and quality content. Their duration is short but that does not mean they consume less work. Especially, these podcasts are released daily with consistency.

7. How Long Should a Podcast Be: Everything You Need to Know

If you are wondering how long a podcast should be, here are the main tips to help you.

7.1 Subject and Topic 

The main factor and segment affecting your podcast is the genre or podcast topic. There are several topics for podcasts available today, as many as you can think of.

The main types of podcast topics include true crime, murder mystery, business, daily news, entertainment, motivational, interviews, etc. Every topic has a certain length to fulfill.

For example, an entertainment podcast has longer episodes. Their ideal duration is 40 minutes to 50 minutes. On the other hand, interview and talk show podcasts have shorter episodes. Their ideal length is 20 to 30 minutes.

They can also have an average length of 60 minutes or more. Fixing podcast duration and time frame for a particular genre can also help.

7.2 Podcast Format and Template 

There is no limitation to the type of podcast. Every podcast has a specific template as well as a format. Some well-known podcast formats are conversational, interviews, narratives, co-hosted, solo, etc.

For every different topic, you need a different podcast length. Podcasts including co-host podcasts, panel podcasts, and interview podcasts have an average length of 45 minutes to four hours. This is because these podcasts include back-and-forth conversations and discussions.

However, a solo podcast has a short duration. They usually run for 15 minutes to 50 minutes at most. This is because people cannot listen to a single person’s podcast for a long duration. And let’s look at the fact! It is also difficult for a person to talk on his own for long. You can produce a podcast as long as you want to cover your topic.

7.3 Listeners and Audience 

Knowing your targeted audience can help you to determine the podcast’s length. There are various factors that you should be aware of in your audience in detail. Age, educational background, gender, work, etc. are some factors that can help you.

Commuters prefer podcasts with short duration such as 15 or 30 minutes. Whereas, people at home prefer longer podcasts with 50 minutes or more. Kids have a short capacity to listen to podcasts.

So their ideal duration is 15 or 20 minutes. And certain types of audiences might love podcasts of more than one hour in length. If you are new at podcasting, 30 to 40 minutes is an ideal duration for you.

7.4 Competitor Podcasts 

Why struggle to figure out podcast duration when your opposition podcasts have figured it out? It is also important to analyze and know your competitors, especially in the same genre. You can get to know how they structure your podcast. This helps you to improve your podcast.

7.5 Publish Schedule 

Another factor that determines the podcast length is the publishing schedule. If you want to publish daily content for your broadcast then your ideal podcast duration is 15 or 25 minutes.

Otherwise, you would not be able to produce, credit, and release long podcasts daily in such duration. Do not stress yourself to increase podcast duration. You should concentrate more on being consistent and having a good-quality podcast episode.

If you want to release podcasts once a week or once a month, they can have a longer duration. This is because you have more time to plan, produce, edit, and finalize them.

7.6 The Skill of Storytelling

Many people are blessed with storytelling skills. Therefore, they utilize this skill in their podcast and have a great audience. If you are an expert of storytelling skills then you can turn them into beautiful narratives. Such podcasts can have an ideal 20 or 40-minute duration.

You can easily cover your topics within 25 minutes if you struggle with storytelling skills. If you want to stretch out the topic, then make sure it is compelling enough for listeners. Gradually, your storytelling skills become polished and you can increase podcast duration.

8. Tips for Idealizing Podcast Length

a silhouette of a person wearing a headphone and looking at a computer screen.
Image By Mark Cruz From Unsplash/ Copyright2017

Every podcast and episode length is unique. Hence, here are tips to help you idealize the podcast duration.

8.1 The Purpose of Your Podcast Content

The topic and purpose of your podcast play a main role in determining podcast length. For example, if you want to reach kids, which is your target then you need to strategize your podcast in a certain manner that makes more sense.

You have to make sure your podcast is informative, educational, and concise for kids. It is easier for kids to lose interest in podcasts, especially if they are longer. So, a 20-minute duration is ideal. You can also notice the average length of similar podcasts by researching.

8.2 Baby Steps 

Baby steps are important! Start by taking small steps, especially if you are a newbie. Do not overlook experienced and popular podcasters for duration immediately when you start podcasting. The best duration for you to start is 40 minutes. It gives you enough time to grow your audience and have the audience’s attention.

8.3 Feedback of Audience

The audience also plays a key role in determining the podcast’s duration. If your shorter podcast has more downloads then you can start with short durations. Whereas, longer podcasts have more downloads then you can start with the same! Ask your audience which duration they like more. Conduct a poll on social media platforms for their reference. Their listening habits can determine and help with podcast time.

8.4 Short Intros

Longer intros tend people to not listen to your podcast. In addition, if podcasts have a sales pitch and dull sound effects then it does not help with the podcast duration. Unrelated beginnings while making podcasts distract the audience. Listeners who engage with the podcast do not engage anymore. They lose interest easily!

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See Also: How Long Should A Podcast Be

Bottom Line

The most successful podcasts use audience demographics to decide the perfect duration. Many popular podcasts have a duration of 20 to 40 minutes. While other listeners engage for more than 1 hour. However, take care of consistency and podcast quality while maintaining the ideal duration!

Last Updated on by riyaspeaks


  • Mehakjot Kaur

    I am a copywriter and content writer with a passion for telling stories via posts, news, articles, blogs, business content, etc that grab readers attention and make them to take action. For the past 2 years, I have been working with creativity and hardwork to create content that not only looks great but also drives conversions.

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