You wanna podcast, but how much should you podcast exactly? There are tons of podcasts out there of all different lengths, leaving you as confused as a pufferfish in the Mississippi River.
But no sweat, friend—I’m here to uncover the mystery. This article will teach you exactly how long to make your podcast, guaranteed.
To be clear, when referring to podcast length, I’m talking about how long each episode is—not how long the show runs for. With that out the way, let’s get started.
First, the FAQs
Let’s break down the most commonly-asked questions about podcast length.
How long is the average podcast?
This one is tough to answer, as it all depends on what you consider to be an “average” podcast. While the most popular podcasts tend to be on the shorter side (between 20 and 40 minutes), plenty of shows are much longer.
In general, though, I’d say the average podcast falls somewhere in the middle—between 30 and 60 minutes.
Is it bad for a podcast to be short?
Short podcasts are definitely not bad. In fact, some of the most popular podcasts out there are pretty short.
The important thing is to make sure that your podcast is the right length for the type of show you’re making.
If you’re trying to cram an hour-long conversation into a 20-minute show, that’s probably not going to work well. But if you have a shorter, more concise show, a shorter podcast length will probably be just fine.
Is there a limit to how long a podcast can be?
There is no official limit to how long a podcast can be, but most people seem to agree that anything over two hours is probably too long.
Of course, there are always exceptions to the rule—but in general, two hours is probably the longest you want to go.
With that out of the way, let’s move on to the main event: determining the perfect length for your podcast.
How to Determine the Perfect Length for Your Podcast
Here’s the thing: there is no “perfect” length for a podcast. It all depends on the type of show you’re making.
With that said, there are a few key factors you should consider when deciding how long to make your podcast:
- The format of your show
- The topics you’ll be discussing
- The attention span of your audience
Let’s take a closer look at each of these factors.
1. The format of your show
The format of your show is probably the most important factor in determining podcast length.
For example, if you’re doing a solo show, you’ll probably want to keep your episodes shorter (around 20-30 minutes). On the other hand, if you’re doing an interview show, you’ll probably want to go a bit longer (around 45-60 minutes).
Here are a few of the most popular podcast formats, along with some general guidelines for episode length:
- Solo shows: 20-30 minutes
- Co-hosted shows: 30-60 minutes
- Interview shows: 45-60 minutes
- News shows: 15-30 minutes
- Storytelling shows: 30-60 minutes
2. The topics you’ll be discussing
The topics you’ll discuss are another important factor when determining podcast length.
If you’re planning to discuss complex topics requiring much explanation, you’ll probably want to err on the side of a longer podcast. On the other hand, if you’re planning to discuss simpler topics that can be covered quickly, a shorter podcast will probably suffice.
3. The attention span of your audience
The attention span of your audience is the final factor to consider when determining podcast length.
If your audience is made up of busy people who are constantly on the go, you’ll probably want to keep your episodes relatively short (around 20-30 minutes). On the other hand, if your audience is made up of people with a lot of time on their hands, you can probably get away with a longer podcast
Now that we’ve gone over the factors to consider, it’s time to put them into practice.
Let’s say you’re planning to launch a solo show about books. Based on the factors we just discussed, here’s what your podcast length might look like:
- Format of your show: Solo show
- Topics you’ll be discussing: Books
- Attention span of your audience: Fairly long
Based on these factors, a podcast length of 30-60 minutes would probably be ideal.
Now, let’s say you’re planning to launch a co-hosted show about the latest news. Based on the factors we just discussed, here’s what your podcast length might look like:
- Format of your show: Co-hosted show
- Topic: The latest news
- Attention span of your audience: Fairly short
These factors indicate a podcast length of 15-30 minutes would be ideal.
Of course, these are just examples—you should tailor the length of your podcast to fit your specific show.
The Bottom Line
When it comes to podcast length, there is no “right” answer. The best podcasts understand their audiences in-depth, making adjustments to length dynamically based on the telemetry they receive.
So my advice? Don’t make a single determination—make constant adjustments based on the engagement statistics your publishing platform reports. Just don’t make the changes too drastic, or you’ll upset your core fanbase!
And that’s it! You now know everything you need to know about how long to make your podcast.
Do you have any questions about podcast length? Let me know in the comments below!