People are always asking what is the ideal length for their podcast, and for good reason. The length of a podcast is important. When you are planning, you need to know what kind of time frame you are working with. However, when people ask this question, what they really want to know is, how long of a podcast do people want to hear?
Well, the average podcast is about thirty minutes, if that’s what you’re looking for. The fact is, however, the most popular podcasts vary in length greatly from about fifteen minutes to one hour. So there are some variables to this answer and you need to figure what is best for your podcast.
The topic of your podcast can and will affect the length. Some topics simply require more time to get into and explore. If you have a lot of information to communicate, then naturally you are going to take more time. If your podcast is meant to be informative, then you want your podcast to clearly communicate the information intended.
Additionally, the audiences of some topics will be willing to listen much longer than others. You need to weigh your topic and feel how heavy your information is and determine how long it will take to convey the information.
One important question to ask is: How long are other podcasts with the same topic? This is valuable information to know. Also ask yourself if your podcast should be the same length as the others. You may find an opportunity exists to position your podcast as a shorter or longer podcast on its subject matter.
Style & Format
Obviously there are a lot of different styles, and your style will determine the length of your podcast as well. Do you have a light, fast tone? Or do you have a heavier tone? A heavy, serious tone, doesn’t necessarily mean your podcast should be longer. Quite the contrary, it is often a good idea for serious podcasts to be shorter.
Frequency & Length
The frequency of your podcasts can have an effect on the length as well. If you are podcasting once a month, it goes without saying, it will be longer than if you are podcasting weekly. If your podcasts are very informative, you can always break them up into multiple segments as well. Just because you have a lot of information to communicate, doesn’t mean your podcast has to go on for hours.
Always remember you are in control of your podcast. Don’t let the podcast take control and run wild on time. You can control the length of the podcast in the planning phase. Be certain you are taking the time to plan properly for your podcast. Also go back after you are done editing and review your notes. Become familiar with how your plan translate to time. The more you understand this, the easier you will be able to control the time.
Don’t Waste Time
Whatever you do, don’t force it. Don’t try to extend the time of your podcast with extra or useless information or chatter. This just wastes peoples time and dilutes your product. Keep in mind during all phases, planning, recording, and editing, you don’t want to waste the listeners time. Try to produce and publish your best content only.
So, what is the ideal length of your podcast? Consensus is it should be between fifteen minutes and one hour. Outside of that, the length doesn’t matter as long as you have enough compelling content to fill the time. When you are out of compelling content, simply end the podcast.