When you launch a new podcast you have a lot of decisions to make — the name of your show, episode content, cover image, etc. But one of your most pressing questions about your new podcast is probably… what length should my podcast episodes be?
Here’s the truth: everyone’s answer to this question will end up being a little different. The best length for a podcast varies from show to show. When you’re deciding what your podcast length should be, there are several factors you should take into consideration. We’re here to walk you through this process and help you figure out what the best length is for YOUR podcast.
How to Determine The Best Length for Your Podcast
Decide your schedule
If you haven’t picked a publishing schedule for your podcast yet, now is the time to do it. The biggest determining factor in the length of your podcast episodes is going to be how often you release those episodes. For example, if you release podcast episodes daily or every other day, those episodes should be shorter.
If you overwhelm your audience with episodes that come out extremely often and have a daunting length, you’re probably going to lose some listeners. After all, attention spans just keep getting shorter. Now, that doesn’t mean you can’t release long podcast episodes. But longer episodes work much better for your audience if you space out the release of your episodes, giving them more time to finish one long episode before you release the next one.
If you launch podcast episodes on a daily basis, aim for about 10-15 minutes in length. If your podcast episodes come out weekly, try to hit somewhere between 15-60 minutes. And if you opt for a monthly schedule, you could do up to 90 minute episodes. Keep in mind that this isn’t an exact science and these numbers are not set in stone, but they do provide a good litmus test as you move forward with deciding the best length for your podcast.
Consider your content
Next to your episode frequency, the most important factor for deciding podcast length is the actual content of your podcast. In fact, the best length for your podcast is directly linked to the topics you’re covering in your podcast. If you’re giving some quick tips on happiness or motivation, you might be able to cover everything you need to say in 15-30 minutes. If you’re doing a deep dive on a true crime story (à la My Favorite Murder), then you might need much longer (their episodes tend to range anywhere from 90-140 minutes).
In the end, simply bear this in mind: have a good reason for your episode lengths. Don’t ramble on just to fill up time. And don’t cut your episodes short if it means sacrificing good content.
Commit to consistency
As with any other element of podcasting (or blogging), consistency is key. For podcast listeners, there’s nothing more jarring than having a 30-minute podcast that you tune into on a weekly basis and going to download their latest episode only to find that it’s a whopping 2.5 hours in length. That’s a surefire way to guarantee a huge portion of your audience (even the loyal members) won’t listen in.
Once you pick a podcast length, try to stick to that runtime for every podcast episode. If you decide to change formats eventually or release a super-sized special episode, then it’s okay to expand your length. But, in general, you should have a very good reason for any podcast episodes you release that diverge from your normal podcast length.
What length are your podcast episodes (and what is your podcast about)? Tell us about your show in the comments!
And don’t forget to use Wavve to promote your podcast on social media. You can even create your very first Wavve video for free!
I’m the Founder of Wavve. I love building tools to help content creators better share their message on social media.