Dear future/ up and coming podcasters, when starting a new project ( like podcasting), everyone starts asking all sorts of questions. For example, how long should a podcast be? It is a great question to ask, but is there a straightforward answer to it?
So, how long should a podcast be? There isn’t a one size fits all answer for this question because it varies from one podcast to the next. It could be between 10-15 minutes if you’re answering a specific question, 30-45 minutes so people could listen to it during their commute, or 45+ minutes if you have a lot of information to share with your highly engaged audience.
A lot more variables affect the length of your podcast, so if you want to understand how you can figure out the best episode length for your podcast, then continue reading this blog post.
How long should a podcast be?
There isn’t such a thing that is known as the ideal duration for a podcast episode. Here are the durations of a couple of the podcasts that very popular these days:
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The GaryVee Audio Experience: Gary’s episodes vary significantly in length. Some are under ten minutes (10 min), while others could last for more than an hour (60 min).
Happier with Gretchen Rubin: Gretchen’s episodes are usually between thirty and forty-five minutes (30-45 min). However, she also releases a mini-episode every week that is generally three to five minutes (3-5 min) in length.
The Daily: The episodes of The Daily are usually between twenty to thirty minutes (20-30 min).
Stuff You Should Know: The episodes of this podcast are usually between thirty and sixty minutes (30-60 min). They have also started releasing shorter episodes that are typically fifteen minutes (15 min).
Planet Money: The episodes of this podcast are usually between eighteen and twenty-five minutes (18- 25 min) long
TED Talks Daily: The podcast episodes of TED Talks Daily are generally between seven and 15 minutes (7-15 min).
Can you see how durations of the episodes greatly vary between these different and successful episodes? If we want to know what the average duration of podcasts is, then that is doable. The average length of podcasts tends to be between thirty and forty-five minutes (30- 45 min).
However, the length of your podcast should always depend on the amount of information you have to share with your audience. Don’t stretch a twenty-five minute audio to forty minutes with fluff so that you can have longer episodes.
It is true that longer is often recommended so that people could enjoy listening to one thing while commuting, exercising, or talking a dog on a walk. But shorter episodes are not frowned upon cause your listener could simply have a few episodes of your show downloaded.
This means that after they finish listening to your fifteen minutes episode, another one will play! So far, podcasting is the only platform ( or at least one of the very few platforms) that built on quality over quantity.
It makes sense that we’re asking how long an episode should be, though.
Why are we asking about how long a podcast episode should be?
Because the duration of the content plays a huge role in other content formats. For example, in written content ( blog posts), the more words you write, the more the readers stay on your page to read it, and thus the more trustworthy you appear in Google’ e eyes!
Video content ( like YouTube), there is an algorithm that favors videos that are over ten minutes.
The platform is even encouraging its content creators to create videos that are over ten minutes by allowing them to add more advertisement to their videoes, which allows the creators to make more money.
But when it comes to podcasting, none of that seems to exist! Until very recently, the podcasting world had almost no SEO support.
The only SEO tactic used was putting the correct keywords that describe the episode in the title. So a five-minute podcast had no advantage or disadvantage over an hour-long podcast in the eyes of the search engines because to search engines was almost blind when it came to audio content.
But we have talked previously about how all of that is changing in my Can My Podcast Appear in Google’s Search Results blog post. To sum it up, thanks to Google Podcasts, podcasts will soon be treated as a first-class citizen on the search results.
This means that people will soon be able to search for a particular topic on Google and get podcasts on the first page of search results.
Right now, if you look up for a specific podcast, you can actually listen to directly from the search results. Here is an example of that.
As you can see, there is horizontal slide on the top of the first page of Google search results that is specifically for podcasts! That is what I got by just googling Happier with Gretchen Rubin.
This means that SEO ( Search Engine Optimization) as we know it for podcasts is changing. Who knows what the future holds; perhaps very soon the duration of podcasts is going to play a crucial role now that Google is attempting to make it a first-class citizen in the digital world of content.
Until then, though, your episode’s length isn’t going to affect your rank or revenue much.
Does an episode’s length affect its reach?
Like I have previously mentioned, a podcast’s length plays a little to no role when it comes to reach because until recently, Google didn’t promote audio content directly on its search results.
That might change in the near future, but so far, an episode’s length almost does not affect how many people it reaches.
In YouTube, longer videos ( ten minutes and above) tend to make their creators more money because more Ads can be placed during it. When creators make videos that are longer than ten minutes, they are following YouTube’s current algorithm.
YouTube sometimes rewards those who follow the algorithm by pushing the creator’s videos in people’s recommend section, which positively affects the videos’ reach. So far, podcasts don’t have that algorithm so the episode’s length can’t directly affect your reach.
An episode’s length could indirectly affect your reach if you make the episode too long without adding much value to the listener. This could make the sister not return to listen to your next episode, thus lowering your reach.
That’s why it is crucial to make sure that your episodes are fluff-free and that they don’t waste your listener’s time. By doing that, you are going to build a strong relationship with your audience, which will definitely improve your podcast’s reach with time.
Does the length of a podcast’s episode affect how much revenue I make?
Unlike YouTube videos, the length of your podcast doesn’t affect how much money you make from it because you get paid per thousand episodes downloaded or streamed. Unless you are a huge podcaster who is capable of adding three sponsorships to a single episode, then you have nothing to worry about.
How many episodes should I release per month?
It all depends on you and what topics you’re discussing. On average, podcasters tend to release a new episode every week. However, if you’re creating bite-sized content ( episodes that are ten to fifteen minutes), then you can upload a new episode daily or every other day.
How can I record my podcast without a microphone?
If you’re still starting out and you want to test the water of podcasting before committing to it and purchasing expensive equipment, then you can record your podcast with your phone. You can use the Anchor application to make your podcasting life easier.
If you want to learn how to record, edit, and publish your podcast with nothing but your phone, then make sure you check out my Can I Make A Podcast with My iPhone blog post.
What’s the difference between podcasts and YouTube videos?
A podcast is a platform that allows its users to share their content to the world through audio, while YouTube is a platform that allows its users to share their content to the world through both audio and video. SEO optimization, CPM, and algorithms vary as well.
To learn more about the differences between podcasts and YouTube, then check out my Podcasts vs. Youtube: What’s the Difference blog post.
That’s it for today’s post. You should now know that there isn’t a specific audio duration that is considered to be a golden rule in the podcasting world.
If you have more questions regarding how long your podcast should be or just about podcasts in general, then feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
What’s the average episode length of your favorite podcast? The average episode length of one of my favorite podcasts “Happier with Gretchen Rubin” is between thirty and forty-five minutes (30-45 min)!
- How Long Should A Podcast Be? Making Great Content To Listen To
- How Long Should Your Podcast Be
- How to make your podcast the right length: how long should a podcast be?
- What is the Ideal Length for a Podcast Episode?
- 16 Most Popular Podcasts – Lit and Worth It
Till next time,