“If you have 100,000 listeners and you edit out one useless minute, you are saving 100,000 wasted minutes in the world. You’re practically a hero.” tweeted popular podcaster Roman Mars earlier this year.
Finding the perfect duration for your podcast is not something you can derive simply by aping other popular podcasts. Leading podcast lengths range from a few minutes to a few hours. So how can you determine the optimal podcast length?
Deciding the duration of your podcast episodes is subjective. It depends entirely on the topic you’re covering and the format you're using, among other things.
Because every podcast is different, rather than making broad assertions about podcast length, here is a series of questions and tips that you can use to find the optimal podcast duration.
How does content determine the ideal podcast length?
There are 15-minute podcasts that some listeners might find extremely boring and hour-long podcasts that can keep them glued and wanting for more. If your episode offers a solid 30 minutes of relevant, strong content pertaining to the topic, then 30 minutes is the ideal podcast length. Interesting content can keep the audience engaged for longer durations.
The podcast length should be conducive to creating the finest content possible. You don’t have to follow anyone else’s schedule unless you’re recording the show live on a radio station. Take as much time as you need to create a quality episode because podcasting is on-demand content. Ensure that the content is crisp and the entire bit adds value for the listener.
Who is your intended audience?
Think about who you’re talking to. If you’re a niche podcast, you may expect a large or very specific audience. You have greater leeway in deciding on the optimum length with a larger audience. With a specific audience, though, you can consider their lifestyle and what length works best for them.
Investigate demographics, tastes, lifestyle, and professional choices to help you choose the length of your podcast.
Where does your target audience tune in?
Listeners often choose to multi-task as they listen to podcasts. Factor this in when deciding on the podcast length. Would the listening experience suffer if the listener has to pause and come back to the podcast? Consider how long daily activities take for your listeners and modify your content to fit into their schedule.
For example, if you want your listener to finish your podcast during their commute, keep it under 50 minutes. Listeners could be at home, in the vehicle, at work, exercising, walking, traveling, or taking public transportation when they hear your podcast.
More frequent episodes aren’t always better for your podcast publishing schedule. Like they say, quality over quantity!
It’s better to release one lengthier episode with 500 downloads than three 30-minute podcast episodes a week with 100 downloads each. Adjust your schedule if your audience doesn’t have time for three episodes per week. Don’t allow your podcast to get stuck in the middle of nowhere! Make it engaging for your listeners by providing reasons for them to stay connected.
Can you use statistics to guide you?
Podcasters can use metrics like podcast downloads, subscriptions, average listening time, engagement rate, etc., to help assess the listeners’ preferences. Listnr provides state-of-the-art analytics so you can gain insights into your listeners’ behavior and curate your podcast accordingly.
You can correct the course as you learn what works best for you and your listeners. All your episodes don’t have to be of the same length. Each episode should be tailored, keeping in mind the content and the audience.
Listnr is an all-in-one platform for podcasting, with features that help you produce top-notch content. Reach out to us today and get started on your journey!
How to record a podcast remotely?
Get the right recording equipment and environment. Your guests can record and share their audio which you can then stitch together.
Listnr makes it easier to host remote podcasts because all the host has to do is send a link to the guests.
How do you record a podcast with multiple people?
If you’re hosting remotely with multiple co-hosts or guests, ensure your audio quality is consistent to make it sound like you’re in the same room.
Record each person separately and then match the audio in the edit.
Use a remote recording podcast platform or video conferencing tools such as Skype or Zoom to record your show.
Record visitors over the phone with a mixer.
Where is the best place to record a podcast at home?
Ideally, you should record where there are the least distractions and where the sound will be absorbed rather than reflected off the surroundings. Reflective surfaces kill good audio, so avoid rooms with tiles, windows, or high ceilings.
How to promote your podcast?
Boost the number of people who listen to your podcast with these ideas.