This is one of the first questions that new podcast creators ask. What is the “perfect” podcast length? It’s not a cop out to say, “there isn’t one.” However, there are definitely stats and info to point you in the right direction.
According to Riverside FM, one of the biggest podcasting hosting platforms in the world, between 20 to 35 percent of listeners drop off after listening to the first 5 minutes of an episode (to a brand new podcast that they’re trying for the first time). This indicates that audiences need to be hooked from the very beginning. Especially if they don’t know you and your podcast yet.
Subsequently, it’s not a bad idea to keep that first episode to around the 25-30 minute mark. As shallow as it may seem, psychologically – if a podcast episode feels more digestable (ie shorter) we are more likely to give it a go, right to the end.
Think about trying a new food for the first time. Your far less likely to have a giant spoon, piled high of something you’re unsure about. Your more likely to have a teaspoon to get a taste. If you like it, your go back for more, maybe even with a bigger spoon.
40% of all podcasts (the biggest proportion) are between 20-40 minutes long. Go for the bottom end of that spectrum when starting out.
Taking it up a notch.
As your audience grows, and you have a loyal fan base, you can absolutely extend the length of your podcast. It shows confidence and your audience are far more likely to stick with you. Just don’t rush getting there.
Some crucial advise though. As you entering your second or third series (for example,) remember that you are still getting brand new listeners all the time. Never assume people know who you are and what your talking about.
Make an intro template that you use every episode. You may change the wording and inflection but it will always ensure new listeners are “caught up” on what it is they are listening too.
You can start extending your podcast length
Trust your content and be honest with yourself. Forcing 40 minutes of pure gold down to 25 minutes is self-sabotage. If you genuinely think it’s great audio and the audience would miss out if they didn’t hear what you were going to cut – then leave it in!
Equally, if a 30 minute interview didn’t go as well as you thought, take no shame in cutting it down to 15 minutes of the best bits. Be honest with yourself.
Make a podcast with Shakespeare Creative
We have created many podcasts, many of which feature in the podcast charts on Apple Podcasts and Spotify. You can browse through and take a listen here.
Don’t hesitate to drop us a line now, and we can help you get involved in the podcast space, in various capacities. Big or small.