What’s the Best Podcast Length?

by Jill Thomas | Apr 15, 2021 | Podcasting

With over 104 million Americans listening to podcasts every month, it’s important that you create podcast content that both attracts new listeners and keeps current listeners hooked. The duration of your podcast’s episodes plays a key role in how well your content resonates with listeners. But how can you tell what the best podcast episode length is for your show? Check out our guide below to find out!

How Long Should Podcast Episodes Be?

Currently, the average podcast episode length is about 43 minutes. This is a good place to start if you’re trying to cut down or ramp up your episode times. But keep in mind that this average isn’t the best length for every show. It’s hard to provide a definitive answer because podcasts vary by format and therefore vary in length, too.

For example, a majority of podcasts fall into the 20 to 60-minute range, which allows for deep-dives into topics and lengthier conversations or interviews with hosts and guests. However, serial podcasts have been increasingly opting for the 1 to 20-minute range to hook listeners with shorter, more frequent episodes.

Long story short, the best length for your podcast episodes should depend on your format.

What Are Common Podcast Episode Lengths?

We know the ideal podcast length should be determined by your podcast format, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t some common guidelines you can follow based on what other podcasters are doing. Here’s a quick look at common episode lengths and the podcast genres that typically use them!

15-30 Minutes

A 15 to 30-minute podcast is ideal for podcasters that produce content around short stories, daily news, and trending topics. This podcast length is common among shows with solo hosts. Popular podcasts that generally stay within 15-30 minutes include The Daily and Blackout.

30-60 Minutes

Podcasts with episodes around 30-60 minutes tend to center storytelling, interviews, and investigations. This podcast length is common among interview shows and small group conversations. Some podcasts that follow this timeframe include Radiolab, Stuff You Should Know, and The Rachel Hollis Podcast.

60+ Minutes

With podcasts that last more than an hour, there’s usually a live show element, more guests, and deeper dives into topics. This podcast length is common among roundtables and shows with more than one host, such as My Brother My Brother And Me, The Lowe Post, and Decoder with Nilay Patel.

Can Podcast Episode Lengths Vary?

It’s important to know that you don’t have to stick to one length parameter with your podcast. In fact, you may even have varying lengths between episodes. Maybe you’ll have one episode that’s 20 minutes and another that’s 60 minutes. That’s okay!

When it comes down to it, the length isn’t as important as the content of the episode. If you’re having a good conversation with someone, you don’t need to cut it short just to hit your usual episode length. On the flip side, if you’ve covered something in 15 minutes, don’t keep talking just to fill the time.

Remember: There isn’t a hard rule for how long your podcast episodes should be. Try out some common lengths, review episode data, ask your listeners for feedback, and make adjustments as you go!

Thinking about launching a podcast? Hurrdat Media can help you get started with our podcast production services and in-house media network. Get in touch with us today to learn more!