Out of curiosity, I took a look at the top 100 podcasts at Ausha. The average length of their episodes is 44 minutes. ⏰
So you see, in reality, there’s really no right answer.
Okay… Well, that doesn’t get us very far…
Pick a length that you can stick with 🕒
The very first piece of advice I can give you is to start with a length that you will be able to keep in the long run. Remember! A podcast that works is a podcast that’s regular.
After all, it’s pretty obvious. If you set out to publish a 2-hour interview every week, you’re likely to – at best – end up on your knees on Sunday, – at worst – get caught up in the grind and end up hating podcasting… FOREVER! 😬
And that’s everything we want to avoid. Really.
Aim for a 100% completion rate 🎧
In the world of podcasting, there’s one metric you should keep an eye on, and that’s the completion rate.
You may have already heard of it… this data corresponds to the average listening percentage of your audience for each of your episodes. Simply put: are your listeners listening to your episodes all the way to the end?
So why is it so important for your episodes to be listened to all the way through? Well, because it gives a strong reassuring signal to the listening platforms, and your podcast will have more chances to be featured, for example, in the Apple Podcasts ranking. 📈
And a featured podcast, is a podcast with more downloads. 🚀
If we connect the dots: it’s naturally easier to have a completion rate close to 100% with a podcast that lasts less than 20 minutes, than with one that lasts 1 hour.
Trust your topic 🤝
That being said, the completion rate should not be the reason why you stop yourself from making longer podcasts. Trust your topic! Some require 40 minutes or 1 hour of coverage and others don’t.
And that’s okay 🧘
Don’t say more than you need.
Sometimes it’s better to do lots of fairly short episodes on very specific topics than to do very long, catch-all episodes.
First of all, because your audience will be able to choose precisely the contents that interests them. And second of all, because listening to a long episode with guests talking about everything just because you absolutely have to last an hour, well… I promise… people lose interest quickly. 😩
Take advantage of this format to say everything you have to say 😁
The truth is, regardless of the media, if the content is very long, we tend to lose attention. (Even during the latest Batman movie 🦇 ). Because our attention span is limited. And this is even more true in a society where we are flooded with content.
But podcasts are kind of the exception for this rule. The amount of attention given to an episode is far greater than that given to a video on social media or reading an article. 💪
All of this is to say that if you have a lot to say and 15 or 20 minutes aren’t enough, you can of course take the time to say them. Again, let me say it again: trust your topic!
Directly ask your audience what they prefer 🎙️
Lastly, perhaps the best way to define the ideal length of your episodes is to turn directly to the people who are interested: your listeners.
If you’re lucky enough to already have a community, for example on social media, you can ask them what episode format they prefer. Create a poll on Instagram or Twitter. Or conduct interviews with your listeners to learn more about their listening habits.
Now you have all the tools you need to determine the ideal length of your episodes.Independentsprofessionals