There are now over 660,000 podcasts, all of which vary in length. The Longest Podcast in the World clocks in at 36 hours and the world’s shortest is just under a second long (though that was probably an accident). The 60-Second Science podcast is an example of a great non-accidental short podcast.
For most people, 36 hours is way too long and 60 seconds is nowhere near long enough so let’s look in the middle. There are no set rules on podcast length but generally following the masses and looking at the average podcast length can help you to get yours to be the perfect size.
How Long is the Average Podcast?
Most podcasts fall around the 40-minute mark so striving for those hour-long episodes isn’t a necessity. The No Such Thing as a Fish podcast tends to average around 40 minutes per episode. Some episodes are longer, some shorter but mostly they’re around this mark.
On average, podcasts are 38 minutes & 42 seconds long
The genre of the podcast usually has a bearing on how long it will be.
- Video game podcasts usually have the longest episodes with most of them lasting over an hour. The popular gaming podcast Giant Bombcast has no episodes shorter than an hour and 15 minutes. They even have some as long as 6 hours.
- Language learning podcast episodes are often the shortest usually lasting less than 10 minutes. Swedish Pod 101 has episodes as short as 35 seconds and has none any longer than 14 minutes.
It's Not All About Longer Podcasts
Since 2005 podcasts have actually gotten shorter with the majority of podcasts lasting around half an hour. A great example of a popular podcast where episodes last up to around 25 minutes is the Blossoms pubcast
More popular podcasts that feature on the top 400 list tend to be longer than the average podcast. This is usually because listeners demand more content over time and more content comes out of recording sessions. On the top 400 list podcasts average around 47 minutes 30 seconds per episode.
Figuring Out Your Perfect Podcast Length
Podcasts are about quality, not quantity. It’s better to release a podcast that is 20 minutes of great content than an hour of substandard content.
It’s also a good idea to consider who will be listening to your podcast and when they’ll be listening. These factors should change the length of your podcast so it suits your target audience better. When you’ve figured out the important stuff and get that first episode down it can be as long or as short as you want. If over time the podcast needs to get longer then change it, if you think it’s too long then make it shorter.