Podcasts are an ever-growing popular form of audio content. Covering all sorts of topics and interests, there are plenty of shows that can spark interesting thoughts and conversations. If you are starting your own is an exciting endeavor and you have the subject pinned down... have you already decided what the length of your podcast should be?

It can be difficult to determine the exact ideal duration, but this doesn’t mean we can’t define a good range. So, let's share some tips for refining this number.

The Average Length of a Podcast

The average length of a podcast episode varies depending on the content and format. However, recent research indicates that the average duration of a podcast episode is around 41 minutes and 31 seconds. The range, however, is incredibly broad. Some podcasts just last 10 minutes, but others have longer episodes that can well exceed 60 minutes.

So, let’s settle on a number. On average, if we look at both shorter-format and longer-format podcasts, the majority fall within the 20 to 40-minute range. Here are some examples that follow this average podcast episode length:

  • The Allusionist: Hosted by Helen Zaltzman, this podcast explores language, including puns and emojis, with an average episode length of 20-30 minutes.
  • The Daily: Hosted by Michael Barbaro, this podcast shares the biggest stories of our time, told by top journalists, with episodes under 30 minutes in length.
  • Up First: Hosted by Rachel Martin, David Greene, and Steve Inskeep, this podcast brings you the daily news you need to start your day in concise 15-minute episodes.
  • Planet Money: This podcast explains the economy in episodes ranging from 5 to 20 minutes in length.
  • Song Exploder: Hosted by Hrishikesh Hirway, this podcast features musicians breaking down their songs and telling the story of how they were made in episodes lasting 15-20 minutes.

Defining the Ideal Podcast Episode Length

As you might be able to tell based on the examples, when you are determining the ideal length for a podcast episode, you need to consider factors such as the content, target audience, and production schedule.

For instance, shorter durations (typically under 30 minutes) are good for:

  • A podcast that provides quick summaries of the day's top news stories.
  • A podcast offering brief insights or advice on a specific topic, such as productivity or personal finance.
  • Serialized storytelling podcasts that want to release shorter episodes to maintain suspense and encourage listeners to tune in for the next installment.

Longer durations (typically over 30 minutes), on the other hand, can be good for:

  • Podcasts featuring extensive interviews with guests, allowing for detailed discussions on various subjects.
  • High-quality podcasts that delve deep into complex topics need thorough research and analysis (for example, history podcasts like Dan Carlin’s Hardcore History).
  • Podcasts focused on exploring complex concepts or teaching new skills, often requiring longer episodes to cover the material adequately.

The Advantages of Shorter Podcast Episodes

Shorter podcast episodes have some good perks. First off, they're easier to squeeze into a person’s day. Do you know those quick coffee breaks or short commutes? They are perfect for a short episode.

Shorter episodes also keep things interesting. You can cover a lot of different topics without getting bogged down in one thing for too long.

But here's the kicker if you are a content creator: Short episodes they're easier to make. Less editing, less scripting, less recording time. That can mean more episodes, more often.

The Advantages of Longer Podcast Episodes

Longer podcast episodes have their own set of perks, too. Firstly, they allow for deeper dives into topics. You can really get into the nitty-gritty and explore ideas in more detail.

Longer episodes also give hosts and guests more time to develop their thoughts and ideas. And, for listeners, these episodes can be a way to unwind and immerse themselves in a topic. They can provide a deeper learning experience or even just some good ol' entertainment for a longer stretch of time.

And finally, longer episodes can help build a stronger connection between you as a host and your audience and often attract dedicated fans who are willing to invest their time in a more substantial listening experience.

Finding Your Perfect Podcast Episode Length

When deciding on the ideal podcast length for your podcast episodes, there are a few factors that come into play, such as the topic, the format, your audience’s preferences, and the general listening trends.

Let’s break these down a little more so you can start determining how long you will want your podcast to be.

Consideration #1: The Topic

When it comes to deciding how long your podcast should be, the topic you're chatting about really matters. For example, if you're diving into a complicated subject, like the secrets of the universe or the history of civilizations, you'll probably need more time to cover it all properly.

When your topic has tons of layers and details that need unpacking, longer episodes make more sense. On the flip side, if you're talking about something more straightforward, like easy cooking hacks or tips for being more productive, you can keep it short and sweet. You can still dish out some valuable insights and advice, even if your podcast episode is a few minutes long.

The bottom line is that the topic can help you set the tone for how long your podcast should be. If it's complex, go longer; if it's simple, keep it short!

Consideration #2: The Format

The format of your podcast plays a big role in deciding the length of your content, too. Take interviews, for instance. You've got guests sharing their stories, diving into juicy details, and maybe even going off on tangents. Naturally, these episodes tend to run longer because you wanna give your guests time to spill the tea and share their wisdom.

Now, flip the script and think about storytelling episodes. They're all about keeping listeners hooked with suspense, twists, and turns. So, you gotta keep 'em short and snappy to maintain that edge-of-your-seat vibe without losing your audience's interest.

Basically, different formats call for different episode lengths. Just go with what feels right for the vibe you're going for – whether it's a deep dive or a quick chat requiring less time, as long as it keeps your listeners hooked.

Consideration #3: The Format

We have covered the two big ones: topic and format. Now, let's think about your listeners. What do they want? Are they all about that quick fix, craving bite-sized content they can gobble up on their coffee break? Or are they the type to kick back, grab some popcorn, and dive deep into those marathon episodes?

If you haven’t done any episodes yet, you might be unsure about who your audience will actually be. In this case, you can look at other people doing similar podcast hosting and estimate their episodes’ duration. Take a look at what your competitors are doing. Analyze the length of their episodes and how well they're engaging their audience. While you don't need to copy them exactly, understanding what works in your niche can provide valuable insights.

In short, knowing your audience is key! Once you've figured out their preferences, you can tailor your lengths to keep them coming back for more quality content.

Consideration #4: The Content

When it comes to podcasting, sometimes (oftentimes!) it's not about how long your episodes are – it's all about the quality. Whether you're dropping a quick episode for a news podcast or going for the hour-long haul, make sure each episode is engaging and has top-notch production (more on this below).

For example, here are some ways in which you can make your minute podcast or long podcast better by focusing on good content:

  1. A news podcast delivering quick updates on current events keeps listeners engaged with quality reporting and analysis.
  2. An hour-long discussion podcast retains its audience by offering compelling content and maintaining high production values.
  3. A storytelling podcast immerses listeners in intricate narratives, keeping them captivated with quality storytelling and production.

Think about it like this: your listeners are on a journey with you, and you wanna make sure it's one heck of a ride every time they hit play.

Regardless of episode length, prioritizing quality content and production ensures listeners keep coming back for more. So, keep 'em hooked with compelling content, tantalize 'em with juicy tidbits, and make sure your audio game is on point.

Consideration #5: The Latest Podcast Trends

How you prepare your content is not the only thing that matters when you’re trying to decide how long to make your successful podcast. You also have to stay on top of what's going down in the industry and what your listeners are vibing with.

For example, are audiences looking for quick and snappy episodes that they can devour during their average morning commute time? Or are they leaning towards more epic marathon Spotify or Apple Podcasts sessions where they can download an episode and really sink their teeth into a topic?

The best way to understand what amount of time to use for your episodes is to keep your ears perked for any whispers in the wind about what's hot and what's not. And don't forget to check out what your listeners are saying on social media and review comments!

Consideration #6: The Production Resources

Your production resources can sway how long your podcast episodes end up being. If you're a one-person show or working with a small team, longer episodes might be a real grind to pull off. But if you've got a killer squad and top-notch gear, longer episodes could be your time to shine.

Here are some suggestions on how to work your timeframe and decide on an episode length based on your resources:

  1. If it's just you or a small team handling everything, shorter episodes are your best bet. Keep it concise and punchy to make the most of your time and energy (you can always go longer when you have more resources at hand).
  2. With a decent crew and some solid equipment, you can start dabbling in longer episodes. Just be mindful of your workload and make sure you're not biting off more than you can chew. In other words, grow slowly — but consistently!
  3. Got a full-fledged team and all the fancy gear? Longer episodes could be your jam. You've got the manpower and tools to tackle those meaty topics and really dive deep. But remember: Your content should always be of good quality.

Consideration #7: The Consistency

Okay, there is one more important consideration when it comes to episode length: Consistency. Think of it like setting the pace for a jog – you want to find that sweet spot where you're not sprinting one day and walking the next. It's all about keeping a steady rhythm.

When you stick to a consistent episode length, whether it's 30 minutes or an hour, your listeners know what to expect. Just like meeting up with a friend for coffee at the same spot every week – it becomes a comforting routine. So, aim for that sweet spot length, and your audience will appreciate the predictability and reliability of your show.


Creating the best podcast is not about the quantity of episodes you churn out – it's about the impact they make. So, you should always focus on crafting killer content that leaves your audience wanting more, no matter how long it lasts.

StreamYard can be a fantastic tool for producing podcasts of any length, as the platform offers an array of features that make it an excellent choice.

StreamYard simplifies the process of setting up interviews, allowing you to effortlessly invite guests onto your stream, while its live recording feature enables you to engage with your audience in real-time as you simultaneously record your episode.

In terms of production, StreamYard provides professional-grade tools to enhance the visual appeal of your podcast, too. You can incorporate overlays, logos, and other graphics, as well as switch between different camera angles and layouts. What’s more, you can reach a broader audience by simultaneously broadcasting your podcast across various platforms.

One of StreamYard's key advantages is its flexibility when it comes to episode duration. Whether you prefer short and snappy episodes or long-form discussions, StreamYard accommodates your content needs, empowering you to tailor your podcast to your audience's preferences.

So, if you’re looking for the perfect solution for podcast production, take a look at our user-friendly tools and robust features today.

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