Do you recommend an ideal length per episode?

Yes. 28 minutes and 30 seconds.

Although podcasts aren’t bound by the rules of traditional broadcast radio, this is one legacy best practice we can really get behind, for a few reasons.

  • First, most of your podcast listeners will experience your show while commuting or while multitasking. Most folks commute for less than a half hour in each direction, and most activities get interrupted or broken up at around the half hour mark.
  • Second, “Average Quarter Hour” is one of the most important metrics in radio, and experienced broadcasters will tell you that it’s nearly impossible to keep listeners focused across more than two 15-minute segments. Keeping your episodes below 28:30 ensure that more of your audience will enjoy a beginning-middle-end experience, and they won’t abandon your show mid-episode.
  • Third, we’re seeing more radio stations and networks “borrow” podcast programming to fill time slots on traditional channels. If you’re already running below 28:30, it’s much easier for your show to become eligible for these enhanced distribution opportunities.

Of course, you might have way more than 28 minutes of ideas—or a conversation you can’t bear to edit. When that happens, just split that content across multiple episodes, so your audience can digest it better. Just because some of the heavyweights in the industry can pull off two hour recordings doesn’t mean your audience is ready for you to do that just yet.