What to Consider When Choosing a Length for Your Podcast

Timer sitting on tableOne thing that podcasters need to consider is a question that will take some thought and planning. How long should a podcast be? There is no “one-size fits all” answer to that question, and this can cause your decision making about the length of your show to be complicated.

A good way to sort out this problem is to consider some variables. Are the majority of your episodes approximately the same length of time? How often do you release your podcast? Is the cost of hosting manageable, or has the price gone higher than you would like? Do you take the time to consider the space the ads in your show will take up? 

Consistency is key

Fans of your podcast are expecting consistency. They trust that a new episode will regularly appear. This is true whether you release a new episode once a week, once every two weeks, or once a month. If your current schedule works for you, and your listeners keep downloading new episodes – keep doing what you do!

What if you feel that your podcast isn’t going very well? Now might be a good time to make a change. Keep the topic and format you have been using. Let your listeners know ahead of time that you want to switch from a weekly podcast to one with longer episodes. Make it clear that the new episodes will be released every other week. Your audience will likely be willing to stick around to hear them.

How long should your podcast episodes be?

This question requires some context. Your podcast should be as long as it needs to be. 

That might not sound very helpful, at first glance. Every podcast is different and unique, so there is no simple answer about exactly how long your episodes run.

Here are some things to consider:

What does your audience say? Your audience is your best indicator as to how long your show could or should be. By using the Audience Survey and the Advanced Statistics on the Blubrry Dashboard, you’ll definitely know when/if they start to lose interest in your show as the minutes roll past – and whether they are craving more!

How much time do you have to record your podcast? Podcasters who make their living from their “day job” will have limited time to podcast. You might need to record your show on your days off. Podcasters who are parents of small children could potentially record their podcast while the kids are at daycare or school. Edit the audio after the kids go to bed.

Do you have disabilities or chronic illnesses? As a person who has chronic illnesses that can hit at any moment and completely ruin my day, I sometimes lack the energy it takes to record a good episode. This is especially true for people who have illnesses that include “brain fog.” My solution to this problem is to keep the episodes to around 30 minutes.

How much time is allotted to the ads in your podcast? There are a variety of ways to include advertisements in your episodes. Some are host-read, others are automatically placed within episodes, like with Blubrry’s Programmatic Advertising. Podcasters who include ads in their shows often are hoping to make money from those ads and will need to take heed of the length and placement of the add as they’re determining the perfect show length. And for podcasters who choose not to include ads, that’s easy! No time allotment needed.

How high are your hosting fees? Every podcast episode needs to be on a platform that will distribute the show to the people who want to listen to it. This is going to cost the podcaster some money. If you are comfortably able to afford your hosting fees, you have nothing to worry about. However, if your income has changed or dropped, you might need to consider a smaller show and/or shopping around for a less expensive hosting plan. We offer a variety of plans, including annual options.

Did you do NaPodPoMo? National Podcast Post Month takes place in November every year. Created by Jennifer Navarrete, the goal of NaPodPoMo is for podcasters to produce and publish one episode every day during the month of November. It is a perfect time to make shorter podcast episodes than you typically would, and can be a fun challenge!


Jen Thorpe wearing glasses, hat and face maskJen Thorpe has been podcasting since 2005. They are the host of the Shattered Soulstone podcast, which releases new episodes every week. When they aren’t podcasting, they are playing video games or Dungeons & Dragons.