A recent article by IDG shows that the preferred time for an audio podcast is 16 minutes. What does this mean?
In some cases, nothing. When you create a podcast, you decide how long or short it is. You decide how often you put out episodes. You control everything. If you want to do a 30 minute podcast, then do a 30 minute podcast. I just want to add one point: with 30 minutes of content.
When you are dealing with 16 minutes, you need to think about some things.
Show intro (music, contact info, teaser of forthcoming content) 2 minutes
Show outro (music, contact info) 1 minute.
If you stick with this report, this means you now have 13 minutes to get to the point. That means you have to take the best points and use them, and decide which points can be discarded. The end result? Great content. Only the best points make the grade.
As someone who occasionally delivers messages from a pulpit I can tell you that if I had a choice of delivering a 30 minute sermon or a 15 minute sermon, I would choose 30. While most people are afraid of speaking in public, I'm not. I enjoy the ability to dig deep into a topic. When I have to cut sermons short, it really makes you focus. You have to decide, “What am I trying to say, get across, relate, etc?” I wish more podcasters would do this (myself included).
One of the pitfalls of people who want their podcast to be like radio is scheduling their podcast. “Hey everyone I do this podcast from 7 to 8 PM every Monday night.” They have blocked 60 minutes of time when they probably have 24 minutes of content. I'm not a fan of “broadcasting live” when recording a podcast. I prefer to focus on getting the words out of my mouth with energy and clarity. I don't care that ratbutter36 in the chat room thinks my opinion stinks.
My point is people's attention span is short. If your podcast is longer than 16 minutes, have some transition music in place and think about cutting each segment length to 16 minutes.
What are your thoughts? What is your favorite podcast length?