There’s No Such Thing As Too Long


    Those are the words of Vice President of Podcaster Relations for Libsyn Rob Walch who was a keynote speaker at Podfest last week. Walch is also a Podcast Business Journal Editorial Board Member. Walch addressed an issue every podcaster worries about: ‘How long should a podcast be?

    Walch told podcasters there’s no such thing as too long – only too boring. During his presentation Walch pointed out that 84% of shows in Libsyn with 100,000 downloads per episode are longer than 51 minutes. “It’s a myth that the ideal length of an episode is 22 minutes.”

    Walch showed a slide of the top 200 episodes on iTunes from February 26. The average length of those top shows was over an hour (67 minutes). Only 6.6% of the shows were 22 minutes or shorter and 75% of the shows were longer than 40 minutes.

    Slide courtesy Rob Walch

    Episode #60 of Dan Carlin’s popular show Hardcore History (The Celtic Holocaust) is 6 hours long. Most of Carlin’s shows are several hours.

    However, Walch cautions, a long podcast does not mean successful. The content still has to be compelling if you want to get listeners and keep them.

    You can hear Walch’s insights on the official Libsyn podcast HERE. He co-hosts the show with podcasting icon Elsie Escobar.


    1. I did an analysis recently on my Apple connect stats and plotted my 40 epsisodes of varying length, from 20-90 minutes, against consumption and there was no discernible pattern emerging. Even some of the longest shows held up with a decent consumption rate. But no way was there any observable trend.

    2. Show length was based on the amount of time I felt I could commit to editing. Being a one-woman band doing all the things my time was a factor. I’ve listened to a few podcasts that were longer than an hour, sometimes stretching to three – I never make it. To Rob’s point, I quit listening after awhile because either one of the two folks were monopolizing the conversation or seemed to just be speaking to hear themselves talk…

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