This week we’ve been talking about podcasting in our Foundations classes in the Digital Strategy and Communications Management program at the University of Toronto. I brought a copy of The Business of Podcasting with me, and said I would give it to the student who asked the question contained in the sealed envelope I held in my hands. Some of the students probably thought I was a little nuts, and they might be right, but I was so sure about this question being asked. So. Very. Sure.
What’s the question? Read this excerpt from The Business of Podcasting, the book I co-authored with Steve Lubetkin:
People always ask me, every time I do a workshop, every time I do a seminar, every time I do a coaching session on podcasting: “What’s the ideal length of a podcast?” And my standard answer is, if you force me to answer that question, 15 to 20 minutes, but honestly, I listen to a certain podcast in my industry that’s an hour long every week. I set aside that hour. I happen to listen at the gym, and I don’t always listen to the whole thing in one go, but the content is so good that I’m willing to spend an hour.
If your podcast is crummy, I’m not going to spend five minutes listening to it. It has to be content that’s valuable to me. So if you’re creating audio content for a certain audience, you really need to know what people are looking for, and what kinds of information they are hungry for.
Sure enough, last night when we reached the Q&A session, a student raised her hand and asked: “What’s the best length for a podcast?” She is now the proud owner of a copy of The Business of Podcasting.
What do you think? Am I wrong? Is a certain length of podcast preferable?