The Perfect Length for a Podcast Episode


Here are some of the top questions that we hear from podcasters…

  • “How long should my episode be?”
  • “What is the approximate length of an episode?”
  • “Is having a shorter or longer episode help me gain an audience?”

No matter what way the question is asked, we’ve always told our podcasters the answer is however long you want it to be! 

The question came up on the Feed Episode 188 and co-host Rob Walch, Libyn’s VP of Podcater Relations has data to support our answer. The stats below are from the episode. You can listen here: 

Rob compared the Top 200 episodes in Apple Podcasts from February 2021 to the past three years.

Take a look at the chart below. 


Top 200 (Shows 22 minutes or less) 

In 2021, the percentage of podcasts in the Top 200 that were 22 minutes or less was 8%. In 2020 it was 8.5%, 2019 was 6.6% and in 2018 was 8.1% giving us a steady overall average around 8%. 

That means in the past 4 years 8% of the shows in the Top 200 in Apple Podcast had a show that was 22 min or less

Top 200 (Shows 40 minutes or longer) 

The percentage of podcasts in the Top 200 that were 40 minutes or longer in 2021 was 78%. It was 80.5% in 2020, 75% in 2019 and 69% in 2018. 

Overall holding an average in that 75-80% range of shows that are longer than 40 minutes in the Top 200 in Apple Podcasts. 

Top 200 (Shows 120 minutes or longer) 

The percentage of those Top 200 podcasts that were 120 minutes or longer dropped this year versus the past year (2020) at a percentage of 5.5% in 2021 and 11% in 2020. 

Now, we highlight this here to show you how one show can change stats so quickly. The drop resulted from Joe Rogan’s The Joe Rogan Experience. His show is no longer in the top 200 episodes as it went exclusive with Spotify the beginning of December 2020. In the past Joe typically had 10 to 15 episodes in the top 200 at any given time – most around 160 to 180 minutes in length.  The removal of his show is why the Average dropped from 67 minutes in 2020 to 65 minutes in 2021. That said the median overall still went up to 60 min in 2021 vs 58 average minutes in 2020.

Top 200 (Show length median) 

This year half (50%) of the episodes in the Top 200 in Apple Podcasts were over 60 minutes and half (50%) were under 60 minutes (between 40-60 minutes). 


So, as you can see with the data above, the answer to the question: what is the ideal length of a podcast episode is there is no ideal length! 

Whatever it takes you to get through the content and produce the show that you want is the right length for you!

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