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Podcast Length: Audio vs. Video January 2, 2007

Posted by Jeff in Podcasting.

Podcasting length is an issue that I’ve been dealing with for a while now, so I thought I’d share a quick poll with you. (FYI… I had a comment last week from a reader that said it seemed I’m more concerned with the science of podcasting than helping with the practical application of podcasting. I concur, and I think that’s what I’m using this blog for – thoughts and ideas around podcasting. I have other outlets for helping and explaining things in depth. Along those lines, check out http://jdfrey.libsyn.com or check out where I’ll be speaking or teaching in the near future. Now, back to the post.)

Audio Podcast to Video Podcast Length
Podcasting length can vary greatly depending on many things like content and the number of speakers. If you are doing an audio podcast now and are moving to a video podcast, should the video podcast length be shorter, longer, or the same length as the audio podcast?

Shorter Video Podcast Length than Audio Podcast – one theory is that since people can listen to an audio podcast on any portable device and don’t actually have to be watching a screen, the video podcast should be shorter than an audio podcast. It makes sense. Also, there are not as many people that own devices that can play video as audio.

Longer Video Podcast Length than Audio Podcast – the flipside theory uses to the fact that most people watch and listen to podcasts on their computer and not on a portable device. If that’s the case, the device doesn’t matter. On top of that, most people (and here’s where my poll comes in) can sit and watch something longer than listen to something. If the video is engaging and there is something interesting to look at during the video podcast, it will most likely hold the interest of the viewer longer than an audio podcast.

Conclusion? I don’t really have one, but as with the many other things that I talk about here, the science and the theory of podcasting really is what I’m talking about here. If I had to say one thing to guide you on podcast length, it would be to let your content dictate length. See also this other post on podcast length.



1. Scott Lundergan - January 27, 2007

Hi Jeff,

Great job of showing both sides and the “back end” of it, which is very important that some people overlook. After seeing both in several niches, I have found it depends on the content.

I can listen to the audio ebook or itunes of “The Science of Advertising” or , but grasp a better overview of certain other concepts with video such as how to do certain editing techniques or training programs through video.

It is said that 80% of people learn or at least maintain what they have seen visually, compared to listening. I love this example. When was the last time we heard someone say, ” I can’t think of what I saw the other day…” (this is a rarity). Now, compare that with, ” Oh, what was it they said the other day?” (we hear this all the time…or at least I do!)

As you know, maintaining consumer attention span is key and I’ve definitely found that how the multimedia format being delivered for marketing or educational purposes is key for any organization.

Take it easy,

Scott Lundergan

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