Music Industry

How long should a podcast be? That and other facts from a new study.

Pex is a music and video analytics and digital rights management company. Curious about how podcasts are evolving, they launched a new study into podcasting trends. The resulting stats are for America, but some of this information is equally applicable to Canada.

1. There are LOTS of podcasts.

2. The average length of a podcast is 35 minutes and 27 seconds, which is down from 2015 when episode length peaked at 45 minutes and 44 seconds.

3. We won’t run out of podcasts anytime soon. Nearly seven million hours of podcasts were published in 2019.

4. The biggest category of podcasts is…Christianity?

5. But comedy is the most popular category with listeners.

And although it’s technically illegal to include any music in podcasts, 16.8% of them contain music. Compare that to videos on YouTube, 84% of which feature music. If publishers and rights holders can figure out how to license music for podcasts, there’s a lot of money to be made.

Alan Cross

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 40+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.

Alan Cross has 38536 posts and counting. See all posts by Alan Cross

2 thoughts on “How long should a podcast be? That and other facts from a new study.

  • “it’s technically illegal to include any music in podcasts”

    LOL so very incorrect. ANY music? C’mon, Alan.

    • ANY copyrighted music. So far, though, the industry hasn’t come down on people using short clips.

      There is NO mechanism anywhere on the planet where one can legally license copyrighted music for inclusion in a distribution in a downloadable podcast (Spotify has something but that locks you to Spotify). Believe me, I’ve researched this way more than most.


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