I just completed a podcast listener survey. It was generic, but asked the kinds of questions I like to see.
One of the questions that I always hope to see on these surveys, but rarely do has to do with preferred episode length. This survey covered it, though not with as much granularity as I would like. My choices were “less than 10 minutes”, “between 10 and 30 minutes”, and a couple other choices. I think anything less than 20 minutes is perfect. If it takes you 20 minutes to say what you need to say, then make the show that long. If you can say it in 2, then 2 minutes is a perfect length.
I would rather have a podcast come out multiple times a week with 2 hours of content broken into 20 minute chunks than to have any 1 episode be longer than 30 minutes. Leo over at TWiT used to have several shows that he tried to keep to 30 minutes or less. There were some that were allowed to be up to an hour in the early days. Now it seems like he has a goal to make some shows 2 hours. Of course his ads can take 20 minutes to get through.
Grammar Girl, you are my hero in the podcast length department. I just wished the advertisements weren’t 1/4 the show length. You run a great network.
The hard part about this survey were the questions about “your favorite podcast.” I listen to a lot of podcasts that I love. I keep going through my list and trying to cut back to just my favorite ones. That list is still well over 50 podcasts. I decided that for this survey I would answer all the questions in relation to Buzz Out Loud which is arguably one of my favorite podcasts but also one I love to hate.
I have listened to almost every episode of Buzz Out Loud since March 2006. Here are my thoughts to Molly and Jason going forward (Tom is cutting back to part time and will soon be gone).
Can’t you guys get back to the good old days when the shows were chock-full of tech news and lasted only 15 minutes? Now you have 4 tech stories and then rant about how it effects your online game play and who you will vote for in the next election. You also somehow can’t keep your shows under 35 minutes any more. I don’t mind commentary, but you guys irritate me. Yet, somehow I still managed to choose you as the one I called my favorite in my survey answers.
I took a happy survey story and turned it into a Molly Rant.