You really want a big jam session to start your show off, don't you? There are so many podcasts out there for me to listen to and pick from. I have actually spent many nights flipping through podcasts even before the intro music is done, a whole show not listened to because the intro was too long! One big offender that I can think of is the Chong & Chong Show. It feels like their intro is 4-5 minutes long but I think it's only 3:30 minutes long. I always skip it. You probably do too. Afterall, we came for the chat and spoken word, not for a rendition of Woodstock. (I won't even link to there iTunes because I am mad about their intro, damn hippies!)
It should be a crime or at least a marginal fine for having too long of an intro. We need standards! I am writing this because I want to make sure you know what is acceptable as an intro for your show. It's between 30-40 seconds. That's it. That's my personal opinion. That opinion matters though, because I probably have or am going to listen to your podcast. If you lose me in the first 2 minutes you can guarantee that I won't be back.
There is a reason why Twitter introduced Vine, which only allows 6 second videos. Instagram has 15 second videos. Youtube videos are most successful at 3-5 minute segments. I can keep going of course. My point is that attention spans are commodities. Every additional second of intro music is soothing my patience away. Remember I am only 1 of many potential listeners you have to deal with and I am probably one of the least picky. That's a lot of pressure, I know. I struggle too because I want that professional opening on my podcasts as well. I can't have them though because podcasts like Chong & Chong ruined it for the rest of us. (HIPPIES!)
I like to get to the point. Hopefully my audience appreciates that too. The goal is to transition those clicks to your voice quickly. I offer you a time line of where you should be if you want me to listen to your stuff.
Loose Intro Length Guide
5-15 Minute Episode = 15-20 Second Intro
15-30 Minute Episode = 15-35 Second Intro
30-60 Minute Episode = 25-45 Second Intro
60+ Minute Episode = 30-60 Second Intro
Start Losing Interest After 60 Seconds
I am going by where I would be engaged and then disengaged. Ask yourself where you would be in the tolerance scale. Don't you dare try saying you would be fine with a long intro just because you have one either. I want you to be honest with yourself. No, be honest with me! Your audience deserves to get to the content fast. Do your quick song and dance and then move along to the goods. I hope this down and dirty write-up helps you make a decision on the length of your podcast show. If you already have a long one, then go get a new one. It's probably time to downgrade anyway. In this case, less is truly more.
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Keep Your Podcast Intro Short
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