How Many Minutes Of Video Must a Man Watch?

The ideal length for a video podcast turns out to be between two and a half to four minutes, assuming you want to agree with the data at Shooting By Numbers.

I’d tend to agree with that, but with a couple of caveats. I don’ think it’s a surprise given the proliferation of music videos on services like YouTube that the perfect time fits an MTV-style view of the world, but there are videos and subject matter that need to be longer.

Interviewing is a good example. I’ve got a fair bit of experience with this, and my gut feeling is that about ten minutes, after a good edit, is about right for an interview. I’d also say you can go a bit longer with audio than video. But then there are interviews I’ve done that worked perfectly at ninety seconds.

Robert Scoble does a bundle of video interviews, first for PodTech and then Fast Company. These are long form, forty minute affairs, with the occasional ten minute edited version. Scoble argues the forty minute videos are jam packed with stuff, and I’d tend to agree, but having linear online media is tough because we’re all so used to chopping and changing quickly.

Compelling content will hold the viewer or listener. As the length increases, you must make a more compelling argument in the media to keep your listener. If you deserve it, you get the forty minutes. If people jump away after two minutes, that’s not because there’s some sort of magic formula, it’s because that’s their attention span.