How Often Should I Release A New Episode?

Posted by By at 2 February, at 21 : 21 PM Print

How Often Should I Release A New Episode?

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I’ve received a few e-mails lately asking about how I handle some of my shows release schedules. In short, how often should a podcaster or video podcaster create a new episode? Every situation may be different but there are some obvious trends I’ve seen over the last few years.

Although a release schedule really depends on your shows content and purpose, the best possible scenario would be short episodes on a daily basis. This turns out to be a lot of work if you’re working alone or in a small group. This is most challenging if your content is time sensitive, such as daily news, industry news or the like. Large firms have benefited from daily shows like CNET Buzz Out Loud. Others, such as Wine Library TV grew from a retail store into a daily show by pushing out great content for 18+ months before making it big.

A daily show between five and ten minutes seems to be the sweet spot for video shows (and 20-minutes or so for audio shows.) Viewers will be able to watch your show during lunch, breakfast or sneak one in during work hours when the boss is not looking. You’ll find it’s fast to edit and produce a show that’s small and tight because there are few chances for major errors or interruptions and the post production is quick with very little render time required. Audio episodes requires less attentiveness so longer shows will be more acceptable.

A short video show will lend itself well in terms of disk storage, quick downloads and easy to post content on sites like Blip.tv. The downfall? You’ll have limited time to squeeze in all your content per episode. If your information isn’t time sensitive you can sit down and record five episodes in under 30 minutes of real time! You can edit each show individually (which could take an hour or so depending on how much post production you’re doing) and launch each one at the start of your day.

You may opt for a weekly show because it fits your schedule better while still working in about 20-30 minutes of great content. Nothing says you have to meet a 20-minute marker, a 10-minute weekly show is fine too. The downfall to a short weekly show comes down to keeping your audience attentive over the long term. A short show might leave less of an impression and they could forget to visit your site each week. If you provide great syndication methods, such as iTunes, you can help remind your audience to tune in each week.

There may be opportunity for a video show that runs only once or twice a month if you’re looking to test the waters, have a rough schedule or your show guests are hard to coordinate. The major downfall being the slow growth of your audience because there is less content to consume. You’re statistics will increase greatly as you have more shows for people to go back and watch after they’ve discovered your content. We’ve got plenty of people new to our shows that go back and re-discover old episodes and that greatly pushes up our download count.

Look at the release schedule over a single year. If you run a show once a month you’re going to end up with 12-episodes at the end of the year. If you run a show twice a week you’ll have 104 episodes after the year is through and, of course, a daily show will have upwards of 250 episodes (if you take weekends off). More shows means more statistics and a better chance to grab new listeners because you’ve always got something new to promote.

Now, let’s talk about statistics. Granted, many video podcast producers will tell you “it’s not about the numbers, its about the content” but we’re human and we love to categorize, organize and know what the heck is going on. What we’ve noticed, with trends in Common Man Cocktails, is that each episodes viewership peaks the first two days after its launch. Then, viewership declines as everyone has seen the latest show while a few new viewers are slowly keeping your numbers going throughout the dead-space between launches.

When we launched the show once a week on Wednesday we’d have big numbers from Thursday to Saturday and then they would fade nearly to nothing by the following Tuesday night. Then, we started pushing out an episode on Wednesday and Saturday, our numbers would pop from Sunday through Tuesday night, just as we prepared to launch the next show. This allows our viewership to maintain a constant rise throughout the week as we gain more momentum and new viewers.

The end result, each new episode peaks the day of launch by another twenty views or so, incremental growth each episode shows progress and interest in the brand. So, wouldn’t it be in our best interest to do a new show everyday? Sure! Except for the small issue with having a few other jobs to do and producing video podcasts as a hobby as this is not quite the best time to bring a brand to investors.

If you’ve got time and dedication to cut a new show every day, the other technique I’ve seen used quite a bit is to run four short episodes a week and one medium length show during the middle of the week. The small shorts can be used to keep your audience attentive, progress your shows content throughout the week and give them a large dose mid-week as something to look forward to viewing.

While a few techniques may work for you, knowing the different possiblities to work towards gives you a nice goal to achieve. Many people are looking to get into video podcasting and hopefully this gives them something to think about in their preparation.

Just remember, the most important part of creating your podcast is the content. You can produce a show nobody wants to watch each day if you want, but that’s not really worth your time.

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