PODCAST INTROS:
How do the top podcasts do their intros?

We analyzed data from the top podcasts in each category to understand what makes a successful podcast episode introduction.

We focused on introduction components, including title, music, and whether they name their hosts.

The results of analyzing 476 top podcasts highlight the importance of getting introductions right.

Let’s look at the key findings:

Summary of Key Findings

1. Pretty much all podcasts analysed, 99,57%, have a podcast intro.

2. And almost all, 91.58%, mention the name of their podcast in their intro.

3. Only a third of podcasts mention the title of the episode.

4. An overwhelming 84.67% mention the names of the hosts.

5. 57.88% say what the podcast is about in their intro.

6. A vast majority, 95.25% use background music.

7. About 1/5th of them make use of sound effects during the intro.

8. 44.06% mention sponsors during their intro.

9. A small amount, 24.41% feature a voiceover created by someone other than the hosts.

10. Excerpts from the show in the intro are rare at 14.04%.

11. 26.13% mention contact information.

12. Virtually none, 3.89% mention shownotes in their episode intros.

1. Pretty much all podcasts analysed, 99,57%, have a podcast intro.

2. And almost all, 91.58%, mention the name of their podcast in their intro.

3. Only a third of podcasts mention the title of the episode.

4. An overwhelming 84.67% mention the names of the hosts.

5. 57.88% say what the podcast is about in their intro.

6. A vast majority, 95.25% use background music.

7. About 1/5th of them make use of sound effects during the intro.

8. 44.06% mention sponsors during their intro.

9. A small amount, 24.41% feature a voiceover created by someone other than the hosts.

10. Excerpts from the show in the intro are rare at 14.04%.

11. 26.13% mention contact information.

12. Virtually none, 3.89% mention shownotes in their episode intros.

Infographic about Top Radio Intro

1. 99.57% of Top Podcasts have a Podcast Intro.

Almost every podcast in this study of top-performing podcasts across industries included an introduction. This indicates that introductions may make podcasts perform better in search rankings and attract more listeners.

2. 91.58% of top podcasts mention the podcast name.

Almost every podcast in this study of top-performing podcasts across industries included an introduction. This indicates that introductions may make podcasts perform better in search rankings and attract more listeners.

3. 36.72% of top podcasts mention the episode title.

A podcast name refers to the name of the overall podcast. Therefore, it is always the same. The episode title, however, changes with each episode, in accordance with the content of each show.

Based on the research, mentioning the episode title in an introduction appears to be less important than mentioning the podcast name. Where there is an opportunity to reference the podcast name or the episode title, the stats favor prioritizing the podcast name.

4. 84.67% of top podcasts mention the names of the hosts.

Mentioning the names of podcast hosts in introductions is common among top-performing podcasts. This could indicate that using the names of podcast hosts could be useful as part of branding and marketing efforts.

5. 57.88% of top podcasts say what their podcast is about.

More than half of the top podcasts researched said what their podcasts were about during the introduction. As an example, a host may introduce a show by saying something like: “Welcome to Skyrocket your Business Podcast; the show where we help business owners like you build and run an online business.”

Similar information may appear in the podcast name and description text on podcast sites. The introduction appears to be another good location for descriptive information.

6. 95.25% of top podcasts have music.

Almost all of the top podcasts in this study featured music in the introduction. Podcast music can help separate parts of a show and add variety. In an introduction, however, music’s primary function is to set the tone or theme of the podcast. It is a powerful factor in branding, since it quickly inspires emotional responses.

Introduction music is ideal when it matches a podcast’s demographic and style. It helps branding because it can create a repeated, familiar impression on returning listeners. And using music provides an opportunity to raise the production value, which can boost credibility and authority.

7. 20.56% of top podcasts have sound effects.

According to the data, using sound effects is not a significant factor among top-performing podcasts. Used sparingly, sound effects may not harm a podcast. Alone, they are unlikely to make a significant contribution to success.

Sound effects to use include stingers and transitions, which can help signify the end of a section and movement to the next, and sweepers, which are recorded voiceovers. Podcasts use effects like these to add meaning and enhance the existing structure.

8. 44.06% of top podcasts mention sponsors.

A little less than half of top podcasts mention sponsors in their introduction. A podcast sponsor usually pays for the opportunity to sell or raise brand awareness during one or more podcast episodes. How much they pay varies according to the podcast, the sponsor, and the number of listens.

It’s unusual for a new podcast to have a sponsor. As a podcast grows and becomes more successful, however, sponsors are more likely to add to a podcast’s revenue streams.

For more established podcasts, sponsors can add authority. Their presence signals that the sponsor wants to associate with a podcast and is willing to pay to do so. Reputable, like-minded sponsors can strengthen a brand’s image. They also provide an opportunity for cross promotion as they tell their networks about their involvement with a podcast.

9. 24.41% of top podcasts use a different person to do the voice over of the intro.

About a quarter of top-performing podcasts use a voice over from someone other than the host or hosts in the introduction. While some podcasts use polished, professional voice over artists to help set the tone and identity of the podcast, it’s most likely that top hosts choose to engage their listeners personally from the start.

10. 14.04% of top podcasts use an excerpt from the podcast itself in the episode intro.

Featuring an excerpt of a podcast episode can build anticipation and expectation. Putting highlights from a show upfront is a technique often used in television to good effect.

Note, however, that excerpts in introductions are uncommon among the top-performing podcasts. They might be something to use occasionally, with a particularly entertaining snippet or to sell an episode more than usual.

11. 26.13% of top podcasts mention their contact information.

Some podcast hosts may share contact information during the introduction to boost engagement. Alone, mentioning the podcast contact information in the introduction, however, is evidently not likely to significantly increase listener numbers.

12. 3.89% of top podcasts mention shownotes.

Shownotes are different than transcripts. A transcript is a written record of all that transpired during a podcast episode. The shownotes refer to a detailed account of an episode, including relevant, additional resources, such as links, articles, and guest bios mentioned during the show.

According to this study of top podcasts, mentioning shownotes in podcast introductions may have little impact on listenership. It may be that mentioning shownotes in another section is more impactful.

Intro Lengths by Category

Categories with the Longest Average Intro Length are “True Crime”, “Health & Fitness”, and “Government”.

The following chart depicts intro lengths broken down by subcategory.

As this is a business podcast business, let’s dive into the average introduction lengths of business podcasts, broken down by subcategories.

Breakdown of Business Subcategories Average Intro Length:

Longest Average Intro Length: Marketing (4m12s)

Shortest Average Intro Length: Investing (1m58s)

Main Category Average Intro Length: Business (2m43s)

Marketing podcasts tend to have the longest introductions in the business category. On average, marketing podcast introductions are around 4 minutes long (4m12s). Investing podcasts, however, tend to have the shortest introductions.

These podcasts average introductions of about two minutes long (1m58s). 

The chart that follows helps us see the distribution of business podcast introductions by average length.

What happened to the graph for the business category that compares all these in one single image?

Distributions of Podcast Intro Length for Business Category:

53.33% of Top Podcasts in Business Category has Intro Length between 45s until 2m24s

 

In the main business category itself, the average intro length is two minutes and 43 seconds. The top performers here have introductions between 45 seconds and two minutes and 24 seconds long.

It appears best to keep general business podcast introductions short, below two and a half minutes long. Marketing podcast introductions, however, tend to run longer.

Conclusion

We hope you found this analysis interesting and useful.

See this spreadsheet for the raw data. And check out this PDF to get into our study methods.

Which statistic How do the top podcasts do their intros ?stood out to you today?

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