How long are web series episodes?

There is a lot of debate about the length of a web series episodes. It ranges from people that have tried 1-minute episodes  to people that make shows that are 1 hour long! I guess it depends on who is making the web series.

The truth is most people agree that somewhere between 5 minutes and 10 minutes is a good mark. Certainly the most successful web series are close to that mark.

So how are you supposed to define how long your episode should be?

The argument for a short episode:

If your show is comedic, targeted to a younger audience, or meant to be watch on the run, then shorter episodes are very good for that. A bit size. If you are doing a show on tips to do something, short is also better. The key about short content is to design it for people and platforms where they are not going to invest much of their attention spam. So make a killer first 10-15 seconds, and make sure to keep people engage for your minute by keeping that energy and stimulation up!

The argument for the long format:

The only way that a long format can stick, other than coming from a big TV network and be available on Hulu, is to have a very well defined audience and for that audience to be willing to sit through an hour or 45 minutes of content. Interview and educational shows that are targeted to a very specific niche. Those web series episodes can hold up to 45 minutes, even an hour. The best way to go about it is to break your show in three of four segments that change the speed of the show. Will help keeps the viewers engaged.

The Real Length of a web series episode.

The truth is that it will depend on the story and your interest as a producer. Some things need 25 to 45 minutes to be said. And that is fine. Somethings can be said in 2 minutes. Start from your guts and follow what the audience asks from you.

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Comments

  1. says

    For “dramatic web series” the producer/team should be willing to spend 20 hours of promotional time per minute of video. That is around what it will take.

    Even for a 3 minute show this is a substantial investment of time and assumes you do not have some major promotional alternative……such as a big name on Twitter or a large promotional budget. ….. the promotional time will play a key role in getting you actual views for your hard work.

    • says

      Hello Modelmotion, thank you for the comment. That sounds interesting, but I would like to learn a little of where does that 20 hour of promotional time per minute of video comes from! How do you measure that? Do you think the more you promote, the more time the people will spend watching your show? even if they don’t like the first 30 seconds? I guess you most have some #s! If so would really love to learn more! thanks!