How exactly do you come up with an interesting introduction for your podcast? It’s not easy to think about what would make people tune in and download your show. More so, experiments reveal that you only have less than 60 seconds to make a good impression. Here’s a guide to creating the 30-second podcast intro that rocks. Know what you are competing with, understand what you can do, and be more equipped to produce a captivating intro!

The Time Challenge

Do you know what’s frustrating?

According to eMarketer, podcast listeners do not spend a lot of time listening to lengthy podcasts. 25% of them abandon shows that typically run from 45-60 minutes. And even with shows running less than 5 minutes, 5% of listeners leave.

Now, those percentages may not be that great compared to how many are left tuning in. But, how is it that people still choose to leave regardless of how long the podcast episode runs?

Is it because of the listeners’ lack of interest, or is it due to the host’s lack of alacrity himself to engage and make his show interesting? Well, a variety of reasons exist.

But from those losses, you’ll find that regardless of how long an episode runs it will always start with the intro. Of course. It’s what the intro is supposed to be.

The thing is…

Listeners don’t always have all the time to listen to an entire episode. But, your podcast intro can motivate them to tune in for more. You can call it a make-or-break segment if you want.

“30 sec is too long for me. If that’s the case, I’ll always reach for the FF button.” -BaronYike, Reddit comment

Listeners tune in from different situations. Some could listen while on commute in a busy work day, while some could listen from the comforts of their home sweet homes. That is why a number of them may find 30 seconds already too long for an introduction, while others gladly listen to the entire show.

What if you remove the intro?

If you think so, what do you think will happen to your show? However you look at it, your podcast show is a program that people can listen to. And, to succeed in it means to come up with a superb production.

It can be frustrating to think that after all the hard work you do, people still choose to play it faster—a disregard of your creative efforts.

Nonetheless, the show must go on. And in that small amount of time you have, you take your craft and use it to the best it can become—for your show, and for each episode.

What You Can Do in a 30-second Podcast Intro

Top shows like S-Town, Freelancers’ Show, and Freakonomics Radio have their own success stories to share. It’s enticing to want to learn from them and gather some inspiration, especially when you are just starting out.

They present different ways to start an episode. A variety of ideas. And, they all match the different purposes they have for their shows.

Here are some of the ideas that you can customize and implement as well:
  • Start with jazz music – It’s one of the things that make the Freelancers’ Show unique. It sets the ambiance for listeners, making them relaxed yet on the groove for classic insights on career. The good thing about it is it rings a bell to the listeners’ ears and makes them excited and say, “Oh, here comes the Freelancers!”
  • Thank your sponsors – Podcast shows with thousands, if not millions, of loyal listeners typically have sponsors working with them. You can have some yourself in the long run, or anytime soon if someone wants to. When you do, you can thank them briefly at the start of each episode, just like what S-Town and Freakonomics Radio do.
  • Captivate with a story excerpt – This is great for a preview of narrative podcasts. You can read an excerpt aloud in the most captivating way you can, and proceed with an introductory music or jingle for 2-3 seconds.
  • Ask a question – Nothing beats curiosity, especially when it is phrased correctly. You can ask something that is highly of interest and use words that will perfectly capture your listeners’ attention.
  • Include show elements – You can start by welcoming your listeners to the show, and state your: show name, episode number, host name, guest’s name (if you have), and the purpose of your podcast show.
  • Invite with a brief summary – Tell listeners what the episode is about. That way, listeners will know what to expect. On your end, simple ensure you give them just that.
  • Present a disclaimer or warning – Guide listeners to which parts of the episode do not belong to you. Or, warn them if you have explicit content or if there’s anything that they should know about before listening further.

Creativity is Key and So is Passion

Lots of ideas abound. You can take just one or combine it with others. In the end, what matters is whether you’ve achieved your goal or not.

“Having vision and idea is one thing, but having commitment and determination is quite another.” -Michael Peshkam

In the world of podcasting, many podcasters aspire to be heard. Being in the top charts is attractive. Being in the lead is grand.


Not everyone has the time and will to keep on. Not everyone has the passion to create something that is worth listening to. When thinking about the 30-second podcast intro that rocks, you just might be needing some ideas that will push you beyond your own perception of what’s possible.

To this day, many even still argue as to how long a podcast intro should be. It is not easy to compete with the demands of time, but perhaps what people are really interested about is whether that intro will captivate their listeners’ attention.

Podcasting is not expensive, and with it comes the freedom to run a podcast to as many hours as you can. It is your show, your craft. And, you can decide what to do with it.

For inspiration, you can check some favorite podcasts:

  • S-Town
  • Freelancers’ Show
  • Freakonomics Radio
  • Stop Riding the Pine
  • Private Label Podcast
  • The Stoked Lifestyle
  • How I Built This
  • and more

What can you say about the The 30-second Podcast Intro that Rocks? Visit us on Twitter. Don’t forget to leave your comments or suggestions. We would love to hear from you!

Leave a Comment