The definition of ‘what is a podcast?' has become blurry in recent years. On the one side, you've got a Youtuber uploading a video saying “hey, welcome to my podcast”, whilst on the other side, you've got the veteran purist telling you if you don't have an RSS feed, you don't have a podcast.
Does it really matter? Not always, but I suppose it can. For example, if someone hears you have a podcast, yet they can't find on their listening app of choice, that's going to cause a bit of confusion and frustration.
But we've already contributed to the ins and outs of the “what is a podcast?” discussion, with Colin's “explanation in plain English”. This time around, I'd like to talk specifically about video podcasts. What exactly is a video podcast, and should you make one? And are they essentially just videos on YouTube?
Video Podcasts Vs YouTube Videos
I'm not trying to go all “well, actually” here. This is just an attempt at a bit of clarity for folks thinking about doing a video podcast.
A video on YouTube technically isn't a podcast. It's a YouTube video.
Of course, you can find loads of videos of podcasts on YouTube – most famously, Joe Rogan. These are video recordings of podcast episodes, but they aren't the podcast episodes themselves.
Podcasts are overwhelmingly done in audio, and are subscribed to in places like Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts, and Overcast. There's a tiny percentage of actual video podcasts out there too. The most popular place they can be found is Apple/iTunes, but some other directories support them too. Here's one as an example – Ted Talks Daily, which is a video companion to the audio-only version of the show.
Elsewhere, Spotify announced in mid-2020 that they would be supporting video podcasts on their platform. They launched the feature with a handful of select shows available in both audio and video form. Details have since been vague on what Spotify plan to do with their video content, and how the average podcaster might get involved.
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Bottom line? Forget about doing a podcast in this form. At least for the time being. Obviously, things can change in tech, but at the moment, this is all just incredibly obscure.
People Watch Videos on YouTube
Opting not to make a video podcast (in its technical sense) doesn't mean it's not worth doing video to accompany your podcast. Far from it.
A lot of content creators film the recording of their podcast and upload it to YouTube. This is far more likely to be watched than trying to find it in video podcast form in a particular listening app.
Better yet, don't just upload the entire episode. It's rare to capture someone's attention with video content on YouTube for more than a few minutes. Instead, use select clips that focus on one particular question or topic, and upload them as ‘micro-content'. This technique is explained in detail in Gavin Bell's guide to running ads on Facebook.
This way, your podcast is on YouTube (comfortably the biggest video platform on the web), and the fact that it isn't technically a podcast? Well, nobody really cares. As long as your audience can still get the audio version anywhere podcasts are consumed, then you're golden.
Podcasting (audio), YouTube (video), and Blogging (shownotes), can all compliment each other in a sustainable and effective manner. Check out our series on Content Stacking for a full guide on how to get the best from this approach.
Still Want to Make a Video Podcast?
One final reason not to bother going down this route is download numbers. If you have two versions of your podcast available in supported podcatchers, that's going to split your audience. This can make it awkward when it comes to something like finding sponsorship.
But if you've got your heart set on uploading video content to a podcast hosting platform, then Podbean and Castos are two great services. I've linked to our full reviews of both so you can find out a bit more about them.
Summary & Next Steps
So in summary, your two options for making a video podcast are;
- Create a full video version of your show, using Podbean or Castos, and make it available in Apple/iTunes alongside the audio podcast.
- Film your recording sessions. Create highly shareable and searchable ‘micro-content' using short clips. Upload them to YouTube. Make this part of a ‘content stacking‘ approach.
For most people, the second option is going to make infinitely more sense. But everyone is different, and your unique circumstances maybe make option one the most obvious choice. Only you will know for sure!
With that all said, if you'd like more help with your podcast – from launching, to gear and editing, to growth – then be sure to join us in The Podcast Host Academy. In there you'll find all of our courses, downloadable resources, and we run live Q&A sessions on a weekly basis, too.