4 Signs Video Podcasting Is About to Take Off

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We all know video podcasting isn’t a new thing. In fact, some of the most popular shows we know today owe their popularity to video. Just think about the H3 Podcast and (love him or loathe him) the Joe Rogan Experience, for example.

But right now, it feels like everywhere you look people are talking about it. Popular shows are moving towards creating video content and loads of tech brands are expanding into video podcasting one way or another.

Here are a few clear signs that video podcasting is about to take off, and how you can get a slice of that pie.

1. Data Suggests Podcast Newcomers Want Video

A study by a Canadian podcasting network Cumulus found that 57% of listener respondents prefer podcast videos to audio-only. That’s up from 43% the year before.

Of those respondents who were considered “newcomers” (i.e. they just started listening to podcasts in the last year), 64% said they preferred to watch podcasts instead of just listening to them. Just 36% of these newcomers said they listened to audio-only.

Now, compare this to more seasoned listeners. 48% of “podcasts pioneers” (i.e. those respondents who have been listening to podcasts for more than four years) said they only listen to podcasts as audio. 54% of “heavy listeners” (those who listen to at least 6 hours of podcasts a week) said the same.

If this study is anything to go by, video really is the future of podcasting. It suggests this format is tapping into a whole new market of podcast lovers who want more than just audio.

2. YouTube Just Rolled Out a Podcasts Feature

Back in March, Podnews got their hands on a leaked plan that revealed YouTube was working on a ‘YouTube Podcasts’ feature. This week, the company announced it has started rolling the feature out in the US.

You access the YouTube podcasts tab on the Explore page. At the moment, the feature focuses heavily on discoverability. On the front page, you’ll see popular playlists, episodes, categories, and recommendations for visitors to discover new content to get stuck into.

This focus on discoverability isn’t much of a surprise. The YouTube algorithm is the main reason YouTube is the most popular listening platform for podcasts in the US.

As we all know, finding podcasts that scratch a specific itch isn’t easy on many listening platforms. YouTube makes finding new podcasts that speak to your interests much easier. As podcast creators, it makes it easier to grow your audience too.

At this point, YouTube’s video podcasts feature is missing some of the perks it promised. For example, there’s no sign of audio ads, audio-aligned analytics, and that all-important RSS feed yet.

But it’s clear the company has big plans where podcasting is concerned. Here’s how to start publishing your videos on the platform.

Podcaster filming video of themselves on a smartphone

3. YouTube is Paying Podcasters to Make Videos

It’s also worth mentioning that YouTube is investing a lot of money in building hype around video podcasting too.

A while ago, Bloomberg reported that YouTube has been commissioning popular podcasters to start producing video content. They’ve been offering individual shows grants of up to $50,000 – and networks up to $300,000 – to either film their podcast episodes live or create video-based content to accompany them.

Why are they doing this? To get the trend-setters bought in. Nail this first part, and everyone else will follow. Banking on remarkableness is a strategy that Seth Godin has been talking about for years (watch this TED Talk from 2003 to hear more).

And so far, it looks like this strategy is working. RapCaviar, dubbed ‘the most influential rap playlist in the world,’ just announced it’s expanding into video podcasts. RapCaviar’s curator, Carl Chery (who is also Spotify’s creative director/head of Urban music), says they’re moving into video because they’ve “always had the opinion that a playlist is not enough.” Maybe listeners are starting to feel the same way.

4. Tech Brands Jumping Into Video Podcasting

In the technology space, brands are coming in from every angle to get a slice of the video podcasting market.

For example, Zencastr recently announced they’re becoming an end-to-end video podcasting solution. Last year, Spotify also launched an integration with Anchor that allows podcast creators to publish video podcasts directly onto the platform. Live video stream service Caffeine says it’s moving into podcasting now too.

A whole load of other brands are moving into video podcasting one way or another – a clear sign that those in the know are getting ready for big things to come.

How to Start Adding Video to Your Podcasts

Not sure if video is the right move for your show? Read this guide to help you decide.

And if you do start creating video content, here’s how to get your podcasts on YouTube ASAP so you can take advantage of the boom.