When YouTube was created in 2005 by three former PayPal employees, its goal was simple, to provide fast and shareable access to videos on the internet. Now operating in over 100 countries and in 80 different languages, it is the largest media platform on the web with over 1 billion views per day and 2.3 billion users a month. With so much traffic on the site each day it may seem like a target-rich environment for a podcast but just because it is popular doesn’t mean it is the right fit.
YouTube podcasts are videos of podcasters as they record the podcast, not riveting imagery. Yet many have used YouTube as a platform and some like Joe Rogan have done so with outstanding success. Joe Rogan’s podcast reportedly gets over 200 million monthly listens and views. But is YouTube the best option for a podcast? We will look at a few reasons it may not be below.
For podcasts choosing to use a Podcast Hosting site is likely the best option, however, there are several positives to using YouTube as a platform for a podcast.
The first is access to a diverse audience of people. Because so many people with a variety of backgrounds and interests use YouTube, a podcast attracts a wider audience base.
Second, interacting with listeners on YouTube is much easier than on traditional podcast directories. The ability for listeners to leave comments that a podcast host can read and respond to easily allows for real-time feedback from listeners.
Last, YouTube is basically a search engine and by using the correct SEO meta-data a podcast can increase the number of listeners just by being easy to discover.
With podcasts, there are clear disadvantages to posting on YouTube.
First, people that engage with YouTube are looking for content that captures their interest. While most podcast listeners are likely to listen to an entire podcast. Viewers on YouTube are less likely to watch an entire podcast unless it captures their attention fully early on.
Second, it can take time to see results. If the goal of posting a podcast on YouTube is to increase visibility, then how YouTube ranks content popularity could hinder the success of a podcast. In order to rank, a podcast has to maintain the attention of its audience and result in comments and subscriptions. The longer it takes to build engagement, the less benefit there is to use this platform.
Last, it costs more money to do a podcast with quality sound and video than it does to do a podcast that only focuses on the quality of the sound.
Benefits of Specialization
Now that we have looked at some pros and cons of YouTube as a platform for podcasting, let’s look at some reasons choosing a site dedicated to hosting podcasts is beneficial.
- Less equipment needed to produce a podcast without video.
- Access to multiple platforms. When working to scale up the audience of a podcast it helps to distribute across multiple platforms. That is not as easy with video medium as it is with audio.
- People listen to podcasts. YouTube is a visual medium, people have to watch content on it. Podcasts are typically consumed while doing other things like cooking or driving.
Posting a podcast on YouTube has its benefits. The most impactful benefit being the access to a large and diverse audience. Before deciding to move forward with YouTube, consider the disadvantages. In the end, the ease of podcasting without video may prove to be the most beneficial place to start.