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Unlock Hidden Gems: Exploring the Worth of Youtube Podcasts

06 Jun, 2023

A podcast is a term that originated outside of YouTube and primarily refers to an audio format of content. It is a type of show that resembles traditional radio broadcasts.

Monologues or discussions can cover any topic: movies, technology, politics, education, fashion, art—anything you can imagine. As people used to say five years ago, "A podcast is like YouTube, but audio-only."

What did we have before YouTube? Television. I'm not talking about online broadcasting, but about traditional television with scheduled programs. Viewers had a choice of what to watch, but they could only do it at specific times, near the TV, without the ability to download, fast forward, or pause the show.

With the advancement of technology, our possibilities have significantly expanded. Now, everyone has their  favorite applications on their phones. This mobile ability offers viewers access to almost anything at any time. You can watch content created by major television companies and also enjoy the work and creativity of fellow creators, just like yourself. That's why YouTube is considered one of the many branches of television development.

What are the different podcast formats?

The ancestor of the popular podcast format we have today is radio broadcasting. Even the term "podcast" emerged in 2004 as a combination of two words: "iPod" and "broadcasting."

Now let's talk about the formats themselves that you can find on YouTube.

  • Audioblogs

Podcasts encompass a wide range of topics and formats. It can be a friendly conversation between the host and viewers, monologues, or even an audio series. In audio vlogs, there may be no video content at all, and it may appear with a simple graphic backdrop or a static image. Sometimes, creators add neutral videos that serve as a background for the audio content. However, on YouTube, you often come across full-fledged video formats of audio vlogs. In these cases, creators film themselves or plan video sequences, but the audio can be easily enjoyed without necessarily watching the accompanying video.

  • Interviews

This format involves conducting interviews with guests. Interviews can be done with or without video footage.

  • Round-table discussions or talk-show

If a conversation involves multiple people, it can be referred to as a roundtable discussion. The topics and formats can vary greatly.

You can determine the duration of the podcast yourself, but typically it ranges from 30 minutes to an hour.

What does it look like on Youtube 

A podcast on YouTube appears as a playlist, with the individual videos within it serving as podcast episodes.

image from YouTube Help official page

What's important to understand is that it's a playlist containing your videos that you categorize as podcasts based on their topic and format. However, creating a podcast playlist and adding regular videos to it wouldn't make much sense.

In this category, all the videos that users have added to the "Podcasts" playlist will be collected. While they have become available on YouTube Music in the United States, it's still being resolved for other countries.

This means that videos that are not specifically adapted for audio-only listening should not be added to podcasts. If the content requires visual engagement, it's best to keep it as regular videos on YouTube. Podcasts should be designed for audio consumption only.

How to analyze podcasts

To assess the effectiveness of your podcast, YouTube has introduced separate analytics. However, the podcast analytics section will not be available until you create a podcast. So, if you haven't tried working with this format yet, you won’t be able to see any metrics.

To check your podcast metrics, go to the Analytics section in YouTube Studio and scroll down a bit to the Overview section. Your podcast will appear on the right side. Click on "Open podcast analytics."

You will be taken to a familiar analytics dashboard where you can view the number and duration of views, evaluate the most popular content in your podcast, see how viewers discover your videos, and identify your audience.

If you are uploading previously added videos to the podcast instead of new ones, their analytics for past periods will be updated later and will be displayed in the Podcast analytics.

What is special about podcasts

  • The podcast should primarily be listened to.

Regardless of whether you choose a video format or audio-only, you should remember that your viewers should have the ability to simply listen to the podcast without relying on visuals. 

Imagine a situation where someone has put their phone aside or locked the screen and is solely listening to your podcast. They should not feel like they are missing out on anything by not looking at the phone screen or monitor.

One of the goals of podcasts is to make routines more valuable. For example, the time spent on cooking, cleaning, or commuting to work can be spent listening to a podcast that doesn't require the use of hands or eyes.

  • A podcast is a realistic simulation of a personal conversation.

One of the most common feedback regarding podcasts is "the feeling that I'm sitting with you at the table over a cup of tea." Many creators strive to evoke this exact sensation.

  • Podcasting is also about planning and strategy.

Although podcasting can be a cost-effective option for a YouTube channel, as a simple podcast only requires a good microphone, it's important not to forget about content planning and strategy. This is somewhat easier for creators who record serialized podcasts, where each new episode is a logical continuation of the previous one. However, it's still crucial to plan ahead and think about how you can surprise or delight your listeners.

Regardless, the most important aspect of a successful podcast is having something valuable to say. It could be your expertise as a specialist or your unique personal experiences. Even ordinary monologues on everyday topics can be presented in such an interesting or humorous way that people would want to listen to you every day. Therefore, planning, just like when creating videos, forms a solid foundation for your podcast.

What promotion strategy to choose for podcasts

Based on the questions in the forum for creators and the comments under the video about podcasts on the official YouTube channel, the most popular question is:

Do I need to create a separate channel for podcasts?

What reasons does YouTube provide for creating podcasts on the same channel?

  • If you have just started making podcasts, in that case, the podcast does not yet have its own audience, and your channel can be a good platform for promoting the podcast.
  • If the audience of your channel and your existing podcast are similar. When you create content for one audience, it is sufficient to have different formats on one channel.
  • If the podcast fits organically into your channel. We are not only talking about similar or closely related topics but also about your ability as a creator to find time for regular podcast episodes. Let's agree that on an existing channel that is constantly being updated with videos, shorts, and live streams, it is not always easy to find time for weekly podcasts, for example.
  • If monetization is already enabled on your channel. In that case, it would be impractical to miss out on the income from podcasts because essentially they are regular videos organized as episodes in a playlist. And they can be monetized just like long videos.

Now let's consider when it is better to create a separate channel for podcasts?

  • If you have been creating podcasts for some time and they have gained popularity and developed their own audience, it may be worth considering creating a separate channel. This is especially relevant if your podcast has a catchy and memorable name that is well recognized. In this case, it makes sense to have a dedicated channel where the established podcast audience can easily find your content.
  • If the audiences of your podcast and main channel are significantly different, it might be beneficial to create a separate channel to cater to each specific audience.
  • If you feel that your main channel is already overloaded with content and adding a podcast would only overcrowd it further, a separate channel for your podcast might be a good solution.
  • If you have tested podcasts on your main YouTube channel and found that they do not resonate with your subscribers, there is a possibility that this format is not of interest to your existing audience. In this case, starting fresh on a new channel could be a worthwhile attempt.

There are pros and cons to either option, so start creating podcasts on an existing channel and look at analytics and user response.

Do I need to stick to an audio only podcast format or  will video podcasts work too?

Try not to focus solely on the fact that podcasts on YouTube are simply a type of playlist. Some people already use podcasts through YouTube Music, while others are eagerly awaiting the activation of this feature. Sooner or later, podcasts will be purely audio-based. However, this doesn't mean that you should eliminate the video component entirely. It means that when creating your videos, you should consider the possibility for viewers to turn off the screen without losing important information and the dialogue atmosphere.

If we look at the statistics, we can see that the YouTube audience clearly prefers video content. A static image significantly lags behind video content. In fact, 80% of the most viewed videos labeled as "Podcasts" actually contain video rather than just images. Therefore, don't completely abandon high-quality video content, but adapt it to a format where the audience can primarily listen to your podcasts.