YouTube’s popularity is no secret. It is the second largest search engine in the world, right behind Google. The sheer volume of people visiting YouTube every day- approximately 30 million- is enough to make one wonder if you should put your podcast on YouTube. Some studies, like this one from the University of Florida, even claim that YouTube is the most popular place that people listen to podcasts.
However, others will say that users go to YouTube to watch videos, not to listen to them. When considering adding your podcast to YouTube, it’s important to distinguish the difference between a video podcast and an audiogram. A video podcast contains actual filmed footage from the podcast, whereas an audiogram is the audio paired with the waveform to create a “video.” The aforementioned study includes video podcasts (such as Joe Rogan) in the study. At this time, there isn’t data to show how many people listen to full audiogram episodes on YouTube, so it’s impossible to say how popular this method actually is.
So, the question is, should you put your podcast on YouTube?
Reach New Audiences
As the most popular streaming platform available, YouTube has a lot of fans. There are plenty of people that prefer to stick with what they know rather than explore a new platform. By adding your podcast to YouTube, you have the chance to reach audiences that might not otherwise find you.
Podcasters often struggle to quantify their community engagement. While Apple Podcasts allow you to rate and review podcasts, Spotify and Google Podcasts don’t have any sort of rating or review system. YouTube, on the other hand, allows audience members to comment directly on the video/ episode, and YouTube creators can reply to those comments.
What does this mean? If your podcast is on Apple, Spotify, and Google, you’re likely relying on engagement from other sources such as Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. By sending your audience to a separate platform, it’s possible some of them won’t bother, and you’ll therefore lose the chance to engage with them. If your podcast is on YouTube, audience members don’t even have to leave the page in order to leave a comment. You can get feedback directly on your episodes as well as personally respond to that feedback. This increased level of engagement allows for more personal relationships and helps convert your listeners into true fans.
Earn Ad Revenue
Once your YouTube channel has over 1,000 subscribers, you can start earning ad revenue from the ads that play before your video. The revenue will depend on how many views your videos (or episodes) get. Unlike podcast advertising, YouTube ads play automatically and aren’t chosen by the YouTuber/podcaster, therefore accepting ad revenue from YouTube doesn’t require any additional work; it only requires that people watch your video.
Without a large audience, your YouTube ad revenue will be relatively small. However, every dollar ads up, and as your audience grows, so will your income!
When it comes to listener analytics, YouTube is ahead of the curve. Their analytics are far more sophisticated than those found on Apple or Spotify- allowing podcasters to see valuable information such as how long listeners listened to the episode, where listeners are located, and how they found the show.
With all of the aforementioned pros, you might think putting your podcast on YouTube is a no brainer. However, it’s important to also ask: are there any downsides to adding your podcast to YouTube?
YouTube uses a sophisticated algorithm to push new content to users. This algorithm takes engagement, frequency, and popularity into account. If your videos aren’t consistently receiving a lot of views and engagement, they are unlikely to perform well within the algorithm. In this case, you are unlikely to reach new listeners, and there isn’t any significant benefit to adding your podcast to YouTube.
As previously mentioned, most users go to YouTube to watch videos. Unless you’re doing a proper video podcast, users might be disappointed by the audio only experience, and leave without completing the episode. This, too, will hurt the way your podcast performs within the YouTube algorithm.
Putting your podcast on YouTube has the chance of exposing you to new audiences along with some other pros that might make it a worthy experiment for you. However, like all aspects of podcasting, it isn’t a guaranteed method to sky-rocket your growth. It’s important to recognize that succeeding on YouTube requires just as much effort (if not more) as succeeding on Apple, Spotify, or Google Podcasts. Therefore, the answer to should you put your podcast on YouTube depends entirely on you, your availability, and your commitment to learning a new platform.
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