Video and Podcasting
Video & Podcasting
Podcasting, as we wrote in one of our previous articles, is a genre that was originally formed from a mix of radio broadcasts with the iPod device. Nowadays, the format of podcasting not only lives by itself, not limited to any device or platform, but also extends it further from the audio-only format with many platforms testing a combination of videos and podcasts. In this blog post, we want to review two key players in this field - YouTube and Spotify.
Spotify - the biggest music streaming platform - wasn’t the first in podcasting, it actually picked up the hype of the format just a couple of years ago. But the reason why Spotify succeeded in the genre of Podcasts is because of their popularity and profitability. They can afford spending millions of dollars on exclusive contracts with podcasting titles and studios, and they are increasingly investing in the fields that are related to podcasting - from companies for podcasting analytics to monetization and production.
Also, their ‘exclusives’ program offers hundreds of thousands of dollars per annum to the top podcast producers in the world, which forces their audience to switch to Spotify and either listen to their favourite podcasts for free with ads, or pay a fairly reasonable subscription fee. Either way, Spotify ends up increasing the user base and revenue. Their biggest investment on the Podcasting arena is Joe Rogan with his ‘The Joe Rogan experience’ podcast that moved completely from YouTube, where he used to have tens of millions views per episode, to Spotify which increased Spotify’s user base significantly. So, Spotify directly competes with YouTube for content creators.
On the other hand, YouTube, being originally a video hosting, didn’t really restrict people on various formats - the main rule is to make content that follows common sense and doesn’t break any rules, including copyright. That’s why during the early days of YouTube they didn’t have official music videos and were striking unofficial videos due to copyright. But things started changing in the 2010s with music labels like Vevo starting to understand the growth of the YouTube user base for music artists, with Justin Bieber and PSY’s music videos gaining billions and billions of views worldwide. That was the start of YouTube’s attempt to try and turn to a subscription business model, though it didn’t change the market and things stood relatively unchanged - the vast majority of YouTube users still prefers the free access with ads.
But this trend - from video to audio first content - has continued to grow. As every strong trend, this wasn’t an artificially promoted construct, but rather market and people finding the more natural and comfortable ways of using YouTube. Music and Talk Show genres have become the most popular genre in number of content creators and, subsequently, audience. It is true that the most viral videos require to be valuable as videos first, but the ease of production of talk shows allows creators to make thousands of talking to the camera video blogs, which have covered almost every area that you could imagine - from gossip and relationship advice to sports podcasts and true crime genre.
Video or audio first?
That is the common place where the two worlds collide - video-first and audio-first. The truth is that they actually do work well together, but the video for a good podcast should not specifically be a good video. I mean, the quality requirement is still there, but the story should be told in such a manner that if a person doesn’t watch the visual part, the story is still not missed. So it still should be an audio-first story, with a solid and structured text or a talented speaker behind it.
Video part should be a layer on top of the verbally spoken story, the layer that adds more emotions, gestures, and human face to it, but it shouldn’t be required to understand the whole picture. Ideally, it could be a video of the podcast host talking with the microphone or a guest, or a face-to-face interview, which is one of the most popular formats for this kind of a talk show.
YouTube obviously still has a bigger audience and chances are that it’ll never lose it, but Spotify seems to be more profitable in this field. And the truth is that most podcasters nowadays have YouTube channels, and YouTube vloggers tend to record podcasts from time to time - but they all understand the difference in production requirements, editing and overall story-telling format between the two.
One thing that a podcaster should understand before entering the video realm is that it’s a whole new layer of production that still requires its specific approach, and investments of time and effort. That is why live streamers from Twitch can be very successful podcaster in many cases, but not many podcaster can become successful streamers - live streaming requires both ability to work with visual and oral part of the story telling, so one can’t think that just because we turned his camera on he’ll get new audience.
To sum up, we think that both audio and video are important, and it’s a question of either / or - they both are required as tools to deliver the message more efficiently. But each has its own rules, and audio is significantly easier to record, edit, produce and publish, and it also has a huge audience of people who like to listen while doing something that requires their eyes to focus on something else - like driving, doing sports or chores.
Here at Castofly Technologies we are working hard to understand the difference between the audio and the video parts of content creation. And we are focused on providing the best user experience to work with audios and videos in the simplest, intuitive and effortless way possible.