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Why Has Video Podcasting Become Increasingly Popular?

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Why Has Video Podcasting Become Increasingly Popular?

With video podcasting’s momentous rise in popularity, Riverside’s Annual Report dives deeper into this impactful medium. As the 1st of an 11-part series, this article explores why video podcasting has become so popular.

What’s in it for me?

By the end of this section, you’ll have key insights on the following points:

  • Why video is a way to get more engagement
  • Why video is more conducive to advertising
  • How you can leverage video to get more distribution

Video makes content more engaging

There are just over 420 Million podcast listeners in the world. Compared to YouTube (2.1 Billion users), it’s clear to see the proclivity for consumption. Because YouTube has nearly 5x as many users as podcasting platforms, there is massive opportunity for audience growth. But why?

Graph showing why podcasters are switching to a video medium

A core reason behind this is that video can be highly engaging. When we watch video, we can visualize the value of the content more fully than if we were to simply listen. This is especially true for educational or informational content. We can see demonstrations or examples that might be difficult to describe with audio alone.

Additionally, video is a great way to add personality and build a connection with your audience. When someone is speaking on camera, we’re able to see their facial expressions and body language. This can help create a more personal connection than audio alone. This also explains why vlogs have become a viable content format in recent years.

60% of surveyed companies reported that a better audience connection was the highest impact benefit that video brings to a podcasting strategy.

Video is more conducive to advertising

Video provides a rich experience for viewers, who are more likely to pay attention to an ad if it is presented in a visually engaging format. Additionally, video allows viewers to retain more information than they would from an audio-only ad. The added visual element makes branding more memorable in the long term.

YouTube boasts nearly 5 times greater than estimated total podcast listeners globally. By volume, YouTube ad revenue is nearly 10x higher than podcasting ad revenue annually. In 2021, podcast ads generated a reported $842M for companies. However, ad revenues on YouTube alone have gone as high as $8.6B.

However, an important argument can be made for podcast advertising. When looking at advertising on a CPM (Cost per 1000 Views/Listens), podcasts command up to $23 CPMs. For context, the average YouTube CPM is $7. Podcasts are more efficient in monetizing ads, while videos give companies 5 times the volume to work with.

Video gives podcasts a new distribution channel

Video gives shows a new path to distribution, allowing them to be seen and heard. This can help attract new listeners, and give  existing fans a new way to enjoy the show.

It’s easy to focus on YouTube as the only added distribution channel, but it’s not the only platform offering leverage. Spotify launched video podcasts on its platform earlier this year. Apple Podcasts has allowed for video on the RSS feed for years. New channels like TikTok, Instagram Reels, and YouTube Shorts have opened up the podcasting world to clips.

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“YouTube has the infrastructure to introduce audio hosting and origination, and match it to video with all the rich analytics it already provides. A seamless creator experience, plus SEO marketing tools, plus the benefit of being a platform most have been conditioned to equal. Give it a turn-key opportunity to activate a more cohesive strategy around both video and audio, to the benefit of all parties.”
A.J. Feliciano | Head of Podcast Network
“People are working from home more and more. Audio-only is not as in-demand because the need to multitask while commuting is no longer there.”
Stone Roshell | Head of Podcast Production
“Live streaming may become the biggest way to grow using video for your podcast.”
Stone Roshell | Head of Podcast Production
“With major platforms like Spotify, TikTok, and YouTube putting more resources into video podcasts.. now is a uniquely opportune moment for smart creators to harness that energy by investing in video for audience growth.”
Ryan Duffy | Head of Audio Operations