I have been spending a lot of time working on my YouTube channel lately, mainly due to my observation of how various gaming channels have created some amazing programming there. With gaming the #2 category on YouTube, many of the channels I am subscribed to are supporting their creators as a full time job. It isn’t easy, of course. Extremely popular channels have to constantly be populated with new, entertaining content, and their creators will be the first to tell you how challenging it can be. I have been watching these producers very carefully and noting the methods they use improve my own YouTube channel.
Still, as a long time podcaster, more and more I am seeing the need for every podcaster — whether predominantly audio or video — to create and maintain their own YouTube channel.
For me, podcasting and YouTube are complimentary and can work quite well together. Combine this with live streaming options that tie into YouTube (TwitchTV and Google Hangouts are 2 examples) and you could have a potent source of new audience members and even income to help you grow your show.
Every podcaster needs a YouTube Channel
- Ease of monetization
- Monetizing podcasts can be difficult. There is no podcast equivalent of Google Adsense, so producers are forced to become their own advertising salesforce. Finding advertisers and/or show sponsors can be extremely time consuming and frustrating. It is also a never-ending burden as you are constantly having to find new advertisers and sponsors for your show. Also, since podcasts are downloaded directly to the computer of your audience, there is no easy way to include dynamic advertising or create web links to products and sponsor web sites.
- YouTube, on the other hand, can provide a solution to nearly all these issues.
- Using the Google Adsense model, Google sales reps find the advertisers, assist in creating the advertising and manage the system that dynamically inserts that advertising into your YouTube videos based not only on the content of your shows, but also on the interests of the viewer.
- As has been seen with Adsense revenue on web sites, Adsense earnings are nearly directly proportional to the number of readers/viewers that your content. In most cases, creating content that attracts viewers drives higher earnings and further growth while allowing you to focus on the content of the shows, not ad sales.
- Further, the built-in rating engine and other metrics used by Google to suggest videos to users, can create its own feedback loop of support and audience generation. Together this creates a monetization model that can hold large potential benefits. with little work on the part of the podcaster.
- Introduce your show to an entirely different audience
- People often forget that YouTube is, at its heart, a social network much like all the others. While some of your current listeners and/or viewers night also follow you on YouTube, you will be introducing yourself to a large, new audience that has never heard of you — or your show — before. This is true of ay social network. Yes, there will always be some overlap, but there will also be a significant amount of new potential audience members in the mix. Go where you audience (or potential audience) congregates. In today’s world, YouTube is one of the most important places to be seen.
- Current video podcasts easily re-purposed on a YouTube channel
- If you are already producing some video content, a YouTube Channel is a great way to gain more exposure and audience with very little extra work.
- Work as a companion to audio podcasts
- Printed text can be an intimate connection between the writer and the reader — witness how many people cry at the end of a Harry Potter book. That said, as most podcasters have found, audio can be even more intimate. I often describe audio podcasting as “whispering in the ears” of my audience. This creates a deeper connection with your audience has they hear your voice, its inflections and tone. Still, video is more intimate still. The ability to see your face, your expressions, your movements bring an entirely different level of intimacy to the equation. If you are doing only an audio podcast, I would highly recommend creating some small video companion pieces which you can share via your regular podcast feed and also as part of your YouTube channel. In some cases, you might be about to repurpose your existing audio shows by “enhancing” them with graphics, photos and other supporting material. You can even use technology like QR codes and audio cues (See “Using Chirp to…) to add interactive features to your audio shows.
- In a reverse example, I am seeing video podcasters and YouTube producers also creating audio only, long form, content as a companion to their shorter video presentations. In one case, Eric Rochow from Gardenfork.tv was producing short videos on food, farming, beekeeping and more for his video podcast. Like many producers, though, he saw the need for content his viewers could consume while doing other tasks like working in the garden or driving a vehicle. (one great advantage of audio podcasts). He also wanted to explore topics more thoroughly and more easily invite guests in for discussions. To fill that need, Eric created Gardenfork Radio, a fairly traditional talk radio show with segments on all his typical topics, a co-host with which to discuss these topics, interview guests and more. I see Eric’s combination of the video and audio as an excellent example of how podcasters can make use of both audio and video to reach a larger audience will also providing more in-depth information in a longer form show.
- Consuming YouTube (and other) video via mobile now infinitely easier than before
- In the past, when bandwidth was expensive and mobile bandwidth was slow to non-existent, it was difficult to consume video. Podcasting, due to its download model, allowed users to easily download content while and home and sync it to their mobile device for watching and listening wherever they might be. Due to the increasing speed of mobile bandwidth and the stability of various streaming alternatives for both audio and video, podcasting has lost a bit of its advantage. Yes, there are still times when podcasting can shine — such as when you are away from reliable cell phone coverage or on a limited bandwidth data plan, but the podcasting download model holds less advantage than ever before. In this case, I think that streaming technology has “won” over podcasting in some ways. Yes, I still use both methods for accessing my favorite content, but as apps like Stitcher and Apple’s own Podcasting app have show — listeners want to be able to stream your content as well as subscribe in the usual podcast fashion.
What are your thoughts about YouTube channels and how podcaster might make use of them?
Use the comments here to let me know and continue the conversation.
You can check out my own YouTube channel here