Should I Start A Podcast If I've Got A YouTube Channel?

I've noticed a few people getting their knickers in a bit of a twist because it feels as though everybody is talking about podcasting and they are worried they haven't got one yet. But what they do have is a YouTube channel.

So if you've got a youtube channel what do you need to consider when it comes to starting a podcast?

Pros and cons of YouTube and Podcasting.

Let's start by looking at the pros and cons of a YouTube Channel versus a podcast.

YouTube Pros

  • Second most visited website in the world after Google

  • And second most used social platform after Facebook

  • Has more than 2 billion monthly registered users. Add to the fact you don't need an account to use YouTube and that number should be higher

  • People watch more than a billion hours of video a day with adults (anybody 18 or over) spending on average almost 42 minutes on YouTube daily.

  • Almost 51% of B2B decision makers use YouTube to research purchases which makes it the most used platform for this purpose

  • It's been predicted video will make up to 80% of all online traffic

  • It's great for visuals!

  • Really easy to watch video - think about the YouTube rabbit holes you've gone down in the past.

YouTube Cons

  • Yes you can record on your phone, but you'll want to upgrade to a decent camera, lighting and microphone pretty quickly.

  • Video editing is harder than audio editing (ok, not necessarily harder but certainly there are more tricks to learn)

  • Your face is going to be visible. You need to be comfortable on camera. I blink in time to what I'm saying when I do video. Have a look at some of the stuff I do on Instagram (yes I've discovered reels). People being uncomfortable on camera are really hard to watch.

  • YouTube is a noisy place - you'll need to work hard to get discovered.

Podcasting pros

  • Less equipment needed than YouTube

  • You're not on camera!

  • You build an intimate relationship with your audience who are in the main listening to you on their own

  • Listeners don't need to be watching a screen - they can take you for a run, walk, clean of the house.

  • More often than not podcasting is consumed through headphones, increasing that intimacy.

  • Lots of chatter around podcasts at the moment.

  • Podcasting shows no sign of slowing according to Daniel J Lewis’s Podcast Industry Insights tool we've now hit 2 million podcasts on Apple podcasts! Wowsers.

  • Favours longer content

Podcast Cons

  • Editing is a bit of faff (if you let it be)

  • You will end up wanting some equipment

  • You need to drive your listeners to your podcast. It's not always easy to be found by accident

  • People (rightly or wrongly) expect you to produce content weekly. If you're not doing a series or season it's a big commitment.

So if you've already got a YouTube channel should you start a podcast?

First of all, and this is true of anybody looking to start a podcast, you need to know why you are starting a podcast.

If it's just because everybody else has a podcast and you don't then that's not the greatest answer is it.

But there are plenty of good reasons why you might want to start a podcast on top of your YouTube channel.

There may well be a whole new audience who haven't found you yet because they just don't use YouTube. Or maybe just don't use YouTube for much more than an emergency video tutorial when something breaks or they're looking to spend a lot of money on a bit of fancy kit and want some reviews of how it works and which is the best for them.

And yes I have described me. (Whilst leaving out the searches for funny cat videos, 80s pop videos and the hilarious optimism of subscribing to fitness channels.)

YouTube is not my natural home and I'm sure I'm not the only person who feels this way. That said I've proven I still use it so I'm not here to diss YouTube. How can I? It's the second most visited website in the world (second to Google)

But a podcast is going to be consumed in a different way to a YouTube video. Whilst plenty of people are consuming video on their phones there's been an increase in the number of people watching the content through their smart TVs. Whereas podcasts are still predominantly consumed via a mobile phone.

Video by its nature demands your attention, audio allows you to do other things while consuming it.

And let me state the obvious here - video has pictures, now audio also has pictures, but rather than showing them you need to describe them and put them in people's minds. And it's this audio picture painting that I love the most about podcasts.

So if you've decided a podcast will work for you to get access to a new audience or you at least want to test if podcasting will open up a new audience for you then you should go for it.

Brand New Content or Repurposing?

I am a massive fan of repurposing your content. My podcast is the basis for my blog and the blog is where I scrape my social media content from.

I probably (aka definitely) should record my podcast as video so I can use that too.

So you may be surprised when I say - you probably don't want to just rip the audio off your back catalogue and put it out as a podcast.

Well not without some thought first.

Just simply taking the audio from your video and putting it out as a podcast has a few potential problems.

The first being it might not make a lot of sense. This is especially true if you've got a lot of visuals in your video that you refer to. Nobody can see them and that may well leave your listener unclear about what's going on. This includes close ups, pointing to things and even people's names on the screen if they're not introduced any other way.

Secondly - does the format work for a podcast? I talk about how podcasting is a pretty ruleless kind of place so formats don't have to be rigid. But you do need to have a format that works for audio.

Video is full of tight shots, quick edits and music.

What do I mean by a quick edit - it's pretty much what it says it is. An edit that goes from one shot to the next very fast. You'll not hear a breath in between sentences. It works well on video to keep your attention.

But a quick edit is easier to follow when you've got visual clues - when you can see the words being spoken rather than just hear them.

You do get quick edits in podcasts but generally they are mixed in with less tight edits. It can feel like a total bombardment if you're listening to lots of quick edits. And quick edits with no breaths sounds weirdly robotic.

Music can also be problematic. There are some pieces of music that are allowed to be used on YouTube but not on podcasts. Which is confusing I know, but it's down to the people who own the rights. Bensound is a great example of this. Bensound has loads of great royalty free music which is ready to use on YouTube videos and gets used a lot on YouTube videos. But if you delve in to the T&Cs you'll see the music is not permitted for use on podcasts. So if you just rip off your audio and you've used Bensound music you are breaking the terms of the licence and that may well lead to a bit of legal bother. And we don't want that.

The good news is you can take inspiration from your back catalogue on YouTube and create new content from the topics you've already covered. But specifically for podcast audience.

Of course your new podcast doesn't have to follow your YouTube channel content. You might decide that your YouTube channel is for your tutorials and your how tos and your podcast channel is for something else entirely - perhaps interviewing leaders in your field or a round table chat. Maybe it's a place for you to reflect on what's going on in your industry or for you to create some thought leader style content. It's quite exciting what you can do.

The average length of a podcast episode is around 38 minutes, whereas the average length of a YouTube video is just under 12 minutes.

Of course the rule is "be as long as you are interesting" but podcasting looks like a better place to put your longer content.


Do you have enough time to have a podcast as well as a YouTube channel? Will one suffer because of the other? Will both suffer because you're stretching yourself too far?

It's really obvious I know but if podcasting is a shiny distraction for you then it's not a great idea.

You can of course put your Youtube videos on hold while you give podcasting a go.

But it's far better to do one thing well than a couple of things ok.

And of course there is everything you can do with repurposing. If you're doing your videos with the thought of using them for your podcast too then you will be on to a winner. It just takes a few extra moments of preparation.

You might want to do different intros and outros to each and have the main content shared across podcast and YouTube. That way it makes it a bit more specific to the medium you are putting it out on. And make your audience feel as though it is for them and not a second thought.

But here's an experiment in repurposing.

The team at Rebel Base Media did an experiment recently where they put their podcast out on their YouTube channel. Their YouTube channel normally has short form educational, tutorials and podcast resources on it.

They did three different versions of the experiment - automatic upload of what is essentially an episode length audiogram, then they tried the video format of them recording the podcast keeping in the musical intros and the ad and sponsor reads, before eventually trying tailor the video a bit more to the YouTube audience - so editing the video of them recording the podcast to cut the intro music, cut the reads etc.

The first two versions did really badly. The third version (the targeted version) did better but not enough for them to keep going with the experiment.

In fact they think their time is better spent doing specific content for YouTube and specific content for podcasting.

And whilst I agree that in an ideal world that is what I'd do - if I couldn't then I think going the other way - YouTube to Podcast- and making sure I was aware that my audio was going to be used on a podcast while adding a few tweaks would be ok for Team Podcast listeners.

So if you've got that YouTube channel but you fancy giving podcasting a go you have a couple of options

  1. Pause YouTube and go all in on the podcast. Perhaps you could do YouTube Q1 and Q3 and Podcast in Q2 and Q4.

  2. Repurpose your video by taking the audio from it and using that audio as your podcast without any extra tweaks.

  3. Take the video audio and just use parts of it in your podcast - say if you're doing an interview just use the interview part and add a new intro and outro.

What I will say is understand why you are doing a podcast, understand the podcast audience and tailor what you are doing to them.

Or just keep rocking the YouTube channel and be a guest on everybody else's podcasts so you can get your podcast exposure that way!

If this has inspired you to get going with your podcast you'll want my podcast planning toolkit. It's my podcast planning brain in your hands, but with no gunky bits.

You can get the first chapter free here

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