Is A Podcast On YouTube Really A Podcast?

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Several stories have recently emerged that have YouTube being used — and growing — as a listening platform for podcasts. Those stories cause longtime podcasters to throw their hands in the air and fume. This latest Westwood One study is sure to fuel their fury.

The Westood One study concludes that among the platforms consumers use to listen to podcasts, it’s a close race. According to Westwood, 38% of weekly podcast listeners come from Apple with YouTube a close second at 33%. Spotify is third at 30%.

Podcast industry executives are sure to look at this and call it crazy. They will tell you it’s not even close.

When Libsyn’s Rob Walch announces his listening stats every month, YouTube isn’t even a blip on his radar. And, Apple Podcasts is much higher, more like 60%, with Spotify, while making gains, still a distant second.

So why are we seeing more studies claiming YouTube is a destination for podcasts?

Longtime podcasters say if a show doesn’t have an RSS feed, it’s not a podcast. End of argument. And, just because a podcaster is using YouTube to deliver additional audio content on that video platform, they say, that doesn’t make it a podcast.

If someone is watching Joe Rogan’s podcast on YouTube, are they really accessing his podcast or watching a TV show? Then again, what if someone is listening to Joe Rogan on their YouTube app while working out at the gym or laying out on the beach? Does that mean they are listening to his podcast or listening to his YouTube video? It’s a YouTube video feed but they’re listening to his podcast.

And, perhaps most importantly, how is all of that going to be measured so the advertiser knows exactly how many listens, downloads, and views each podcast is getting. Right now podcasts are measured by downloads and listens, and advertisers want those downloads and listens, from a hosting provider, to be IAB certified.

The debate will rage on for sure.

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  2. A podcast is audio only. A podcast that adds video to its production and puts that video on Youtube is a Podcast with a YouTube Channel. They require separate sustained marketing campaigns and they are different animals. Podcasting is an audio medium. YouTube Channels are a visual medium. One is not the other. If you had a YouTube Channel and started putting the audio from it on a podcast, you wouldn’t call that podcast a YouTube channel, would you?

  3. I’ve been producing my podcast, Mr. Media Interviews (https://MrMedia.com) since February 2007. There are more than 1,300 shows archived on the website. And across all podcasts platforms, I’ve probably had about 3 or 4 million listens/downloads/visitors. But when I started recording all of my interviews as video in late 2010, YouTube (and Vimeo and others) opened up a huge new market opportunity to reach new people — and get paid for it. I’ve logged almost 2 million views on the Mr. Media YouTube channel alone (https://youtube.com/MrMediaRadio). And I’m pretty small-time, frankly. It’s more hobby than business. So whether the purists call it a podcast or not; it has certainly expanded my show’s visibility.

  4. In my opinion, “Podcast” is really an outdated term. Consumers aren’t as hung up on the moniker as one might think.
    The term came about when the Apple IPODS were the rage, but that changed with the invention of the iPhone. I remember when iPODS came out, radio was extremely concerned about losing audience this new portable device that played digital audio files in the mp3 format. What we’re really talking about here is on-demand, time-shifted content and (in my opinion) it doesn’t matter where it comes from or if it is audio-only, or video with audio. Many “podcasts” were a result of talent being eliminated at broadcast facilities…so the talent found their own platform to make a living. Now, people are entering the business of on-demand content without ever having been in the broadcasting business in the first place, providing their expertise on a subject first, and their communication skills second. It’s just made the world of on-demand content more abundant and competitive. I wouldn’t get too hung up on what its called.

  5. I agree with the core argument. A “video podcast” that only exists on YouTube is a vlog. But if you still distribute the audio to podcast directories then that is a podcast. In my studio we stream live video while recording the podcast for the audience to engage with us. Again still a podcast but with a behind the scenes element for our hosts.

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