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Audio-Only or Video Feature: Which is best for your podcast?

One-third of the population reported having listened to a podcast within the past month, which is equal to 90 million monthly users! So, this raises the question: what is it that makes podcasts so sustainable? Most listeners and content producers would agree that it’s the versatility and convenience of the podcast format itself that gives the content such a long shelf life. However, with the rise in video viewership over the last few years, marketers are now starting to add video features to their podcast shows as a way to reach audiences in the format they increasingly prefer.

You may be asking yourself, isn’t the whole point of podcasts to get an audio-only experience? And the answer would be, well, yes — and some people still favor this delivery method over video, and that’s ok. But, there is a compelling reason to include video elements to podcasts that is sure to make any marketer or content producer pause and reconsider: the opportunity for social media promotion.

Social media platforms have been largely based on visual elements (such as video) since their creation. Social media promotion could be extremely useful for drawing an audience to a podcast, and a video feature is the simplest way to do this. Not to mention that posting these types of videos on YouTube and Tik Tok also afford you the opportunity to service an audience that may not like podcasts as a format, but still want to consume and engage with the content you’re making. 

Other benefits to having a podcast with a video component include the general interests created by visual elements, such as the opportunity to see your emotions and gestures and maintain audience attention. (Although, studies show that podcasts have little trouble keeping audience attention without a video feature. Podcast listeners tend to be highly engaged, and 80% listen to all or most of every podcast episode they start.)

But if podcasts can be successful without a video feature, why even go through the extra trouble of the production value associated with video? The answer truly comes down to your audience and how they prefer to consume content.

Alternative podcast approaches attract different types of audiences, and therefore require different strategies. At the end of the day, audio can be consumed anywhere— video can’t. Podcasts are convenient and great for an on-the-go audience that uses their phones, smart speakers and car systems to listen in. Video takes away this versatility and convenience, but it can also add more sensory connection through the added visual element, potentially deepening the experience for the viewer. Therefore, it’s best to try both, and let your audience determine your content delivery.

Interested in podcasting? Thinking about adding a video feature for some increased social promotion? Check out our media sources below to help get you started!

Babcox Media podcasts services http://babcox.com/services/podcasts/

Babcox Media video services http://babcox.com/services/video/


Jessica Cobb is a Social Media Intern. Jessica currently attends the School of Media and Journalism at Kent State University, pursuing a Bachelor of Science in Public Relations/Marketing.

Contact Jessica at [email protected]


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