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Video Podcast Production: How to Start a Podcast with Video in 5 Steps

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Video Podcast Production: How to Start a Podcast with Video in 5 Steps

If you’re familiar with podcasts at all, it wouldn’t surprise us if your first reaction to the term “video podcast” is an oxymoron. Podcasts are like radio for your smartphone—so how does video factor in? 

Well, we’re here to tell you that video podcasts are, in fact, a thing.

We’d go so far as to say that adding video to your podcast episodes can increase your engagement, broaden your audience, and forge a stronger bond with your listeners. If you want to stand out from the competition, you may want to consider starting a video podcast in 2022!

In this post, we’ll cover what a video podcast is, why you should start one, and the five-step process of creating a video podcast for yourself.

What is a Video Podcast?

Contrary to how it may seem, a video podcast isn’t just a YouTube video. A video podcast is an audio podcast with video elements.

Can you publish your video podcast on YouTube? Definitely! (And in fact, we’d argue that you should.) But starting a video podcast isn’t necessarily the same as starting a YouTube channel.

The difference between a video podcast and a regular YouTube video is that the video elements are there to complement the audio feed with a video podcast. Podcasts are traditionally an audio medium, but podcasters have begun adding video elements to their audio format in recent years. 

Many video podcasts are the secondary format, with the more traditional audio show still being published across various audio-only podcast directories like Apple Podcasts (iTunes). Whether it’s essentially a slideshow to accompany your audio feed or a highly-produced video of your recording session (or somewhere in between), if your podcast has a video element, it’s a video podcast.

Video Podcast vs. Audio Podcast?

Deciding to jump to video isn’t always the right move for every podcaster. While video has many benefits, such as greater engagement and easier distribution, it can also mean added production costs. You’ll need to invest in a camera, learn how to edit video, and make the time to manage additional content channel(s).

If you’re just getting started and have a limited budget or time constraints, you may want to stick to an audio-only podcast. But if you’re ready to invest the time and resources into growing your podcast audience to the max, video can help you get there.

Why You Should Start A Video Podcast? 

There are millions of podcasts (approximately 2,729,268, according to Listen Notes) out there. In that sea of audio content appearing in listeners’ podcast feeds, it can be hard to get them to click on your show.

Because the podcasting world is so competitive and over-saturated, adding video elements to your show is a great way to differentiate yourself from your competition. Video podcasting is also a growing trend in the industry. Spotify recently launched video podcasts on their platform, and YouTube recently launched a podcast dedicated page.

Let’s look at a few benefits of video podcasts below:

Video Lets You Expand to More Distribution Channels

If you want to maximize your downloads, getting your podcast in front of as many eyes as possible makes sense. And that means you may need to expand beyond the usual podcast directories like Apple Podcasts and Stitcher.

One of the best parallel channels to distribute your podcast is YouTube, which has grown exponentially in the last few decades. In 2020, YouTube saw more than two billion viewers per month—and the only website to see more traffic was Google itself! 

Users on youtube
(Image source: Backlinko)

And the best part is that if you want to start a podcast with video, you’re already most of the way there. All you need to do is add a visual element to your new episodes (which we’ll show you how to do below), and you’ve got the perfect content for a supplementary YouTube channel.

Humans Respond Better to Video

As people, we’re used to relying on our eyes for most of our information processing, and for most people, visual memory is far superior and longer-lasting than verbal memory. Many of your fans would respond even better to your podcast if there was a visual element to your show that they could watch while they listened.

And if you can record video of yourself and your guests as you record the podcast, that’s even better. Research shows that people love looking at faces, and showing video of yourself as you record your podcast lets your audience make a deeper connection to you as a person. Being able to see your face strengthens their bond of trust with you and your show.

Social Media Platforms Are Optimized for Video

If you spend any time on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram, you’ll notice that videos are everywhere. It is estimated that videos will make up 82% of posts on social media by 2022. 

But you may also notice what they all have in common: their default setting is mute (no audio).

Social media users love video—but since most people scroll their phones in waiting rooms, on public transportation, or sitting in front of the television in the evenings, it makes sense that they’d want the audio turned off.

So if you want to share clips of your podcast on social media, you’ll want to add a visual element; otherwise, you’ll have nothing engaging to share.

Types of Video Podcast Formats

Are you convinced to add video to your podcast yet? 

If so, you’re probably wondering the best ways to add video elements to your audio feed. Let’s look at a few examples of the main types of video podcasts in use in 2021.

Static Video Podcasts

The easiest way to incorporate video elements into your podcast is to add a static image to your audio feed. This image can be a picture, a slideshow, or something as simple as your podcast cover art (like Bill Burr’s Monday Morning podcast does). 

how to start a video podcast Bill Burr
(Image source: Monday Morning Podcast)

The static video podcast isn’t the most exciting choice. Still, it’s the easiest and cheapest, which appeals to many hobbyist podcasters wishing to dabble in creating a YouTube channel for their content.

Animated Video Podcast

Another option is to illustrate your podcast audio using animation and graphics. Some podcasters, such as those at the Hostile Worlds Podcast, use animation to combine their hosts with a fun visual depiction of the story they’re telling. 

Hostile worlds how to start a video podcast
(Image source: Hostile Worlds Podcast)

Animation won’t work for every podcast topic, but using digital artwork can help creatively engage your listeners. 

Or, you can go a little old-school and simply film yourself drawing or doing other related activities like crafting, cooking, or gardening. Watching you complete a relaxing activity can help your audience focus on what you’re saying.

Audiogram Clips

An audiogram is an image overlaid with other elements, like a waveform and transcription, that you can use to post clips of your podcast to social media. The podcast Headgum posts audiograms on Twitter with great success:

how to start a video podcast Headgum

Creating an audiogram can be an easy way to add more dynamic visual elements without extra work. Simply use a waveform tool like Headliner or Auphonic to visualize the audio feed to your preferences. This method works best for clips rather than an entire full-length podcast episode.

Remote Interview (Talking Heads)

If your podcast is mostly in remote interview format, side-by-side video is an easy and engaging way to show all participants throughout their conversation. Astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson uses the side-by-side video podcast format to great success on his show, StarTalk:

how to start a video podcast Star Talk
(Image source: StarTalk)

If you’re planning to create a talking heads video, it’s best to use a software tool that captures multiple webcams simultaneously, such as Riverside.fm. That way, you won’t need any additional special equipment; all you’ll need to do is upload the video of your recording session.

On-Premise Recordings

Finally, if you’re recording in person, you always have the option to set up video equipment in your studio to capture video of the podcast conversation. 

Pod Save America video podcast

If you go this route, you may want to use multiple cameras to capture different angles and ensure a clear view of every participant. 

This method of making a video podcast is the most popular both because it’s simple (since you’re just recording a video of your regular podcast recording process) and it’s the most engaging for your audience to watch.

Video Podcast Production: How to Make A Video Podcast

Step 1: Gather the Right Equipment

First, what video podcast equipment do you need?

Video podcasting takes additional equipment besides the standard microphone, headphones, and recording software that you’d need for an audio podcast.

As you can probably guess, you’re probably going to want a video camera. You can get by with using illustrations, slides, or audiograms—but for maximum engagement, you’ll eventually want to invest in a camera to capture either in-studio or remote video of your podcast recording sessions.

Also, you’ll want to consider lighting. Since it’s a bit of a limitation only to be able to record next to a well-lit window on a sunny day, invest in high-quality video lighting for your recording space. It’s probably a good idea to have one light and one camera per participant, but you can make one of each work just fine in a pinch.

Finally, think about your studio setup. Since your audience will be seeing it in the video, you may want to make it a bit more visually appealing than it usually would be. Find a neutral but aesthetically pleasing backdrop, and place a few interesting objects around the space (such as a houseplant) to make it feel homier.

To summarise the main equipment you’ll want for a video podcast setup includes:

Read more: Essentials of Video Podcasting Equipment

How do I create a multi-view camera podcast setup?

If you’d really like to create an interesting video, you may consider recording with two or more different camera angles to spice things up. You may want close-ups of each participant, or you may want smoother transition cuts.

Well if you’re recording remotely with a platform like Riverside, you can easily capture up to 8 participants all on separate video tracks. This gives you plenty of freedom when it comes to editing and transitioning throughout your video podcast. 

On the other hand, if you’re recording in studio and want a 2 or even 3-camera podcast setup, all you’ll have to do is set up the extra cameras and make sure they’re connected to your recording software. The good news is that with a platform like Riverside you also have the option to turn a mobile device easily into a second webcam. This can save you the extra cost of buying an extra video podcast camera.

2. Find the Right Video Podcast Software

The best podcast recording software also captures video, like Riverside.fm. That way, you’re already prepared to produce a video podcast without investing in additional recording software. The right video podcast software should:

  • Have an easy and intuitive user interface that works for both Mac and PC
  • Not require your remote guests to download additional software to join your recording session
  • Record in the best video and audio quality, preferably locally to each participant’s device, so that the final quality doesn’t depend on your internet connection
  • Come with additional features like live audience call-ins

Riverside records both audio and video locally in uncompressed WAV and mp4 formats for a studio-quality result. And as a bonus, Riverside also has an impressive mobile app, so you and up to 7 guests can record a video podcast truly anywhere.

If you’re looking for easy-to-use, affordable recording software that’s versatile enough for you to create both audio and video podcasts, Riverside is an excellent option.

3. Record Your Video Podcast

Once you have all your equipment and software, you’re ready to record.

Set up your camera and lights for optimal effect. If you’re only using one camera, make sure it captures all participants. If you have multiple cameras, use one as a wide-angle shot of the room, and place the others so that each is focused on a single participant. Place the lighting so that it’s hitting the side of your face (a 45-degree angle is usually recommended).

Then, record your podcast as you usually would. In the end, you’ll have a video of the recording session that you can use to publish to additional channels besides the standard podcast directories.

4. Edit Your Video Podcast

How much you edit depends on your podcast style and how much time you have. Some podcasters review entirely every second of their content to cut out any mistakes, while others don’t edit at all.

For the best results, you’ll want to edit your audio first using programs—known as Digital Audio Workstations (DAWs)—like GarageBand, Audacity, or Adobe Audition. Or, for easy editing, Riverside’s software comes with a Magic Editor that automatically stitches together the locally recorded, separate audio/video tracks. Simply select the content you want to combine, and the Magic Editor compiles the data into a final product that’s ready for download.

Then, you can use programs like iMovie, Adobe Premiere Pro, or Final Cut Pro X to add any final edits to the video. You can add intro music, an outro, and even experiment with adding transition effects, relevant clips or images, and sound effects to your finished product.

These tools have features that let anyone from beginners to experts tweak and fine-tune podcasts. But you can also hire a freelance producer using platforms like Fiverr or Music Radio Creative to do your editing for you.

5. Publish and Market Your Video Podcast

Next, upload your podcast to whichever channel(s) you want to distribute to. 

If you started with an audio-only podcast, you’d probably want to continue publishing the audio file to your podcast hosting platform so that your show’s RSS feed can still be found on all the major directories (like Apple Podcasts, Spotify, and Google Podcasts).

But now that you’re adding visual elements to your show, you can publish it to video-friendly channels like YouTube and Facebook. Distributing your content to these additional channels will automatically broaden your reach and help market your podcast. 

For added visibility, be sure to share a link to your video clips on all of your social media feeds.

For a detailed guide to creating a YouTube channel and uploading your content there, check out our article: How to Start a Podcast on YouTube in 6 Steps [2021 Guide].

FAQs on How to Start a Video Podcast

How much does it cost to start a video podcast?

You can get away with starting a video podcast completely for free, but this may not yield the best results. If you really would like to try to start a video podcast for free you can use your phone or computer as a camera and find recording software like Riverside which offers a free plan.

We’d recommend at least investing in a good microphone and camera. Although that being said, some phones have impressive cameras and might do just fine. You might also want to consider a better plan with your recording software to upgrade what you have available to you.

In this case, we’d say all together you’re probably looking at a minimum of around $200-$300 for equipment and software at a minimum of around $15 per month. This is when choosing very basic equipment though. If you plan on getting a proper DSLR camera, lighting, and more, you’ll probably end up paying around $500 minimum or much more.

What is a podcast with video called?

A podcast with video is simply called a video podcast. 

Is a video podcast a vlog?

Not necessarily. A vlog is a video blog or video log and can cover a wide range of formats. Many vloggers record aspects of their day-to-day lives and interesting events, or they might record a how-to video of something they’ve tried or are good at. 

There certainly can be overlaps in similarity between the two, but the main difference is that video podcasts take on more of a podcasting format, just in a visual way. This means it’s more likely podcasts will have a host with interview guests that they talk about different topics with.

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