Yes, billion with a “B” — and the subscriber count continues to rise as more and more content creators embrace the distribution channel that is podcasting.
The rise of podcasting is due at least in part to its ease of access. Back in the early days of podcasting, would-be listeners had to dock an iOS device and synchronize it with iTunes in order to listen on the go. Today’s podcasts are primarily of the streaming variety and are pushed to any smartphone automatically as people go about their days. The narrow focus of most podcasts makes them immensely popular within special areas of interest. Whether you are into indie music, making pottery, or motorcycle repair, there’s a podcast on the topic.
It may seem odd for a magazine about making visual media to discuss the merits of an audio-only distribution channel, but podcasting can be an excellent tool for video producers to leverage on behalf of their clients or to grow their own following. This doesn’t necessarily involve much extra work.
Many video producers go to great lengths to capture, edit and sweeten their soundtracks to such a degree that the audio portion of many video productions can stand alone as a compelling podcast
We often remind video producers of the importance of high quality audio within video productions. Many video producers go to great lengths to capture, edit and sweeten their soundtracks to such a degree that the audio portion of many video productions can stand alone as a compelling podcast. This is particularly true if your production is instructional or conversational in format.
Let’s say, for instance, that you have produced an interview with an up-and-coming indie musician in your community. The video may run 10-15 minutes in duration and includes questions about the artist’s background, influences, creative process and aspirations intercut with performance highlights from a recent music festival. Although b-roll of the event may be interesting to fans and followers, it is not essential to the telling of the story. There may be thousands who would be entirely enthralled with the audio portion of the edit alone if delivered as a podcast. This is especially effective if you have produced not just one episode, but a series of segments that can be distributed as multiple podcast episodes. Consider for a moment that Screen Junkies has a YouTube show called Movie Fights where an audio-only version is released as a podcast on iTunes. Similarly, 60 Minutes is a network TV show that’s also released as an audio-only podcast.
You may find that the soundtracks of your already-completed productions work well as podcasts. If so, you may have a great opportunity to re-distribute your existing work to expand your audience. Once you decide to distribute your video edits as podcasts, you may choose to edit with an audio-only end-user experience in mind. Podcasting your video’s audio can also be a clever way to reach more people.
Matthew York is Videomaker's Publisher/Editor.