In the early days of podcasting, the phrase “watch a podcast” wouldn’t have made much sense. After all, it was an audio-only medium. Today, however, millions of podcast fans are just as eager to view their favorite shows as they are to listen to them.
From sports to comedy and everything in between, podcasters are making video versions of their audio episodes—and for good reason. Video podcasts create a more immersive experience for fans—not to mention the creative opportunities it gives hosts and producers.
Thinking about if video podcasting is the right move for you? In this article, we unpack the benefits of video podcasts and how to create them seamlessly on Spotify.
4 reasons to make a video podcast
Video podcasts are an impactful way to engage your fans, widen your reach, and add a new dimension to your show. Let’s look at four reasons why podcasters are venturing into the world of video—and why you should consider it, too.
1. Audiences crave video content
Video content is a huge hit for today’s audiences. From quick clips they watch on their phone to long-form videos they stream on their TV, fans love to be entertained visually. There’s something about putting a face to a voice that makes video podcasts more captivating than audio alone.
Video podcasts let creators tap into the demand for video without having to create entirely new pieces of content. You produce one episode, repurpose it in two formats: audio-only and video.
If you’re still not sure whether your fans want to watch your podcast, try asking them directly. Use Anchor’s Q&A and Polls feature to figure out exactly what kind of content they’re eager to consume.
2. Give fans the freedom to choose their format
The great thing about adding video to your podcasts is that it doesn’t conflict with your audio-only version. Whether fans tune into your show on the treadmill or on the couch, video podcasts let them listen (or watch) in a way that suits their preferences.
For example, if some of your fans drive a lot, they will be listening to your show in the car. However, you may have fans who would rather tune into your show the same way they would a traditional talk show: sitting on the couch and watching it on their TV.
And of course, you could have folks in your audience who prefer to toggle between video and audio, like someone who watches half the podcast on the treadmill and listens to the other half on their way to work.
Video podcasts ensure your fans can enjoy your show no matter where they are or what they’re doing.
3. Show fans what you’re talking about
Another instance where video podcasts are helpful is if you’re discussing an article, product, screenshot, or video clip during your show. Fans can’t get the full picture (literally) if the episode is audio-only. But video adds context to keep them engaged.
Even if you don’t have visual cues in your podcast, simply showing your body language and facial expressions can build deep connections with fans.
4. Make your show more discoverable on social media
Social media is a powerful tool to find new fans for your podcast. However, these are highly visual platforms. When users scroll through their timelines at lightning speed, it’s tough for a long, audio-only podcast to stand out amidst quick, catchy visuals.
That’s where video podcasts come in.
Let’s say you record an hour-long video podcast; rather than posting the full episode, you can chop it up into bite-sized clips that will catch attention on your Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, TikTok, and YouTube channels. These are your hooks to get people to watch or listen to your full episodes on Spotify. Make sure you put a link to your episode in your content or bio so followers can easily navigate to your show.
How to make a Video Podcast on Spotify
You don’t need to be a cinematographer to tap into the video podcast momentum. With Video Podcasts on Spotify, you can transform your audio show into a visual experience with just a few clicks.
Here’s how it works:
1. Record your video podcast episode
Once approved, it’s time to get the camera rolling.
A great thing about video podcasts is that there isn’t a “right way” to record episodes, which can be a relief if you’re new to video production. Yes, some creators use fancy equipment to produce video podcasts. But some of the most popular podcasts in the world take a bare-bones approach to production. You can even use software like Riverside.fm (now integrated via the Anchor episode builder) to record and edit your video content directly from your browser.
Here are three ways to record your video podcast, whether you’re in a studio or at your kitchen table:
Single camera: This is the simplest way to create video podcasts. Just set up your camera with you (and your guests, if you have them) in frame, press “record,” and start the show! Don’t stress about your camera choice here. Feel free to splurge, but a smartphone camera with a tripod will work just fine.
Multi-camera: If you want your podcast to have a traditional TV talk show vibe, a multi-camera shoot is the best way to go. This usually involves a wide angle to capture everyone in the episode and separate cameras for each speaker. Keep in mind that you’ll need video editing software to toggle between angles.
Remote recording: This is an easy way to bring speakers from around the world into a cohesive viewing experience for your fans. No fancy equipment is required here—all you need is a video conferencing software tool like Zoom that lets you capture multiple webcams simultaneously. This method is especially useful for interview-based show with remote guests.
2. Upload your video file to Anchor
Once you’re happy with how your video looks, upload the file to Anchor, Spotify’s free podcasting tool. It’s very similar to the process for uploading new audio episodes. Spotify currently accepts .mov and .mp4 files and recommends 16x9 aspect ratio. Or, you can use one of our integrated video partners like Riverside to seamlessly bring your content to Anchor.
Keep in mind—your video podcasts don’t have to be exclusive to Spotify. If you publish video podcasts on other platforms like YouTube, you can upload the same files to Anchor and open up your show for discovery by hundreds of millions of Spotify users.
3. Publish your episode on Spotify
Once your episode is published, it lives directly in your Spotify catalog. Video episodes are available on all of your fans’ favorite ways to play Spotify, including the Spotify mobile app, desktop app, web player, and most smart TVs and video game consoles.
Part of what makes Spotify Video Podcasts special is that your fans can watch your podcast with full-screen video, listen to the audio only, or toggle between both—all within the same platform.
If you have questions about distribution, head over to Anchor’s FAQ page for Video Podcasts.
Turn your must-listen into a must-watch
The demand for podcasts isn’t showing any signs of slowing down, but neither is the demand for video. Why not give your fans the best of both worlds?
Video Podcasts combine the intimacy of audio with the visual impact of video. Most importantly, they give fans the flexibility to enjoy your show in the format they prefer. The result is an immersive experience where creators make deeper connections with their audience, and fans get to know their favorite podcasts even better.
We can’t wait to see all the innovative ways you’ll use video to connect with your audience.
This post has been updated to reflect Anchor's partnership with Riverside.fm as of April 21, 2022.