Considering finding a new podcast to listen to or perhaps venture out and start your own? We bet you have a million questions, we did too when we first began, but one of the most common of those questions is: are podcasts audio only?
Yes, your podcast might have the most exciting content and be engaging for a wide range of listeners, but can you do more? We often see podcasts appearing on YouTube or other streaming platforms, so can we add to them?
A funky graphic or an innovative background? Or perhaps you want to create a visual and immersive experience for your audience?
Well, today, let’s find out if podcasts are audio-only or not!
Table of Contents
Are podcasts audio only?
Most commonly, yes, a podcast will be audio-only. They will feature an individual or a group of people speaking or being interviewed. The vast majority of podcast listeners are only focused on the audio aspect.
They might be listening during work, while driving or on public transport, or during exercise and not be able to watch as well as listen to your content.
That does not mean that you have to create audio-only content, though. You can create a podcast that features visual content too, but you might encounter some bumps in the road. Let’s take a closer look at those bumps and how we can help to overcome them today!
Remember that creating a visual podcast is a personal choice and one that is do-able!
Formatting is Key
When it comes to your podcast, the formatting of the file you upload seems like a tedious thing to consider, doesn’t it?
But if you are incorporating visuals, it’s something you will need to be acutely aware of. Sites like YouTube will allow you to upload visual podcasts with no issues, and it can be a great way to boost your views and engage with new listeners.
However, other sites are not as kind. Some podcasting sites do not allow visual files to be uploaded, only audio. In this case, if you upload your podcast to multiple sites, you could end up needing a few different versions with different formats for different sites. This can be time-consuming when it comes to publishing a new episode every week.
Consider the practicalities of this and how many views you might get with a visual podcast. If you already have an existing podcast, it might be worth asking your audience whether they would enjoy a visual? Polls are a great way to do this and garter opinion, whether this is done on your podcast service or an Instagram story.
What about your equipment?
You will also need to consider your equipment when recording a visual podcast too. If you do not already own one, you will need to invest in a camera and some editing software.
If you are trialing a visual episode to assess its reaction, you can save money and use your phone camera and any free editing software. You might also be able to use the software you currently use for your audio editing.
If you decide to invest in equipment, be sure the video quality matches your audio quality. If you have already invested in recording gear top of the line, you don’t want to be let down with poor-quality visuals.
Be sure to find the equipment that is right for you and your podcast. Consider a camera and tripod and some video editing software as basic purchases to make if you decide to invest.
Think of Your Audience
Would your audience enjoy a visual podcast? As we mentioned earlier, those with a trusted audience can ask for their opinions and see if there is any interest.
Have there been comments about wishing to see the face behind the voice? Or perhaps your audience would enjoy some graphics to watch while they listen to your voice?
If there is a demand for it, then why not fill the demand? Especially if you are the only podcast in your niche creating visual podcasts, it could set you apart from the competition!
When considering your audience, you will need to consider how they access your podcasts and when. If they are listening to them through their car, they aren’t going to access the visuals.
Similarly, if they use an Echo or Google Home system, the visuals will not be displayed. You might need to speak a little bit about those visuals for those who will not be able to see them!
What Would You Want to See
Finally, consider what you would want. Put yourself in the shoes of your audience, or think about other podcasts you listen to. Has there been a time where you would have enjoyed a visual?
Remember that you and your views are just as important as your audience; you should create content that you would also enjoy!
Visuals can be helpful if you are discussing statistics or a graph. For example, if you are a gaming podcast discussing a new monitor or games console specs, having a table posted for your viewers could help you work through it point by point. Clear graphics can also help discuss politics, perhaps on election night when we want to see projected results.
Consider how you could include these visuals. Overlaying them over your recorded audio is a great way to do this, or using a camera, as we mentioned earlier.
It is also worth considering your setup while filming the podcast. What will your viewers now see? Will you sit at a table having a conversation, or will there be some graphics featured too? It might be worth jotting down some ideas to trial!
When it comes to visuals, it is worth considering adding subtitles to your podcast. Subtitles can help those who are hard of hearing or deaf who will have struggled in the past to access podcasts. Some services offer automatic closed captions, but be mindful as they aren’t always the most accurate!
Frequently Asked Questions
Get your last-minute queries answered here!
Can podcasts be visual?
Podcasts can indeed be visual! The choice of making your podcast visual or not is entirely up to you. Traditionally audio podcasts are the popular option, but there is an argument for visual podcasts too.
Now that more podcasts are shared via YouTube, visual podcasts are a popular option. They are great for visual viewers and add a familiarity level that many people enjoy.
Often, we can be more comfortable listening to a voice when there is a face attached to it. Using YouTube and some visuals, even if it is a recording of you simply talking, can boost views and attract new listeners.
There is a downside to visual podcasts, and that is they cost more money and generally take longer to produce. You will need to invest in a camera and video editing software if you do not already own them. While visuals are great on YouTube, not all podcast services support visual podcasts, which can be an issue.
Can you watch a podcast or listen?
You can watch a podcast as well as listening to it! These days podcasts are also uploaded to YouTube, where they can be watched. Some creators will leave a camera rolling so you can watch their conversation or add other visuals such as graphics that can be viewed.
The podcast might be visual, but you can, of course, leave it playing in the background. If the podcast has visuals discussed, such as graphs, it might help see the screen, but it is not always essential.
The choice will be up to the viewer and depend on the type of podcast available. As we mentioned earlier, not all podcast services support visual podcasts, so you will need to consider the platform carefully to ensure viewers will have the choice between watching or listening to a podcast. You will need to make sure that the podcast can be accessed on platforms where visuals are not available such as smart speakers.
As you can see, not all podcasts are audio only! Visual podcasts do exist and can be useful additions to those working across multiple platforms.
They are not without their drawbacks, though, and it is best to consider all your options before taking the plunge and creating some visuals to accompany your audio podcast!