Podcasting has come a long way since the mid-2000s. What began as a way to listen to your favorite radio programming like This American Life became its own art form with shows like Serial and WTF with Marc Maron.
But podcasts aren’t just for listening anymore. Video podcasts on YouTube are gaining popularity as podcasters are releasing video versions of their shows.
Video podcasting on YouTube is a great way to grow your podcast audience. As the world’s second-largest search engine after Google, YouTube has almost five times as many monthly active users as traditional podcasting platforms. Oh, and 62% of users watch videos on YouTube daily.
Nearly everyone—from Gen Z to their grandparents—watches YouTube videos as part of their daily routine. Many of them tune into podcasts the same way they do TV shows, and you can become a part of that regular rotation with just a few changes to your setup and workflow. All you need to start a podcast on YouTube is a great idea, a few pieces of equipment and a little software know-how.
Can You Run a Podcast on YouTube?
Yes, you can absolutely run a podcast on YouTube. YouTube can host a video or audio version of your podcast, just like it can host any other videos you upload. However, if you want your podcast to have an audio-only version that can be accessed through Apple Podcasts, Spotify and more, you’ll also need a traditional podcast-hosting platform, like Spotify’s free platform Anchor
Is It Better to Start a Podcast or a YouTube Channel?
You don’t have to choose between starting a podcast and a YouTube channel! You can use a podcasting platform to distribute your audio podcast while you upload the video version to your YouTube channel. Starting a YouTube channel to support your podcast can also unlock new types of video content outside of your podcast, like live hangouts with fans, product reviews and more.
Is It Worth Putting Your Podcast on YouTube?
Most podcasters find it worthwhile to put their podcast on YouTube. With over two billion monthly users, YouTube is the world’s second-largest search engine behind Google and the world’s largest podcast platform. By putting your podcast on YouTube, you’re increasing your chances to be discovered by listeners and viewers.
What Video Podcast Equipment Do I Need?
The exact pieces of video podcast equipment you’ll need will depend on whether you’re recording your video podcast in-person or online via video podcasting software.
Video podcasts recorded online took off in 2020 for … obvious reasons. When it was difficult for podcast hosts and guests to get together, they turned to tools like Zoom
to create split-screen video podcasts. If you have the tools to join online conference calls, then you probably have what you need to record a remote video podcast.
The equipment needs for in-person video podcasts like The Judgies
have a lot of overlap, but require a slightly different set of tools. But don’t worry, we’ll walk you through everything you need to start a podcast on YouTube, no matter which format you choose.
You have two podcast microphone options: USB or XLR.
A USB microphone like the Mackie EM-91CU+
plugs directly into your computer and doesn’t require a separate interface. All you need to do is select your USB microphone in your remote podcasting software and you’re good to go.
XLR microphones require an audio interface or podcast mixer—more on that later. For podcasting, we recommend a dynamic microphone with a cardioid polar pattern like the Mackie EM-99B
. Dynamic mics with this polar pattern reduce room noise from computers, air conditioners and snoring dogs.
For online podcasting, a USB microphone will probably suit you just fine as you’re starting out. It’s the easiest way to capture your podcast audio, and USB mics can sound just as good as a traditional XLR microphone.
If you’re podcasting in-person, XLR microphones are the way to go. We recommend using XLR mics with a podcast mixer and micing each host and guest individuality. This setup will give you more pronounced sound for each guest as well as a separate audio file for each if you need to fix anything in post-production, like cross-talk.
Audio Interface or Podcast Mixer
You can use either an audio interface or podcast mixer regardless of your podcasting format, but podcast mixers shine during multi-person, in-person recording sessions. Using a mixer for podcasting comes with a few benefits:
Tactile control. If you feel more comfortable using physical faders and knobs than working in software, you’re not alone. A podcast mixer is ideal for those of us who prefer a tactile interface.
Multi-mic support. Your hosts and guests won’t have to worry about sharing a microphone with each other and you’ll have separate audio files for everyone.
Built-in tools that minimize post-production. You can set volume levels, EQ, noise reduction, compression and more during your recording so you don’t have to worry about it later. Just test each mic before you hit record and you’re good to go.
Non-computer recording. A podcast mixer can record directly to an SD card or flash drive if you aren’t able or don’t want to bring a laptop with you while you.
You can also use a traditional compact mixer for podcasting, like the Mackie Onyx 8 analog USB mixer
. With podcast mixers, you can record directly to an SD card, flash drive or directly to your computer.
Audio interfaces—which convert the signal from your XLR microphone into a format that your computer can understand—are also an option for podcasting. The downside is that you need to be near a computer or laptop, as you can’t record directly to an audio interface like you can with a podcast mixer.
Webcam or DSLR Camera
If you want to get the most benefit from starting a podcast on YouTube, then you’ll need to invest in a quality webcam or camera.
For video podcasts recorded remotely, a webcam is your simplest option. While webcams that are built into laptops are convenient, they rarely offer the same quality as aftermarket webcams.
We recommend each host and guest invest in a webcam that offers at least 1080p resolution and 30fps frame rate. 1080p ensures high definition and the 30fps frame rate ensures that your movements look natural instead of choppy.
But you don’t have to buy anything—your smartphone has an incredible camera and you can use it as a webcam! Macs have this feature built into iPhones while Windows users can use a software solution like EpoCam
. You can also use a standard DSLR camera as a webcam with a capture card—just make sure that your capture card can handle high resolution.
For video podcasts recorded in-person, you’ll want to invest in at least one digital camera, ideally two. Why two? While plenty of video podcasts get away with a single, static shot, having multiple camera angles makes your video more dynamic and can increase engagement and watch time.
DSLR cameras are the most popular option for podcasting cameras, but they can be expensive. Another option that you probably already have in your pocket is your smartphone. New smartphones are capable of recording video in 4k and can automatically adjust to poor lighting conditions. Just make sure you free up enough memory on each phone to film your podcast.
When recording a video podcast, you need to think about lighting. Even if you have an incredible DSLR camera or webcam, poor lighting can make your video look grainy or washed out. But how you go about lighting will vary depending on whether you’re recording online or in-person.
For remote video podcasting, you’re probably going to be in front of a computer and, as a result, might not have as many options in terms of where you’re sitting. Ideally, you’ll have a natural light source in front of you (generally speaking, you don’t want your light behind you). If natural light isn’t an option, you can point some lamps at walls to diffuse the light around you. Another DIY video lighting trick is opening a blank Word document on your monitor and turning the brightness all the way up.
If you still need more light, you can invest in actual lighting kits—such as umbrella or panel lighting—or lighting products tailored for streamers like the Logitech Litra Beam
and Litra Glow
. Mackie also has the mRING-10, which is a 10” ring light that includes a stand, remote and holder for your smartphone.
Speaking of lighting kits, it’s an investment you’ll probably want to make for video podcasts that are recorded in-person. Like with remote video podcasting, you can lean on lamps and natural lighting, but a lighting kit will give you more consistency.
Video Podcasting Software or Video Editing Software
While most of the gear you need to start a podcast on YouTube is fairly similar, you’re going to need completely different software if you’re recording remotely vs. in-person.
Dedicated video podcasting platforms will have everything you need to record your YouTube podcast online, including post-production. A popular option is Riverside.fm
, but most video podcasting platforms offer similar features. With these tools, all you need to do is send a “room” link to your co-hosts or guests and hit record.
A stable internet connection is a must, but tools like Riverside.fm or Zencastr
typically record your podcast to your desktop and then upload the file to the cloud once the session is over. That way you don’t lose a whole episode if someone’s internet goes out for a moment.
One of the biggest draws of online video podcasting tools is their automatic post-production. In other words, they’ll crop your videos and optimize your audio for you—no extra video editing software required.
For in-person podcasts, you’ll need dedicated software to edit your audio and video files. If you don’t already have video editing software, there are plenty of free options that have the basics you need to comp together video and audio files, including DaVinci Resolve
is a popular option for video podcasters for how easy it makes editing—and it has a free plan. You can drag and drop video and audio files directly into descript and easily apply transitions, keyframe animations (e.g., zooming or panning across the frame) and you can trim and cut. One of our favorite features is the ability to remove filler words and long gaps between speakers in a single click.
Even With a Video Podcast, Audio Is King
As the saying goes, video is 90% audio. According to a study by theJournal of the Audio Engineering Society
, there is a “significant mutual influence between audio and video
.” Another study by Australian National University showed audio quality can determine how likely we are to believe what we hear
. In other words, poor audio quality can turn off viewers even if you’re filming in 4k.
While we can’t help you with webcams, DSLRs or lighting, we can help your video podcast sound professional. A great starting place is our Mackie Creator Bundle
, which has everything you need to start creating studio-quality audio for your podcast, including a USB microphone, podcast headphones and more.
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