How to start a podcast on YouTube in 5 steps [2024]

This guide will walk you through the ins and outs of launching a podcast on YouTube. Whether you're a newbie or a veteran podcaster aiming to expand, we have all the information and insight you need.
August 24, 2023
Ayush Sood
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Ever opened a video podcast and thought, ”Yeah, I could do this”? But then you start looking into it and find out about all the gear, work, time, and money. And then the voice in your head cuts in to say “You fool, there’s no way you could do this.”  

Well, tell that voice to shut up. You absolutely can do this, and we can help.

A YouTube podcast opens up a world of opportunities: to reach a bigger audience, build your brand, and even monetize your content. YouTube has surpassed giants like Apple Podcasts and Spotify as the top platform for podcast listeners. And as the world’s second-largest search engine, it will make your podcast way more discoverable than on any of the podcast apps.   

But how do you start? What equipment do you need? And how do you make your content stand out? 

This guide will walk you through the ins and outs of launching a podcast on YouTube. Whether you're a newbie or a veteran podcaster aiming to expand, we have all the information and insight you need. It’s a lot, but if you’re going to do this, you want to make sure you do it right. 

Table of contents:

How to start a podcast on YouTube (TL;DR) 

  1. Plan your episodes
  2. Purchase and set up your equipment.
  3. Record your episodes
  4. Edit your episodes
  5. Publish on YouTube

What is a podcast on YouTube?

On YouTube, a podcast is a playlist, and each episode is a video within that playlist. But how does that differ from a regular YouTube channel or a YouTube video? Let's break it down.

YouTube channel vs. podcast

  • Audio podcast: An audio file hosted on a podcast hosting platform like Podbean and distributed to apps like Apple Podcasts and Spotify via an RSS feed — a standardized system for automatically distributing content updates across various platforms.
  • Video Podcast: A video podcast combines audio and video. You can list it on podcasting platforms that support video — like Spotify and Apple Podcasts — using an RSS feed, upload it as a YouTube video, or all of the above.
  • YouTube channel: This is your home on YouTube, where you can upload all your videos. It's exclusive to YouTube and doesn't interact with any podcasting apps.
  • YouTube podcast: Think of this as a special playlist on your YouTube channel where you can upload or group the video versions of your podcast episodes.

A YouTube podcast video can take various forms: 

  • A video with a static image
  • Remote interview recording (talking heads)
  • In-studio recording
  • Interview & B-roll recording
  • Animation

image
A YouTube podcast is a playlist of videos on YouTube.

Examples of YouTube podcasts:

Remember: for a YouTube video to be called a podcast, it must have an audio-only version that viewers can listen to on platforms like Google Podcasts. Otherwise, every video of a chat show on YouTube could be called a podcast. 


image
Not every chat show on YouTube is a podcast.

5 reasons brands and creators should start a podcast on YouTube

1. Video podcasting is the future

Video podcasts are growing like wildfire, especially on platforms like YouTube, which now draws a massive audience and is one of the largest search engines in the world. By adding visuals, you can make complex ideas more accessible. Editing might take longer, but the payoff has the potential to be enormous. Plus, you get more engagement from a larger audience.

Why are consumers leaning toward video podcasts? A Morning Consult survey provides a few reasons:

  • 51% of consumers preferred video podcasts to see the hosts' and guests' facial expressions and reactions. It adds a personal touch, making the connection with the audience more intimate.
  • 50% said that video helps them to better focus on the podcast. It's not just about listening to the content; it's about experiencing it.

Whether you're an aspiring creator or a veteran podcaster aiming to expand your reach by uploading your old podcast episodes on YouTube, embracing YouTube podcasting can take your podcast to new heights. 

2. Opportunity to grow your audience

Want to reach more ears (and eyes)? 

Put simply, RSS feeds that serve traditional audio podcasts don’t have an algorithm or a comment section. Putting a video podcast on YouTube offers a greater chance of reaching a wider audience and going viral than Spotify or Apple Podcasts, thanks to its advanced algorithm and the way it groups content. It’s also easier to share than a link to a podcast episode, which is usually platform-specific and may not be the platform any one potential listener uses for their podcasts — say, a Spotify link when a listener prefers Apple Podcasts.

YouTube actively promotes podcasting and has a dedicated podcast page in the US, and is also available in the YouTube Music app in some regions. 

image
YouTube has a dedicated podcast page for users in the US
“I started on YouTube just a year ago, but in that year, I’ve had more YouTube views than podcast downloads (and the podcast is three years old)! Even better — videos on YouTube may suddenly get traction months or even years after release. The back catalog in video gets much more attention than in podcasting. If you’re thinking about getting into podcasting, I’d highly recommend taking a YouTube-first approach.” - Jay Clouse, host of the Creator Science Podcast


Ashley Hamer, Descript's managing editor and the host of Taboo Science, shares Clouse’s sentiment. 

image
YouTube can help you reach a wider audience

By tapping into YouTube's vast audience, you open doors to new listeners and viewers, expanding your reach and growing your podcast's popularity. 

3. Better engagement with your audience 

YouTube provides a platform where you can be yourself through video, helping you build trust with your audience and interact with them authentically.

Unlike other platforms, YouTube enables you to engage directly with your audience. You can respond to comments, connect via livestreams, and even offer behind-the-scenes insights through community posts.

With YouTube Analytics, you gain unparalleled insights into your audience's preferences and behaviors. YouTube is the stage; you only need a unique voice and consistent publishing to grow.  

image
YouTube allows you to engage with your podcast audience in real-time.

4. Better features for podcast promotion

YouTube stands apart from podcasting apps with unique features that simplify the promotion and distribution of your podcast.

Here's how you can use them:

  • YouTube Shorts: Reach a broader audience to grow your subscribers with YouTube Shorts — video clips of 60 seconds or less that the platform shares beyond your subscriber base.
  • Community tab: If you’re eligible, use the Community tab on your channel to actively engage with your listeners through updates, polls, and more.
  • YouTube Ads: Want to go big? Run YouTube ads to expose your podcast to new listeners.
  • Podcast-specific features: Badges, official search cards, and other podcaster goodies — YouTube's podcast features can give you that professional edge.
  • Dedicated podcast page: Create a dedicated page for your podcasts on your YouTube channel, providing a centralized hub for all your episodes.

image
YouTube lets you effectively organize and promote your podcasts.

5. More monetization options than traditional podcasting apps

While getting sponsored on YouTube can be a great way to monetize your podcast, finding sponsorships takes a lot of work, a lot of audience, and can be overwhelming. Here are some more ways you can make money on YouTube with your podcast:

  1. Ad revenue & YouTube Premium: Earn money through various ads displayed on your channel. Plus, with YouTube Premium, you can earn a portion of a subscriber's fee when they watch your content.
  2. Super Chat & Super Stickers: Engage with your audience during live streams and earn money through Super Chats and Super Stickers, allowing viewers to pay for highlighted messages and fun visuals.
  3. YouTube Shopping: Leverage your channel to promote and sell products directly to your viewers.
  4. Channel Memberships: Offer exclusive content and perks to members who subscribe to your channel, creating a steady income stream.
  5. YouTube Shorts Fund: Create engaging short videos and monetize them through YouTube's Shorts Fund.
  6. Super Thanks: Allow viewers to show their appreciation by sending you a paid thank-you, known as a Super Thanks.

How to create a video podcast on YouTube

No matter where you share it, producing a podcast takes planning and preparation. Even if you're a beginner or an existing podcaster looking to expand your reach, this section will guide you through the key steps to create a podcast on YouTube.

1. Plan your episodes

Creating a successful podcast is built on solid planning. It's more than just pressing the record button; it's about designing content that connects with your listeners. Before everything else, you need a podcast name if you’re starting from scratch. Make sure your name is unique, and don’t include the word “podcast.” (If you need inspiration, here are 60 podcast name ideas to start with.) Then dive into your planning: 

  • Identify your target audience: Who's tuning in? Know your listeners so you can shape content that speaks to their interests and desires.
  • Use YouTube Search Insights: YouTube's search trends will help you understand what's trending and what your target audience is searching for, so you can create your content strategy accordingly.
  • Choose the proper delivery style: Remote interviews, B-roll, animations — pick the style that complements your content and won’t pose an undue burden on your workflow.
  • Decide on a podcast format: Will it be a solo show, or a roundtable discussion? Will you have interviews? Choose the best format for your podcast topic
  • Seek inspiration: Study your competitors or existing channels in your niche to identify what works on YouTube. 
  • Plan your first few episodes: Don't just plan one; outline your first few to ensure consistency and a strong start.

Creating a podcast on YouTube without planning is like building a skyscraper without a solid foundation. It’ll collapse without proper preparation.

2. Purchase and set up your equipment

What do you need to start a video podcast? Whether you're a beginner or a seasoned podcaster, your audio and video quality plays a vital role in retaining your audience’s attention.

To start a video podcast, you (typically) need:

  • A laptop or a PC
  • Camera
  • Microphone
  • Lighting (whether that’s natural light, a ring light, or a full lighting kit)
  • Video recording software
  • Video editing software

But don't worry about breaking the bank. The best tools to use are the tools you have.

According to my colleague Megan Schmidt, a senior writer at Descript and a video podcaster, you can go any of three ways for your video podcast setup

  • Low effort, minimal cost: Built-in camera, Zoom for recording, basic microphone, headphones, natural lighting, and a quiet room.
  • Medium effort, moderate cost: Smartphone camera, podcast software like Descript, external microphone, ring lights, and room upgrades.
  • High effort, high cost: DSLR camera, XLR microphones, full LED studio lighting kit, dedicated YouTube studio space

Your podcasting equipment needs will vary based on the type of show you're making — remote interview, in-person recording, or something with static images or animation. 

With Descript, remote recording is simple. Record your interview in SquadCast, then click “Edit in Descript.” You'll have the transcript in moments, and you can start editing your audio and video by editing the text. 

Add a tripod, microphone, headphones, and an audio recorder for in-person filming. You'll also need a high-quality camera and a proper lighting setup and space. 

Most popular podcasting microphones

Our philosophy is that your podcast microphone doesn’t matter all that much — with Descript’s Studio Sound, even a laptop mic can sound like it’s high end. You can even record a podcast right on an iPhone. But if you’ve got the cash, here are three sure-fire microphone options:

  • Shure SM7B ($400): A dynamic vocal microphone that’s used by popular podcast creators like Joe Rogan, recommended by many tech publications, and even used by a lot of recording artists. It uses an XLR output, which requires a digital audio interface — an extra expense.
  • Rode PodMic ($100): A small condenser microphone with fantastic sound and high build quality. It’s a USB microphone that can plug directly into your computer.
  • Audio-Technica ATR2100x-USB ($60): A dynamic microphone with a cardioid directional pattern that cuts down on background noise. It has both an XLR and USB output for versatility. 

Read more: How to choose a mic for your podcast.

Most popular video cameras for podcasts

If you don’t have the budget yet, you can always use your iPhone for high-quality video by using Apple’s Continuity Camera. Otherwise, here are three camera options for different budgets:

  • Elgato Facecam ($150): HD resolution and a full-featured desktop app make this one of the best webcams out there.
  • Canon PowerShot G7 X Mark II ($630): With a 20.1 megapixel image sensor and 1080p HD 60fps video, this is a popular camera for YouTubers like Emma Chamberlain and MrBeast.
  • Canon EOS M50 Mark III ($6,500 for body; lens additional): If you can swing the price tag, this will give you all the quality you need. It’s an incredibly advanced hybrid DSLR/mirrorless camera with precision face-tracking technology.

Lighting can make or break your video

Poor lighting can wash the podcast video out or make it grainy, while thoughtful lighting effectively enhances the aesthetics and conveys emotions. Natural light is excellent, but ring or standing lights with adjustable temperatures can improve video quality. 

A three-point lighting setup is good enough for most video recording spaces:

  • Key light: The main light, placed in various positions to create different moods.
  • Fill light: Helps to fill in dark, shadowy areas, positioned opposite the key light.
  • Backlight: Set up behind the subject to separate them from the background, creating a halo effect.
Read more: Lighting techniques every video creator should know

Space matters 

Consider the background and the room's acoustics, whether you're recording remotely or in person. A clean, uncluttered space with some relevant decor can make a big difference.

3. Record your episodes

Before hitting the record button, writing a podcast script and setting up a video podcasting workflow can help you stay on track and ensure you cover all the essential points. Remember to use your script as a guide, not a word-for-word reading, and allow your personality to shine through.

"Don't script your entire episodes. I've done this before, and it's a huge waste of time; your podcast episodes sound like you're reading like a robot. If anything, I do script maybe a little bit of the intro and hook just to make sure I get that right. But the other parts, I just know it's on my roadmap and when I get there, I just talk about it naturally like I would with anybody else." 
Pat Flynn, veteran podcaster at Smart Passive Income Podcast 

Best practices for podcast recording:

  • Video: Ensure good lighting and a clutter-free background. Position the camera at eye level.
  • Audio: Use a quality microphone, minimize background noise, and test the sound levels before recording.
  • Do a test recording to check both audio and podcast video quality. It's a great way to identify potential issues before recording the episode.
  • On-camera presence: Practice speaking clearly and with enthusiasm. Maintain eye contact with the camera as if speaking to a friend. Engage with your audience by asking questions or sharing personal anecdotes.

Don't strive for perfection if you're a beginner. Focus on the quality of your content and on connecting with your audience, and don't be too hard on yourself. You'll find your unique voice over time and can always improve based on your audience's feedback. Your authenticity and passion will resonate with your listeners, turning them into loyal fans.

Best podcast recording and editing software 

  1. Descript: Best all-purpose video recording software with features like AI-powered audio cleaning and text-based editing.
  2. SquadCast: Best for remote video recording with high-resolution and multitrack recording — now free for Descript users. 
  3. Adobe Audition: Advanced editing tools, recording templates, and integration with other Adobe products. Steep learning curve without audio-editing knowledge and experience.
  4. OBS Studio: Best live video capture tool, free and customizable.
  5. Zencastr: Offers 4K video and 48kHz audio, hosting, distribution, and monetization tools.
Get started with Descript for free

4. Edit your episodes

Editing your podcast episodes is more than a mere touch-up; it's an essential process that transforms your raw recording into a polished piece of content. 

Why edit your episodes?

  • Editing helps cut out mistakes and adjust pacing, and aligns audio content with visuals. It adds a professional touch, making your content more appealing to YouTube's visually inclined audience. 
  • Incorporating fun edits, zooms, cuts, and transitions can elevate the video production value of your podcast. It creates a more engaging experience for your audience.

How to edit your video podcast in six steps:

  1. Import your footage: Transfer your recorded files to your editing software. Use Descript to edit audio and podcast video in the same project, saving time and effort.
  2. Trim and arrange: Cut and arrange your clips in the desired order.
  3. Add intro and outro: Insert an intro and outro for a professional touch.
  4. Keep it natural; people are more forgiving of filler words and stumbled sentences on video. Embrace some imperfections.
"When you edit your podcast, don't worry about removing too many mistakes. Yes, obviously if you make a big mistake or sneeze or something, but removing every breath and every "um" just takes up too much time. Plus, the final product doesn't actually sound like normal human speech, it sounds fast and it doesn't sound natural.
- Pat Flynn
  1. Add music and sound effects: Enhance with background music and effects if desired.
  2. Add captions: Descript makes it easy to add captions to your podcast videos to enhance accessibility and appeal to a global audience
  3. Export your video: Save it in a suitable format for YouTube.

Pro tip: During recording, highlight sections in the transcript that would make good social clips to save time later.

5. Publish your episodes

Publishing a podcast on YouTube is straightforward using the platform's playlist feature.

Setup a YouTube channel first if you don't have one: 

  • Sign up for a Google account and create your YouTube channel.
  • Follow YouTube's verification process to unlock additional features.
  • Navigate to channel customization settings and add branding elements.
  • Produce and upload a short video as your channel trailer.
  • Create and upload an eye-catching YouTube banner or channel art (YouTube’s version of podcast cover art).
  • Craft and add a compelling description to your channel's "About" section.

You can also read our detailed guide on how to start a YouTube channel. 

Here's a step-by-step guide to help you publish your podcast on YouTube, keeping in mind the nuances and benefits of using YouTube's features:

  1. Open YouTube Studio: Log in to your YouTube account and navigate to YouTube Studio.
  2. Create a new podcast: Click "Create" and select "New podcast." You may be asked to verify your account before proceeding.
  3. Enter podcast details: Fill in the necessary information for your podcast, including:
  • Podcast Title: Name your podcast.
  • Description: Write an SEO-optimized YouTube description of your podcast video
  • Visibility: Choose whether your podcast is Public or Private.
  • Square podcast thumbnail: Upload a square thumbnail that represents your podcast.
  • Optionally, if you want to turn an existing playlist into a podcast, select "Set an existing playlist as a podcast."
  1. Click Create to save: Once you've filled in all the details, click "Create" to save your podcast.
  2. Add Episodes: Now, you can add episodes by uploading new or existing video files to your podcast's playlist. Remember, a video represents each podcast episode on YouTube, so MP3s can't be turned into podcasts on YouTube.
  3. Add videos during upload: While uploading a new video, you can add it to the podcast playlist at the "Details" step.
  4. Add Existing Videos: To add existing videos to your podcast playlist, go to the "Content" tab, select the videos you want to add, and then select "Add to playlist."

Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced podcaster, YouTube offers a dynamic space to share your content, engage with your audience, and even enable audio-only playback for a more traditional podcast experience.

Screenshot of creating a new podcast in YouTube Studio

How to promote your YouTube podcast

Tailor your marketing efforts to reach your audience where they’re most active. Plan your promotional activities around a content calendar, as consistency in promotion can lead to steady growth.

  1. Optimize your podcast for YouTube: Make sure your YouTube channel is visually appealing and includes clear descriptions, thumbnails, and relevant tags. This can enhance discoverability and increase the number of views on your podcast videos.
  2. Tell your audience: If you're adding YouTube to your audio-only offerings, inform your listeners and encourage them to subscribe to your YouTube channel. Include this information in your show notes.
  3. Promote on other social media platforms: Share your podcast on sites like LinkedIn — or wherever your audience is most likely to congregate—and market your brand-new podcast across various channels.
  4. Collaborate with other podcasters: Consider promo swaps and strategic feed swaps with other podcasters to reach new audiences and grow your listener base. Podcast partnerships can help you reach new audiences.
  5. Paid Advertising: If your budget allows, explore paid advertising options to promote your podcast to a broader audience.
  6. Analyze and adjust: Regularly review the performance of your promotional efforts and adjust your strategies as needed. Understanding what works and what doesn't is key to continuous growth.

FAQs

Is YouTube good for podcasts?

Yes, YouTube is an excellent platform for podcasts. With over 2 billion active users, it offers a vast global audience, helping creators expand their reach. YouTube provides both monetization opportunities and podcast analytics insights. Whether you're a beginner or a seasoned podcaster, YouTube's tools and features can help grow and engage your community.

Should I post my podcast on YouTube?

Yes, you should post your podcast on YouTube. Not only is it the most preferred platform for listening to podcasts, but it offers better search and recommendation opportunities than audio-only platforms, along with a massive audience, better engagement, unique promotion features, and various monetization options. It's a platform that can genuinely take your podcast to new heights, connecting with listeners more intimately and visually.

What equipment do you need to start a podcast on YouTube?

Starting a video podcast on YouTube requires some essential equipment, but it can be tailored to fit different budgets and efforts. While you can make a YouTube podcast by just using your smartphone, having professional equipment improves the production quality. If you’re just starting out, we recommend the Rode PodMic and the Elgato FaceCam.

How do I make a podcast for free on YouTube?

You can make a podcast for free on YouTube by using YouTube Studio. Create a podcast show as a playlist, and add your full-length episodes as videos in that playlist. You can organize them in the order they should be consumed and even include multiple seasons. Use built-in tools for easy discovery, recommendations, and improved search features. 

If you're new to YouTube, you can learn how to upload videos as episodes of your podcast. Remember, you should own your content, and some restrictions may apply based on your region.

Are YouTube podcasts monetized?

Yes, YouTube podcasts are monetized. Creators can earn through YouTube's suite of ad monetization solutions and go beyond ads with tools like Channel Memberships and Shopping. YouTube provides a platform for podcasters to expand their reach and offers various opportunities to generate revenue from their content.

Ayush Sood
Ayush is a freelance writer and marketer who loves writing about video marketing, the creator economy, and the software tools used in these industries.
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How to start a podcast on YouTube in 5 steps [2024]

Ever opened a video podcast and thought, ”Yeah, I could do this”? But then you start looking into it and find out about all the gear, work, time, and money. And then the voice in your head cuts in to say “You fool, there’s no way you could do this.”  

Well, tell that voice to shut up. You absolutely can do this, and we can help.

A YouTube podcast opens up a world of opportunities: to reach a bigger audience, build your brand, and even monetize your content. YouTube has surpassed giants like Apple Podcasts and Spotify as the top platform for podcast listeners. And as the world’s second-largest search engine, it will make your podcast way more discoverable than on any of the podcast apps.   

But how do you start? What equipment do you need? And how do you make your content stand out? 

This guide will walk you through the ins and outs of launching a podcast on YouTube. Whether you're a newbie or a veteran podcaster aiming to expand, we have all the information and insight you need. It’s a lot, but if you’re going to do this, you want to make sure you do it right. 

Table of contents:

Record or import audio, make edits, add fades, music, and sound effects, then publish online, export the audio in the format of your choice or send it directly to your hosting service.
Create your podcast from start to finish with Descript.

How to start a podcast on YouTube (TL;DR) 

  1. Plan your episodes
  2. Purchase and set up your equipment.
  3. Record your episodes
  4. Edit your episodes
  5. Publish on YouTube

What is a podcast on YouTube?

On YouTube, a podcast is a playlist, and each episode is a video within that playlist. But how does that differ from a regular YouTube channel or a YouTube video? Let's break it down.

YouTube channel vs. podcast

  • Audio podcast: An audio file hosted on a podcast hosting platform like Podbean and distributed to apps like Apple Podcasts and Spotify via an RSS feed — a standardized system for automatically distributing content updates across various platforms.
  • Video Podcast: A video podcast combines audio and video. You can list it on podcasting platforms that support video — like Spotify and Apple Podcasts — using an RSS feed, upload it as a YouTube video, or all of the above.
  • YouTube channel: This is your home on YouTube, where you can upload all your videos. It's exclusive to YouTube and doesn't interact with any podcasting apps.
  • YouTube podcast: Think of this as a special playlist on your YouTube channel where you can upload or group the video versions of your podcast episodes.

A YouTube podcast video can take various forms: 

  • A video with a static image
  • Remote interview recording (talking heads)
  • In-studio recording
  • Interview & B-roll recording
  • Animation

image
A YouTube podcast is a playlist of videos on YouTube.

Examples of YouTube podcasts:

Remember: for a YouTube video to be called a podcast, it must have an audio-only version that viewers can listen to on platforms like Google Podcasts. Otherwise, every video of a chat show on YouTube could be called a podcast. 


image
Not every chat show on YouTube is a podcast.

5 reasons brands and creators should start a podcast on YouTube

1. Video podcasting is the future

Video podcasts are growing like wildfire, especially on platforms like YouTube, which now draws a massive audience and is one of the largest search engines in the world. By adding visuals, you can make complex ideas more accessible. Editing might take longer, but the payoff has the potential to be enormous. Plus, you get more engagement from a larger audience.

Why are consumers leaning toward video podcasts? A Morning Consult survey provides a few reasons:

  • 51% of consumers preferred video podcasts to see the hosts' and guests' facial expressions and reactions. It adds a personal touch, making the connection with the audience more intimate.
  • 50% said that video helps them to better focus on the podcast. It's not just about listening to the content; it's about experiencing it.

Whether you're an aspiring creator or a veteran podcaster aiming to expand your reach by uploading your old podcast episodes on YouTube, embracing YouTube podcasting can take your podcast to new heights. 

2. Opportunity to grow your audience

Want to reach more ears (and eyes)? 

Put simply, RSS feeds that serve traditional audio podcasts don’t have an algorithm or a comment section. Putting a video podcast on YouTube offers a greater chance of reaching a wider audience and going viral than Spotify or Apple Podcasts, thanks to its advanced algorithm and the way it groups content. It’s also easier to share than a link to a podcast episode, which is usually platform-specific and may not be the platform any one potential listener uses for their podcasts — say, a Spotify link when a listener prefers Apple Podcasts.

YouTube actively promotes podcasting and has a dedicated podcast page in the US, and is also available in the YouTube Music app in some regions. 

image
YouTube has a dedicated podcast page for users in the US
“I started on YouTube just a year ago, but in that year, I’ve had more YouTube views than podcast downloads (and the podcast is three years old)! Even better — videos on YouTube may suddenly get traction months or even years after release. The back catalog in video gets much more attention than in podcasting. If you’re thinking about getting into podcasting, I’d highly recommend taking a YouTube-first approach.” - Jay Clouse, host of the Creator Science Podcast


Ashley Hamer, Descript's managing editor and the host of Taboo Science, shares Clouse’s sentiment. 

image
YouTube can help you reach a wider audience

By tapping into YouTube's vast audience, you open doors to new listeners and viewers, expanding your reach and growing your podcast's popularity. 

3. Better engagement with your audience 

YouTube provides a platform where you can be yourself through video, helping you build trust with your audience and interact with them authentically.

Unlike other platforms, YouTube enables you to engage directly with your audience. You can respond to comments, connect via livestreams, and even offer behind-the-scenes insights through community posts.

With YouTube Analytics, you gain unparalleled insights into your audience's preferences and behaviors. YouTube is the stage; you only need a unique voice and consistent publishing to grow.  

image
YouTube allows you to engage with your podcast audience in real-time.

4. Better features for podcast promotion

YouTube stands apart from podcasting apps with unique features that simplify the promotion and distribution of your podcast.

Here's how you can use them:

  • YouTube Shorts: Reach a broader audience to grow your subscribers with YouTube Shorts — video clips of 60 seconds or less that the platform shares beyond your subscriber base.
  • Community tab: If you’re eligible, use the Community tab on your channel to actively engage with your listeners through updates, polls, and more.
  • YouTube Ads: Want to go big? Run YouTube ads to expose your podcast to new listeners.
  • Podcast-specific features: Badges, official search cards, and other podcaster goodies — YouTube's podcast features can give you that professional edge.
  • Dedicated podcast page: Create a dedicated page for your podcasts on your YouTube channel, providing a centralized hub for all your episodes.

image
YouTube lets you effectively organize and promote your podcasts.

5. More monetization options than traditional podcasting apps

While getting sponsored on YouTube can be a great way to monetize your podcast, finding sponsorships takes a lot of work, a lot of audience, and can be overwhelming. Here are some more ways you can make money on YouTube with your podcast:

  1. Ad revenue & YouTube Premium: Earn money through various ads displayed on your channel. Plus, with YouTube Premium, you can earn a portion of a subscriber's fee when they watch your content.
  2. Super Chat & Super Stickers: Engage with your audience during live streams and earn money through Super Chats and Super Stickers, allowing viewers to pay for highlighted messages and fun visuals.
  3. YouTube Shopping: Leverage your channel to promote and sell products directly to your viewers.
  4. Channel Memberships: Offer exclusive content and perks to members who subscribe to your channel, creating a steady income stream.
  5. YouTube Shorts Fund: Create engaging short videos and monetize them through YouTube's Shorts Fund.
  6. Super Thanks: Allow viewers to show their appreciation by sending you a paid thank-you, known as a Super Thanks.

How to create a video podcast on YouTube

No matter where you share it, producing a podcast takes planning and preparation. Even if you're a beginner or an existing podcaster looking to expand your reach, this section will guide you through the key steps to create a podcast on YouTube.

1. Plan your episodes

Creating a successful podcast is built on solid planning. It's more than just pressing the record button; it's about designing content that connects with your listeners. Before everything else, you need a podcast name if you’re starting from scratch. Make sure your name is unique, and don’t include the word “podcast.” (If you need inspiration, here are 60 podcast name ideas to start with.) Then dive into your planning: 

  • Identify your target audience: Who's tuning in? Know your listeners so you can shape content that speaks to their interests and desires.
  • Use YouTube Search Insights: YouTube's search trends will help you understand what's trending and what your target audience is searching for, so you can create your content strategy accordingly.
  • Choose the proper delivery style: Remote interviews, B-roll, animations — pick the style that complements your content and won’t pose an undue burden on your workflow.
  • Decide on a podcast format: Will it be a solo show, or a roundtable discussion? Will you have interviews? Choose the best format for your podcast topic
  • Seek inspiration: Study your competitors or existing channels in your niche to identify what works on YouTube. 
  • Plan your first few episodes: Don't just plan one; outline your first few to ensure consistency and a strong start.

Creating a podcast on YouTube without planning is like building a skyscraper without a solid foundation. It’ll collapse without proper preparation.

2. Purchase and set up your equipment

What do you need to start a video podcast? Whether you're a beginner or a seasoned podcaster, your audio and video quality plays a vital role in retaining your audience’s attention.

To start a video podcast, you (typically) need:

  • A laptop or a PC
  • Camera
  • Microphone
  • Lighting (whether that’s natural light, a ring light, or a full lighting kit)
  • Video recording software
  • Video editing software

But don't worry about breaking the bank. The best tools to use are the tools you have.

According to my colleague Megan Schmidt, a senior writer at Descript and a video podcaster, you can go any of three ways for your video podcast setup

  • Low effort, minimal cost: Built-in camera, Zoom for recording, basic microphone, headphones, natural lighting, and a quiet room.
  • Medium effort, moderate cost: Smartphone camera, podcast software like Descript, external microphone, ring lights, and room upgrades.
  • High effort, high cost: DSLR camera, XLR microphones, full LED studio lighting kit, dedicated YouTube studio space

Your podcasting equipment needs will vary based on the type of show you're making — remote interview, in-person recording, or something with static images or animation. 

With Descript, remote recording is simple. Record your interview in SquadCast, then click “Edit in Descript.” You'll have the transcript in moments, and you can start editing your audio and video by editing the text. 

Add a tripod, microphone, headphones, and an audio recorder for in-person filming. You'll also need a high-quality camera and a proper lighting setup and space. 

Most popular podcasting microphones

Our philosophy is that your podcast microphone doesn’t matter all that much — with Descript’s Studio Sound, even a laptop mic can sound like it’s high end. You can even record a podcast right on an iPhone. But if you’ve got the cash, here are three sure-fire microphone options:

  • Shure SM7B ($400): A dynamic vocal microphone that’s used by popular podcast creators like Joe Rogan, recommended by many tech publications, and even used by a lot of recording artists. It uses an XLR output, which requires a digital audio interface — an extra expense.
  • Rode PodMic ($100): A small condenser microphone with fantastic sound and high build quality. It’s a USB microphone that can plug directly into your computer.
  • Audio-Technica ATR2100x-USB ($60): A dynamic microphone with a cardioid directional pattern that cuts down on background noise. It has both an XLR and USB output for versatility. 

Read more: How to choose a mic for your podcast.

Most popular video cameras for podcasts

If you don’t have the budget yet, you can always use your iPhone for high-quality video by using Apple’s Continuity Camera. Otherwise, here are three camera options for different budgets:

  • Elgato Facecam ($150): HD resolution and a full-featured desktop app make this one of the best webcams out there.
  • Canon PowerShot G7 X Mark II ($630): With a 20.1 megapixel image sensor and 1080p HD 60fps video, this is a popular camera for YouTubers like Emma Chamberlain and MrBeast.
  • Canon EOS M50 Mark III ($6,500 for body; lens additional): If you can swing the price tag, this will give you all the quality you need. It’s an incredibly advanced hybrid DSLR/mirrorless camera with precision face-tracking technology.

Lighting can make or break your video

Poor lighting can wash the podcast video out or make it grainy, while thoughtful lighting effectively enhances the aesthetics and conveys emotions. Natural light is excellent, but ring or standing lights with adjustable temperatures can improve video quality. 

A three-point lighting setup is good enough for most video recording spaces:

  • Key light: The main light, placed in various positions to create different moods.
  • Fill light: Helps to fill in dark, shadowy areas, positioned opposite the key light.
  • Backlight: Set up behind the subject to separate them from the background, creating a halo effect.
Read more: Lighting techniques every video creator should know

Space matters 

Consider the background and the room's acoustics, whether you're recording remotely or in person. A clean, uncluttered space with some relevant decor can make a big difference.

3. Record your episodes

Before hitting the record button, writing a podcast script and setting up a video podcasting workflow can help you stay on track and ensure you cover all the essential points. Remember to use your script as a guide, not a word-for-word reading, and allow your personality to shine through.

"Don't script your entire episodes. I've done this before, and it's a huge waste of time; your podcast episodes sound like you're reading like a robot. If anything, I do script maybe a little bit of the intro and hook just to make sure I get that right. But the other parts, I just know it's on my roadmap and when I get there, I just talk about it naturally like I would with anybody else." 
Pat Flynn, veteran podcaster at Smart Passive Income Podcast 

Best practices for podcast recording:

  • Video: Ensure good lighting and a clutter-free background. Position the camera at eye level.
  • Audio: Use a quality microphone, minimize background noise, and test the sound levels before recording.
  • Do a test recording to check both audio and podcast video quality. It's a great way to identify potential issues before recording the episode.
  • On-camera presence: Practice speaking clearly and with enthusiasm. Maintain eye contact with the camera as if speaking to a friend. Engage with your audience by asking questions or sharing personal anecdotes.

Don't strive for perfection if you're a beginner. Focus on the quality of your content and on connecting with your audience, and don't be too hard on yourself. You'll find your unique voice over time and can always improve based on your audience's feedback. Your authenticity and passion will resonate with your listeners, turning them into loyal fans.

Best podcast recording and editing software 

  1. Descript: Best all-purpose video recording software with features like AI-powered audio cleaning and text-based editing.
  2. SquadCast: Best for remote video recording with high-resolution and multitrack recording — now free for Descript users. 
  3. Adobe Audition: Advanced editing tools, recording templates, and integration with other Adobe products. Steep learning curve without audio-editing knowledge and experience.
  4. OBS Studio: Best live video capture tool, free and customizable.
  5. Zencastr: Offers 4K video and 48kHz audio, hosting, distribution, and monetization tools.
Get started with Descript for free

4. Edit your episodes

Editing your podcast episodes is more than a mere touch-up; it's an essential process that transforms your raw recording into a polished piece of content. 

Why edit your episodes?

  • Editing helps cut out mistakes and adjust pacing, and aligns audio content with visuals. It adds a professional touch, making your content more appealing to YouTube's visually inclined audience. 
  • Incorporating fun edits, zooms, cuts, and transitions can elevate the video production value of your podcast. It creates a more engaging experience for your audience.

How to edit your video podcast in six steps:

  1. Import your footage: Transfer your recorded files to your editing software. Use Descript to edit audio and podcast video in the same project, saving time and effort.
  2. Trim and arrange: Cut and arrange your clips in the desired order.
  3. Add intro and outro: Insert an intro and outro for a professional touch.
  4. Keep it natural; people are more forgiving of filler words and stumbled sentences on video. Embrace some imperfections.
"When you edit your podcast, don't worry about removing too many mistakes. Yes, obviously if you make a big mistake or sneeze or something, but removing every breath and every "um" just takes up too much time. Plus, the final product doesn't actually sound like normal human speech, it sounds fast and it doesn't sound natural.
- Pat Flynn
  1. Add music and sound effects: Enhance with background music and effects if desired.
  2. Add captions: Descript makes it easy to add captions to your podcast videos to enhance accessibility and appeal to a global audience
  3. Export your video: Save it in a suitable format for YouTube.

Pro tip: During recording, highlight sections in the transcript that would make good social clips to save time later.

5. Publish your episodes

Publishing a podcast on YouTube is straightforward using the platform's playlist feature.

Setup a YouTube channel first if you don't have one: 

  • Sign up for a Google account and create your YouTube channel.
  • Follow YouTube's verification process to unlock additional features.
  • Navigate to channel customization settings and add branding elements.
  • Produce and upload a short video as your channel trailer.
  • Create and upload an eye-catching YouTube banner or channel art (YouTube’s version of podcast cover art).
  • Craft and add a compelling description to your channel's "About" section.

You can also read our detailed guide on how to start a YouTube channel. 

Here's a step-by-step guide to help you publish your podcast on YouTube, keeping in mind the nuances and benefits of using YouTube's features:

  1. Open YouTube Studio: Log in to your YouTube account and navigate to YouTube Studio.
  2. Create a new podcast: Click "Create" and select "New podcast." You may be asked to verify your account before proceeding.
  3. Enter podcast details: Fill in the necessary information for your podcast, including:
  • Podcast Title: Name your podcast.
  • Description: Write an SEO-optimized YouTube description of your podcast video
  • Visibility: Choose whether your podcast is Public or Private.
  • Square podcast thumbnail: Upload a square thumbnail that represents your podcast.
  • Optionally, if you want to turn an existing playlist into a podcast, select "Set an existing playlist as a podcast."
  1. Click Create to save: Once you've filled in all the details, click "Create" to save your podcast.
  2. Add Episodes: Now, you can add episodes by uploading new or existing video files to your podcast's playlist. Remember, a video represents each podcast episode on YouTube, so MP3s can't be turned into podcasts on YouTube.
  3. Add videos during upload: While uploading a new video, you can add it to the podcast playlist at the "Details" step.
  4. Add Existing Videos: To add existing videos to your podcast playlist, go to the "Content" tab, select the videos you want to add, and then select "Add to playlist."

Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced podcaster, YouTube offers a dynamic space to share your content, engage with your audience, and even enable audio-only playback for a more traditional podcast experience.

Screenshot of creating a new podcast in YouTube Studio

How to promote your YouTube podcast

Tailor your marketing efforts to reach your audience where they’re most active. Plan your promotional activities around a content calendar, as consistency in promotion can lead to steady growth.

  1. Optimize your podcast for YouTube: Make sure your YouTube channel is visually appealing and includes clear descriptions, thumbnails, and relevant tags. This can enhance discoverability and increase the number of views on your podcast videos.
  2. Tell your audience: If you're adding YouTube to your audio-only offerings, inform your listeners and encourage them to subscribe to your YouTube channel. Include this information in your show notes.
  3. Promote on other social media platforms: Share your podcast on sites like LinkedIn — or wherever your audience is most likely to congregate—and market your brand-new podcast across various channels.
  4. Collaborate with other podcasters: Consider promo swaps and strategic feed swaps with other podcasters to reach new audiences and grow your listener base. Podcast partnerships can help you reach new audiences.
  5. Paid Advertising: If your budget allows, explore paid advertising options to promote your podcast to a broader audience.
  6. Analyze and adjust: Regularly review the performance of your promotional efforts and adjust your strategies as needed. Understanding what works and what doesn't is key to continuous growth.

FAQs

Is YouTube good for podcasts?

Yes, YouTube is an excellent platform for podcasts. With over 2 billion active users, it offers a vast global audience, helping creators expand their reach. YouTube provides both monetization opportunities and podcast analytics insights. Whether you're a beginner or a seasoned podcaster, YouTube's tools and features can help grow and engage your community.

Should I post my podcast on YouTube?

Yes, you should post your podcast on YouTube. Not only is it the most preferred platform for listening to podcasts, but it offers better search and recommendation opportunities than audio-only platforms, along with a massive audience, better engagement, unique promotion features, and various monetization options. It's a platform that can genuinely take your podcast to new heights, connecting with listeners more intimately and visually.

What equipment do you need to start a podcast on YouTube?

Starting a video podcast on YouTube requires some essential equipment, but it can be tailored to fit different budgets and efforts. While you can make a YouTube podcast by just using your smartphone, having professional equipment improves the production quality. If you’re just starting out, we recommend the Rode PodMic and the Elgato FaceCam.

How do I make a podcast for free on YouTube?

You can make a podcast for free on YouTube by using YouTube Studio. Create a podcast show as a playlist, and add your full-length episodes as videos in that playlist. You can organize them in the order they should be consumed and even include multiple seasons. Use built-in tools for easy discovery, recommendations, and improved search features. 

If you're new to YouTube, you can learn how to upload videos as episodes of your podcast. Remember, you should own your content, and some restrictions may apply based on your region.

Are YouTube podcasts monetized?

Yes, YouTube podcasts are monetized. Creators can earn through YouTube's suite of ad monetization solutions and go beyond ads with tools like Channel Memberships and Shopping. YouTube provides a platform for podcasters to expand their reach and offers various opportunities to generate revenue from their content.

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