I Don’t Need It

Podcasts with video, aye or nay?

This is not a new debate, but as the industry continues to grow it’s a debate that will remain evergreen. I’ve taken part in my fair share of conversations and felt like it would be appropriate to add my thoughts in a single space.

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Honestly, my feeling is that video isn’t necessary for a great podcast. Some of my favorite shows, like ShowBoys Podcast, live stream their episodes and then convert them into an audio show. I don’t have time to sit for a 2-hour live stream (except for the time I joined them to talk about Star Trek!) but I can usually listen after the fact and they do an awesome job with both. I won’t name names, but I think we can all think of a podcast with a video component where the show would be better served if they focused on audio, rather than video.

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I also feel very strongly about audio-only podcasts because of accessibility. While most Americans have access to broadband internet at home, there are 23% of us who don’t have access in our homes. For those of us who don’t have that type of access at home, going to your local library or coffee shop to download an episode that can be listened to everywhere is a huge benefit to everyone. Listeners get your message, and you get an audience. 

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The other reason I feel so strongly about audio-only podcasts is because of the time component I mentioned earlier. Women are a growing market in podcasts – and the data shows they’re the listeners you want on your side. Those of us who are also parents have a lot of work on our plates, about 2.5 times more than our male counterparts. Sitting to watch a video for entertainment or education is not always something that is possible for us. But (as I say to my kids) our listening ears are often available. Audio podcasting allows someone creating a show to capture the attention of someone who definitely needs a distraction from all the dishes. 

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What do you think? Do you need a video with your podcasting experience or do you prefer standalone audio?

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