It seems to be the communications question of the year: is YouTube’s meteoric rise finally leveling out? What role does podcasting play in the contemporary PR toolbox? Which one has more opportunity? What exactly is a podcast, anyway?
In reality, the debate can never be about which
medium is objectively the best; what matters is which platform is going to work
best for your brand. That way, you stand to truly get the most out of your hard
work and content creation.
As such, let’s take a step back from the anecdotal
success stories of both platforms, and explore some alternative perspectives to
take when making your assessment.
If some 80% of businesses ultimately fail, it is
fair to assume that 80% of business owners don’t actually know what they’re
doing. With this rule of thumb, approach success stories with both podcasting
and YouTube with a weighty grain of salt. Focusing on the 1% of people who are
truly “making it” is not a big enough sample to base a business decision on.
Think Outside the Box
Podcast payment rates are based on the rate
advertisers pay per thousand listens; the podcast rate is currently $20 per
thousand listens. Meanwhile, YouTube video views are paid $9.90 per 1,000 views,
which is half this rate.
For most podcasters, sticking exclusively to this
model is sure to net you less than $5 an episode. This often leads to people
abandoning their posts; the average podcaster ditches their project after only
seven episodes. In order to be successful, you’re going to need to be creative
and hunt down alternative revenue models.
Alternative Podcast Revenue
YouTubers tend to make more revenue through
outside brand deals, sponsorships, events and merchandise than they do through
advertising on their videos. There are also other, less obvious, avenues to
Acquiring equity in other businesses, such
as those belonging to guests who appear on your show, is one way of securing
potentially more profitable stakes in alternative pies. This means being
strategic in inviting your guests to your show.
Affiliate marketing has become a popular
source of “passive income” for influencers. Even so, the use of the word
“passive” is misleading; more often than not, some kind of additional promotion
is still required in order to earn revenue as an affiliate. Even so, this is a
low-risk option: your only task is to vouch for a certain product and reap the
benefits from your persuasiveness.
When you have built a skill-set that your
audience wants, you stand a chance of entering the $355 million a day
information services sector. These days, audiences are typically time-poor, and
far more willing to pay to access other people’s experiences. In essence, they
are looking for a playbook or blueprint for a shortcut that will help them get
to where they want faster than if they try to figure it out on their own.
Indeed, your expertise may be more valuable than you think.
While the rest of the communications community
debates over YouTube vs Podcasting, know this: relying on advertising revenue
from either platform is a fool’s game.