Did Video Really Kill the Radio Star? YouTubers Breaking onto the Podcast Scene


Welcome to The Yard, a blog by Backyard Media that explains the podcast industry and podcast advertising.

YouTube isn’t a place for cat videos anymore, and hasn’t been for a long, long time. But it’s not only a place for teenagers to talk about their lives into a camera in their bedroom anymore either. In 2018, we have to accept giant media companies have overtaken YouTube - companies like Buzzfeed, CollegeHumor, Vimeo, and Vox. In an age where the independent vlogger struggles to compete with large corporations, YouTubers have to get creative about crafting their brand. One way that they’ve done this is by expanding to the world of podcasts. So what does the transition of YouTubers from video to podcasts mean for sponsors and the industry as a whole?


The Benefits of the Podcasting over YouTube

YouTubers are expanding their portfolio, not leaving their original video platform. Podcasts are enticing for content creators for a couple of main reasons. The first being that content creators no longer have to beat the infamous YouTube algorithm. YouTube's algorithim, which decides whose videos get prioritized and suggested to more eyeballs, has changed many times over the past ten years. No longer do creators have to ensure their videos are a certain length or their titles have the right buzzwords. YouTube video discovery has become about gaming the platform, whereas podcast discovery more organic. (We’ve got an article all about podcast discovery, you can check it out here.) Being freed from the algorithm means creators have more autonomy with their content.

Second, podcasts have no risk of demonetization. YouTube is a company and it controls its platform. Some creators are wary that their videos might be taken down by YouTube's automatic flagging system, or because of a report by a disgruntled viewer. YouTube bans certain types of content like violence or gore, but videos can get swept into these categories (for instance, YouTube has demonetized sex education videos in the past). Creators are always afraid that one slip up means they lose ad revenue on their videos. With podcasts, creators have direct control over the distribution of their podcast files, and if they gain any revenue from their podcasts, its from sponsors they personally know or from subscribing listeners.


What YouTubers Starting Podcasts Means for Advertisers

There are tons of big name YouTubers with well-established podcasts: Shane Dawson, Hank and John Green, and Pewdiepie, to name a few. With these established names comes established audiences. Audiences who follow these creators wherever they go, to whatever project they start. These podcasts start out with large, loyal audiences. This loyalty stems from viewers following a creator for years, seeing their personal lives through vlogs and a heavy social media presence on platforms like Instagram and Twitter. With many of these YouTubers, their audiences tend to be in their early to late teens. However, Hank and John Green have shown through surveys that their audience has gotten older (with the median age now in the early 20s) the longer they've been on the platform. With all of these audiences, though, they have grown up with sponsored online video and understand the necessity of supporting their creators through advertisements.

The format of podcast advertisements, then, won’t be jarring to these listeners, because it’s something they’ve gotten used to on YouTube. While YouTubers get to control the native advertisements they read in their videos, they have no control over the pre- and mid-roll ads on their videos.  A big advantage of podcasts is that creators get full autonomy over which advertisements run on their show. For sponsors, this means creators will know which types of products and services will speak to their listeners, ensuring a higher ROI. See our article about relying on the host-listener relationship here.

A roadblock should always be treated as an opportunity to learn and expand. The YouTuber-turned-podcaster niche is still growing. The more we learn about this niche, the more we in the industry can help sponsors understand and benefit from this unique intersection of content, audience, and platform.

For new sponsors, jumping into the world of podcast ads can be overwhelming. Know that we at Backyard Media will work with you to make sure your first, second, or even tenth podcast ad campaign is successful in increasing sales and driving new business.


Ready to join thousands of other companies who are advertising on podcasts? Contact us here and start hearing your ads on Backyard Media's podcast partners today.

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