By podcasting’s definition, YouTube Channels are not the same as podcasts. I keep hearing the comparison and matching going on by users and some newer content providers. The current state of perceptions might lead one to that conclusion, but they are very different things.
What you generally find is that podcasters and YouTube content creators are very different. You also find that successful podcasters are not always successful YouTubers and successful YouTubers are rarely successful podcasters. The two areas cater to very different audiences and usage scenarios. Here is a case study presented by content provider Pat Flynn that discusses his success in combining YouTube and Podcasting distribution. He did find a synergy between the two for him, but depending on the type and genre of content your success will vary.
The existence of proprietary distribution platforms like YouTube and other mostly streaming hosting platforms is creating some confusion around what a podcast is today. Things come in cycles and we have seen this gravitational pull to streaming that started in the late 90s and is continuing to grow in popularity. The thing that always kept streaming grounded in reality is the unreliability of internet connections to deliver the data speeds to keep us connected to the audio and video content we seek online. While admittedly, our wired and wireless broadband has gotten much better over the past 10 years, we still have a need to store our media files locally for playback anytime at a consistant quality level.
We are seeing increasing user demand for on-demand streaming like playback for podcasted content today and am sure the demand will continue to grow. This will cause the podcasting community to evolve the current model more towards favorites and click-to-play user scenerios. These new user scenerios and functions are already being built into podcast aggregator apps, but for us to move towards more streaming, will require podcasters to move beyond the current download and subscription model that is still popular, but fading today.