If an audio podcast is like premium theater seating, then a video podcast is like a backstage pass. One gives you close access to a performance and a great overall spectator experience. The other is more intimate, lets you look behind the curtain, and gives you a chance to get to know the performer even better.
Video podcasts highlight the nuances of podcast hosting, interviewing, and recording. They can also enhance episodes with additional visual elements, like graphics, charts, and curated video clips. The format creates a heightened sensory experience for podcast consumers and a closer connection with the creators they love.
“Rayos X con Rayito” and “TICARACATICAST” are two video podcasts from Latin America that showcase the unique value of the visual and audio format. The creators of each show shared their insights on what they find special about video podcasts and how they’ve made their own a success.
Use these glimpses into their video podcasting experience to get a better understanding of how you can explore the format for your own show.
The unique value of video podcasts
“Rayos X con Rayito” is a Mexico-based podcast that features prominent public figures and lesser-known movers and shakers. Creator Ryan Hoffman interviews guests about their projects, controversies, and areas of expertise. Rayito says the episode with guest Roberto Mtz is one of his favorites because it was full of interesting topics, and the interview was “greatly enjoyable.”
While you can hear that the conversation is engaging and lively, seeing it gives the viewer a deeper sense of the host-guest relationship and their personalities. Rayito says, “What we like about video podcasts is that people can see the facial expressions of a guest. Sometimes it is crucial or even funnier to see a guest’s face when answering questions.”
Marcos Chiesa (“Bola”) and Marvio Lucio (“Carioca”) are two friends, former radio and TV show colleagues, and the creators of “TICARACATICAST,” a Brazil-based podcast. They interview guests in a light-hearted, relaxed environment about their lives, projects, and careers, which inevitably results in boisterous laughter. “We created the format based on how we'd like to be interviewed ourselves,” say Chiesa and Lucio. Their camaraderie and sense of humor shine through even stronger on screen.
While they say there are “lots of iconic episodes,” episode #47 with Carlinhos and Ceará “is perhaps the one that stands out the most.” Their guests were also former colleagues at the Brazilian radio and TV programs they worked on, and they reminisced, told funny stories, and shared behind-the-scenes anecdotes from that time. It’s a wild ride for the viewer, complete with animated gesturing, guitar playing, singalongs, and wine drinking. It makes you feel like you’re in the room with them, can pour your own glass of wine, and watch the antics unfold over the course of the 4+-hour-long episode (or less, if you want).
“We like the format because it gives us freedom in terms of interview time and also on the topics we discuss. It also enables our audience to choose the best time and format (audio or video) to watch or listen.”
Designing the visual environment
In video podcasts, the energy of the creators and their programming comes to life on the screen. Another huge draw is, of course, the visual and aesthetic elements.
For example, the “Rayos X con Rayito” studio is video podcast-worthy, with colorful neon lighting and a wall completely adorned with vinyl records. Rayitoi uses two video cameras to record: a Canon 6D Mark II and a Sony Alpha 7 III. With this setup and format, he effectively created his own talk show without having to be picked up by a network. He also displays his and his guest’s social media handles, as well as his podcast logo on the screen for extra branding.
The “TICARACATICAST” studio also has a very thoughtful and intentional design. It has a combination of soft white and blue “scenographic” lighting with cool, industrial light fixtures. The focal point is a large, sleek table where the hosts and their guests sit, surrounded by one brick and one plain wall. There are large, geometric shelves set against each wall with lots of fun details and decor, like figurines of characters, including Bola and Carioca themselves. Their podcast logo is displayed on a TV screen and other spots in the room.
They use three Panasonic robotic broadcast cameras to record. Professional equipment like this makes for excellent video quality, but it’s not required to start a video podcast. A decent digital camera or even a camera phone will still produce a quality video.
Keys to success for Rayos X and TICARACATICAST
As early adopters of the video podcast format, Rayitoi, Chiesa, and Lucio have picked up some valuable lessons along the way.
With 79 video podcast episodes and counting, Rayito keeps “Rayos X” moving forward by focusing on consistency and quality. He says sticking to a regular, reliable podcast schedule is essential for keeping your audience engaged. That consistency, combined with producing a level of content quality that “you feel proud of making and uploading,” is how he’s earned steady growth.
Chiesa and Lucio are committed to pouring their best into the pre-production planning and recording process. As former radio and TV hosts who specialize in interviewing, that means an emphasis on their guests, which translates into quality content for their audience. “As an interviewer, you need to be attentive and interested and, above all, respect the guest and the audience,” they said.
While planning and completing a successful final product is the first priority, promoting it is critical to maintaining and growing their audience. The “Rayos X” and “TICARACATICAST” creators promote their shows on their podcasts and personal social media networks, as well as upload their videos to additional streaming platforms.
The visual format expands the opportunities for marketing content. With video podcasts, you can take short clips and post them to Instagram and TikTok to leverage the explosive popularity of short-form videos. You can also use screenshots to post as images on your marketing channels. Video gives you a ton of material you can repurpose to promote individual episodes or for evergreen content to build interest in your show.
Video podcasts open the door to experimentation
Video is a new frontier for podcasting, and there’s no one right way or formula to do it. As Rayito said, it opens up a wider range of ways to experiment with new content. You can have a talk show format, play live music, do cooking demos, play interactive games, and so much more. Creators who embrace video podcasts in its early stages can leverage their imagination and creativity to help sculpt this emerging format and set trends.
Chiesa and Lucio said the arrival of video podcasts to Spotify “was a dream come true, and it happened at a point where global technology made it possible to use this new format.” Explore the possibilities for yourself by hosting your own video podcast with Spotify for Podcasters with direct streaming on Spotify.