For Rooster Teeth, “video podcasts” are not necessarily videos – or podcasts

The podcast industry has evolved significantly since the last in-person VidCon in 2019. American podcasting is now a $2 billion business, and one organization that has benefited from this shift in consumer focus is rooster teeth. Thanks to its audio network the perch, the Austin-based media company distributes podcasts from renowned creators, including Anthony Padilla, Grace Helbig, Mamrie Hart and some of its own local talent. These shows have collectively attracted 87 million video viewsaccording to The Roost’s website.

Given how highly Rooster Teeth has prioritized podcasting, I was curious to see how company executives would define “video podcasts” at a VidCon panel on June 24. The Result Was Unexpected: Rooster Teeth Co-Founder Geoff Ramsey and podcast manager AJ Feliciano claimed that a video podcast doesn’t need to embed video at all, and some consumers wouldn’t even consider these videos to be podcasts.

“A video podcast is neither a video nor a podcast” sounds like a Magritte-like abstraction, but this idea becomes clear in the context of contemporary consumer habits. As Feliciano explained, young viewers “may not see any difference” between a normal YouTube video and a podcast episode that has been uploaded and accompanied by a still image. The bottom line is that listeners go to the platforms where they are most comfortable, and if you want your podcast to reach as many people as possible, it needs to follow consumers on their preferred platforms – even if these platforms seem unsuitable for a long time. form the audio programming.

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“Consuming podcasts is a conditioned behavior based on who you’re talking to,” Feliciano said. Older listeners tend to prefer Apple Podcasts, while younger listeners flock to YouTube and Spotify. Gen Z consumers may not even describe an hour-long audio-centric YouTube video as a podcast, even though an older viewer would see it that way.

In total, Rooster Teeth’s podcast programming can be found on 170 platforms, lowering “the barrier to entry for your audience,” Ramsey said. The host of the F**kface podcast called itself platform agnostic. “I just want to be out there as a creator,” he said.

Even platforms that don’t offer runtimes long enough to host a full podcast episode can be part of an audio show’s marketing mix. Feliciano called TikTok an “absolute must-have” on this front, as it can be used to share clips and “broad call moments.”

The assertion that video podcasts are less about the medium and more about the distribution strategy is consistent with the philosophy that has driven Rooster Teeth through an ever-changing digital media landscape. Even when the company dominated YouTube with its Let’s Play videos, it didn’t consider its stars gamers. In 2017 Jack Pattillo of Rooster Teeth said Tubular filter that he and his colleagues are “improv comedians who use video games as tools”. During the VidCon panel, Ramsey voiced a similar idea. He discovered that “our non-narrative content was all about conversations.” It can live in any format and on any platform as long as it retains that feel.

Rooster Teeth’s drive to constantly rethink its approach to media has kept it relevant nearly two decades after the groundbreaking web series was first published. Red vs. Blue. As the company looks to the future, it hopes to see a world in which podcasts have even more discoverability and cross-platform appeal. Feliciano said YouTube’s ability to apply its algorithm to audio will help new podcasts get noticed. Ramsey added: “There’s an audience for everything if you can connect with them.”

John C. Dent