March 29, 2024
5 min read
Matt Gray

The Great Debate: “Podcast vs. YouTube,” Which Reigns Supreme?

You want to grow your business online. You know you need to make videos or a podcast, but which one is the better choice? It’s a big decision that can make all the difference in whether you see results or end up wasting time.

Understanding the pros and cons of both podcasts and YouTube is key, and which one you focus on depends on your specific goals. First, let’s talk money.

YouTube CPM vs. Podcast CPM: Where Is the Money?

Let’s talk about CPM. It stands for “cost per mille,” and it basically means how much money you make for every thousand people who see or hear your ad.

Here’s the important part: podcasts have a much higher CPM than YouTube. That means you get paid more for having people listen to your podcast ads.

Think about it. Would a company rather pay for someone to quickly glance at their ad on YouTube, or have someone dedicate a whole hour to hearing it on your podcast?

Want to see some real numbers? Podcast creators can make around $25 per thousand listens when an ad plays in the middle of their show. For an ad at the beginning, it might be closer to $18. That might not sound like a lot, but if you get 10,000 downloads each time you put out a new episode, it adds up. And you can have more than one sponsor.

YouTube is different. People on YouTube are less focused, and how much you make changes based on what kind of videos you create.

If you want to make the most money possible from your content, audio content is the stronger choice. Companies want to advertise to your podcast audience because they know those listeners are paying close attention.

How Do YouTube and Podcasts Differ?

YouTube is a lot like Google, but instead of searching for websites, people search for videos. Users type in what they want to learn about — like “how to fix a leaky faucet” or “funny cat videos” — and YouTube shows them a whole list of options.

If you want your business to get found online, YouTube is your friend. Let’s say someone types in a question related to what you do. If your video pops up, they might learn all about your company and what you offer.

It all comes down to SEO, or “search engine optimization.” You can think of SEO as a set of rules to help your videos show up higher in the search results.

There are tricks you can learn to make sure the right people find your videos. It takes time, but the rewards are big. Those who spend time learning about SEO get plenty of views on their videos — even years after making them.

Podcasting works in a different way. Most people find podcasts through apps like Apple Podcasts or Spotify. 

It’s harder for someone to stumble across your podcast episode when they’re searching for something, but podcasts still have a special power of their own. When someone finds a podcast they love, they often proceed to listen to more episodes, giving you a spike in engagement.

How Does Content Vary Between YouTube and Podcasts?

Would you rather spend two hours watching a fun movie or sit through a two-hour lecture on a boring topic? Most of us would pick the movie, right? Well, the same idea applies to your audience when they’re online.

Short vs. Long-Form Content

On YouTube, people have short attention spans. It’s best to keep your videos to the point. If people get bored, they’ll likely click away and find something else to watch — maybe even a competitor’s video.

Podcasts offer a huge advantage here. Audio podcast listeners are ready to settle in for a longer experience. They might listen while driving, cleaning, or working out. This gives you time to really dive deep into a subject. You don’t have to rush, and you can explain things step by step.

Do you love giving lots of details and breaking things down, or are you better at getting your point across quickly and with a punch? The answer to that question helps point you toward either podcasting or YouTube.

Audience and Reach

Here’s where things get complicated. YouTube gives you the potential to reach a massive audience with your videos. The more people who discover you on YouTube, the more your business can grow.

On the other hand, podcasts help you build a dedicated community of superfans. Think about a favorite band or celebrity — those are the kinds of strong connections you can create with a podcast. These loyal listeners are likely to become loyal customers, too.

If you want the freedom to go into serious detail about topics, a podcast is your best bet. It’s a great way to establish yourself as an expert in your field.

However, if you’re focused on grabbing the attention of a huge audience and getting lots of eyes on your business quickly, YouTube videos are the way to go. Don’t forget, YouTube is a search engine with tons of potential reach because people search for information all the time.

The choice between podcasts and YouTube isn’t just about format — it’s about the kind of audience you want to build and the type of content you enjoy creating.

How To Succeed With YouTube and Podcasts

Let’s talk equipment. The stuff you use matters if you want to create high-quality YouTube videos or podcasts that attract a loyal audience.


YouTube allows you to start simple. A smartphone camera and some basic video editing software on your computer are enough for your first few videos. 

If you want to take things to the next level, you’ll want a dedicated camera. This is called a DSLR camera, and it’s the kind with that blurry background effect. DSLR cameras range in price, with nice ones starting around $500.

Lighting is even more important than the camera itself. Good lighting elevates even a cheap camera’s image. Natural light is always the best, so try filming near a window. If you’re really committed, consider investing in a special lighting setup for your video production.


Podcasts win on budget. 

All you truly need to get started is a decent USB microphone that plugs into your computer. There are USB mics that sound great and cost less than $100, making podcasting super accessible for beginners.

The beauty of both podcasts and YouTube is that they play to different strengths. YouTube requires comfort with talking on camera and learning video editing software. If the idea of being watched stresses you out, audio-only podcasts could be a better fit.

Podcasts focus purely on your voice. Strong speaking skills, knowing how to record audio, and basic audio editing knowledge are key. Being a social media butterfly isn’t a requirement if you choose to go the podcast route.

YouTube often requires a higher initial investment in gear if you want professional-looking videos. Of course, you can always start small and upgrade as your content gains traction.

Podcasting is a lower-cost way to get started. Your focus will be on speaking clearly and confidently into a microphone, then polishing the audio file later.

No matter what you choose, success in content creation comes down to skill-building, practice, and finding your unique voice. Your long-term vision for your business will help you determine whether a podcast or YouTube channel aligns best with your goals.

What Should You Know About the Rise of the Video Podcast?

Video podcasts are a cool way to blend the best parts of YouTube and traditional podcasts. You get the visual content of YouTube for tutorials, interviews, or dynamic discussions combined with the dedicated listenership of the podcast world.

What Are the Benefits of a Video Podcast?

Video podcasts open up a bunch of new possibilities — you can get traditional podcast sponsorships, but you’re also able to tap into YouTube’s monetization system for videos. This double source of potential income is a huge plus.

Let’s not forget another benefit: repurposing content. By recording a video version of your podcast, you can easily extract the audio for release on podcast apps and platforms. It’s basically double the content from one effort.

What Should You Keep in Mind With Video Podcasts?

Of course, video podcasts mean a bit more gear. You’ll need decent cameras on top of your podcasting microphone setup. And don’t forget those lights we talked about — good lighting is even more important with a video podcast.

Here’s a pro tip: Think about repurposing content in other ways, too. A video podcast could be broken down into shorter video clips for social media or even become the base for a whole series of YouTube videos.

A small warning, though: video podcasts come with their own challenges. 

For instance, you’ll need video editing skills, and the files take up a lot more storage space than audio-only podcasts. That said, the benefits might make it worth the extra effort. If you have a vlog or YouTube channel already, adding a full-length video podcast to the mix is a natural expansion.

Think about using platforms like Zoom to record your video podcast. It’s great if you interview guests, and you can even do live streams to interact with your audience in real time.

Video podcasts offer creators a way to maximize reach and revenue with their content. If you’re already comfortable with YouTube or have a talent for being on camera, adding a long-form video podcast could be a smart way to level up your content strategy. Just be aware of the increased technical demands before diving in.

Your Future Vision: Who Do You Want To Be?

Let’s think long-term for a second. 

Where do you want your brand and business to be in 10 years? Do you want to be a well-known name that is recognized in your field? Do you dream of having a huge audience that loves and supports your content?

The goal is to build a brand that’s driven by personality. The aim is to have people follow the person behind the brand, not just the information being shared.

That’s why YouTube and podcasting became essential tools. A YouTube channel allows people to get to know the person, while a podcast offers a way to explore complex topics in more detail.

How To Choose Between YouTube and Podcasts

Choosing between podcasting or YouTube isn’t just about features — it’s about aligning your content with your true self. Here’s why.

Podcasts create deep connections: People who listen to podcasts are often super dedicated. It’s like they become a part of your community. Think about podcasts like Joe Rogan’s — those listeners are loyal.

YouTube helps you get discovered: YouTube videos pop up in search results, so you can reach new people constantly. This is perfect if you want to build a huge audience quickly.

There’s nothing stopping you from doing both a podcast and a YouTube channel. It’s a lot of work, but many content creators successfully have their content in video and audio formats. This can lead to even more growth and monetization options.

The main difference is where you want to focus your energy. Do you want loyal fans who know you well or a massive audience potential that comes with good video content on YouTube?

It all comes down to a fundamental understanding of who you are. This comparison between podcasting and YouTube has hopefully been both detailed and easy to understand. Remember, success in the world of online content requires knowing your strengths and your audience, not just picking the trendiest platform.

Choose Your Path to Success

This deep dive into podcasts vs. YouTube might have been a lot to take in, but I aimed to keep it easy to understand. The truth is, both options are amazing ways to grow your business. Knowing where to focus comes from my own experience on these platforms — and I want to see you succeed.

Whether you’re drawn to the focused audience of podcasts or the massive reach of YouTube, there’s a path for you. Let’s make that path crystal clear. Need more guidance? Consider the Founder OS program or subscribe to our Founder OS newsletter for ongoing tips to elevate your online presence.

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Matt Gray

Founder & CEO of Founder OS

I’ve built 4 successful companies and a community of over 14 million people. My mission is to help 100,000,000 founders automate their business and hit $5,000,000 profit per year. I help you grow your personal brand and business in just 3 minutes a week.

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