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Video Podcast: advantages and disadvantages of Riverside.fm [test]

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At last, I’ve taken the plunge. I have just made a video podcast with Riverside.fm, a new solution that was launched this year by 2 young Dutch people. So, I left out Cast (audio podcasts) in favour of Riverside.fm and in this blog post I wanted to tell you about my experience in the field after several “blank” tests and a recording with the CEO of Mendi.io.

test riverside.fm

1st video podcast test carried out with Riverside.fm

But why a video podcast?

After having produced about fifty episodes of my podcast in audio and having perfected my technique, I needed an image, for 2 main reasons:

  1. It is sometimes challenging to interact with the guest when you only have sound. For example, it is impossible to make a sign to interrupt the guest and ask a new question. You are dependent on their pauses, and when you come across a talkative guest, you no longer control the timing of the podcast.
  2. I’ve always been very frustrated that I can’t use my podcasts effectively on YouTube. No matter what anyone says, YouTube is THE reference platform for multimedia content. Even if a platform like Libsyn allows you to export your audio content to YouTube automatically, it remains unattractive without the support of images. Who would listen to a video file for 20 minutes … without video?

To keep in mind

Each platform has its preferred format. Music streaming media are designed to host and retain users on long audio content. Video content, on the other hand, needs to be shorter to correspond to a “snacking” type of consumption. It is, therefore, necessary to divide one’s video podcast into capsules of 2-3 minutes maximum that can easily be consumed by an audience with a low level of concentration. Unlike audio podcasts, which are enjoyed by a “captive” audience (in the car, on public transport, moving in the street), video clips are usually viewed at home during moments of relaxation. Zapping is therefore very easy (especially with YouTube’s recommendation algorithm) because the user’s attention is often minimal.

A few words about Riverside.fm

Riverside.fm is a platform that has just been launched in 2020. I first heard about it in September 2020 when I started thinking about a transition from audio to video podcasting. To make a comparison, I would say that Riverside has all the advantages of the audio platform I used before (Cast) plus the video dimension.

The main advantage of Riverside.fm is that after your podcast, you can directly download the files of each audio and video stream in the highest quality format. Riverside.fm highlights the possibility of downloading audio in wav format compared to a compressed format such as mp3. As far as I’m concerned, I’m not able to tell the difference between one and the other. Besides, Cast only proposes the mp3 option, and the quality of my audio podcasts has so far been impeccable.

However, one must keep in mind that creating video content is not as simple as making audio. Video requires a lot of editing work and costs roughly 10 times more to produce than audio content of the same length. I’ll have to come back to this point in a specific article once I’ve accumulated some experience in the field (in the meantime feel free to watch the first chapter of my video podcast with Moha below).


Riverside.fm: advantages and disadvantages

While waiting to gain some experience in publishing video podcasts, here is a summary of the advantages and disadvantages of Riverside.fm after a few days of use.

Advantages Disadvantages
Very affordable prices Very dense native files (count 6-7 Gb for 1 hour with 1 guest)
Very easy to use (I love it!) Achieving a decent video result is not possible without an investment of time and material.
Video streams up to 4K format Some features are not yet available (for example; saving the screen sharing feed).
Fast file downloads A few minor bugs here and there (but nothing that impacts the final quality)

Riverside.fm had proposed a 50% reduction on subscriptions for Black Friday 2020. If this promotion is back in use in 2021, take a look at it because it’s a no-brainer. For less than 15$ per month, you will get the audio and video.


Conclusion

Riverside.fm is the first truly professional video podcast platform on the market. No more zoom meetings or low-quality Skype. Now you can rely on the highest quality audio and video files. Keep in mind, however, that to produce quality content, many hours of editing will be required. So Riverside.fm is not a magic solution for creating quality video content without doing post-production.
Also, note that Zencastr will also launch an extension of its audio services to video. For the moment, this solution is in Beta; I have registered, but I am in 35,000th position. There is little chance that I will be able to access it soon. This gives me plenty of time to experiment with Riverside.fm.

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