I've been doing two video podcasts for a couple of months now, and one (in one form or another) for several years now. I started them out on Youtube, then took my second show, The MMO Troll, to iTunes as well. My third and latest video podcast, The Casual Rifter, has been exclusively on iTunes/RSS reader, as opposed to Youtube. I used these services because Youtube was convenient and had a large, built-in viewerbase, and iTunes expanded that potential viewerbase.
Now I'm tossing both of them to the curb.
It's like this: Youtube used to be convenient, but over time it has become a serious chore to upload anything to them without it taking literally hours to accomplish. I have a very fast internet connection, and no problems uploading to other locations (such as my own website), but the simple act of uploading to Youtube takes infinitely longer than anywhere else. And that's not even including the time they take to reformat the video, which isn't long since I provide my video in a very Youtube-friendly format, I'm complaining simply about loading times.
Five minute video? 15-20 minutes to upload. 20 minute video? Five to six hours uploading to Youtube. Seriously.
I'm not going to waste a good chunk of my weekend gaming time uploading to Youtube anymore, I have better things to do, such as actually playing the MMOs I cover on my websites and shows! Couple this with the fact that I get less than 100 views a week for each show I put on Youtube now, and it simply isn't worth the effort anymore.
Then there is iTunes. I listed my video podcasts with iTunes because I wasn't getting a lot of views on Youtube, and wanted to increase viewership, and iTunes diefinitely helped with that. I went from getting ~100 views per show in their first week, then dropping significantly thereafter, to several thousand views via iTunes and other RSS readers. This was great, and I was really excited to see this increase in viewership. Unfortunately, a lot of people don't like iTunes, so they walked away from the show in protest (which is odd, since they could watch it on any RSS reader like Google Reader instead). Also, I noticed that while The MMO Troll did very well on iTunes, The Casual Rifter's views shifted wildly, sometimes getting hundreds of views a week to less than a hundred for the next show, then maybe only a dozen, then back into the hundreds.
In short, listing the shows on iTunes has not been as successful as I had hoped. Also, recently I updated my podcasting software which necessitated a change on my iTunes listing as to where the RSS feed was, and Apple to date has not changed the feeds. I followed their listed procedure to request they update the feed listings, and all they did was remove my podcasts' images from their iTunes pages. To put it bluntly, it has been frustrating as hell working with Apple, and I'm sick of it!
So I'm not doing it any longer. I will be requesting iTunes take down my listings for The MMO Troll and The Casual Rifter, and from here on out they will be viewable in two ways only: Directly from my websites or in your favorite RSS reader. You can manually add them into iTunes if you like (Advanced tab in menu, choose Add Podcast, then enter the feed URL, which you can get from my websites), but they won't be listed on iTunes' podcast listings much longer. I'm still a little hopeful that Apple comes through in the end, but I doubt they will.
In the end, these changes won't really hurt my shows at all, as my website tracking software shows I am still getting plenty of hits on said shows even without Youtube or iTunes involvement. Not quite as many as I was getting, but still more than Youtube was getting. I think I might even take my old Full of Fail show down off of Youtube in the next few weeks, and add it as an archived video podcast here at Pthppt.com. Just because I can.
[UPDATE - Okay, I gave in and resubmitted both "The Casual Rifter" and "The MMO Troll" video podcasts to iTunes. Strangely enough, they went back up just fine, with iTunes having no issues with my podcast publishing software, as it did before. Still tweaking some things, but all in all it seems to be working just fine. So if you prefer using iTunes for viewing the show, you can resubscibe to "The Casual Rifter" here and "The MMO Troll" here, respctively.]