Zencastr is testing a video podcasting tool in limited beta

Early this week, Zencastr sent out an email to a select number of users, outlining plans to test a new video podcasting tool. The service has grown significantly in popularity over the last year or so, as more burgeoning podcasters have sought out a service that can streamline the remote recording process.

The new feature is available as a limited, free beta, as the startup seeks to do more widespread testing. Among the key features here is the ability to record a two-way conversation in 720P, which is mixed and rendered through an automatic post production at up to 1080P. That video can then be published directly to YouTube, Vimeo and other platforms.

In other respects, the tool seems to operate similarly to Zencastr’s standard audio offering, with features like smart streaming uploads, backing up the content to the cloud while the recording is still going. Also of note is a “Green Room” feature, which gives a guest a virtual staging area to get ready for the show before going live.

Zencastr has likely been working on the feature for a while, but it’s clear why the company opted to push it out now. “Today’s future is in podcasts, tomorrow’s future is in vidcasts and that’s why we’re excited to launch our new Video Beta platform,” CEO Josh Nielsen said in a statement offered to TechCrunch.

Among the surprise knock-on effects of the COVID-19 shutdown is the already booming podcast industry’s further push into video content. That’s certainly been a factor in the recent success of video platforms like Zoom (albeit a relatively small one). While teleconferencing platforms are designed specifically for such uses, they’ll do in a pinch. And then, of course, there’s Twitch.

But like it has attempted to do with the long-standing use of Skype for audio podcasting, Zencastr is now looking to provide podcasters a dedicated platform for prepackaged video shows. Given that it’s still early stages, it’s likely to require working a lot of kinks out to get there. Interested users can sign up for the beta waitlist on the Zencastr site. The beta will be free to start. No word on pricing beyond that.