YouTube: Podcasts, Vidcasts, Any Old Casts Will Do for Advertising

September 6, 2022

It appears YouTube is eager to jump onto the podcast bandwagon. The Hustle ponders whether “YouTube = Future Podcast Champ?” Maybe, but Google will have to maintain interest; otherwise, another Google Plus type situation may emerge. Writer Juliet Bennett Rylah reports:

A new podcasts homepage is now available to US users, going live sans fanfare in late July. TechCrunch speculates YouTube is waiting for its creator event next month to make a formal announcement. But YouTube also: 

  • Hired podcast exec Kai Chuk in 2021 Offered podcasters and networks $50k-$300k to create videos
  • Discussed audio ads and new analytics for audio-centric creators in a leaked document 
  • Partnered with NPR to bring on 20+ of its most popular shows.

Why’s it matter? While YouTube is often seen as a video-first platform, YouTube Music had 2B+ monthly users and 50m+ paid subs as of September 2021. Though competitors including Spotify, Apple, and Amazon have made big moves in the space, a Cumulus Media analysis found YouTube is America’s most popular podcast platform, capturing 24.2% of listeners compared to Spotify’s 23.8% and Apple’s 16%.”

Rylah, fittingly, points us to a podcast for another perspective. On an episode of Marketing Against the Grain, HubSpot’s Kipp Bodnar and Kieran Flanagan assert YouTube subscribers are now the most valuable subscribers on the Internet. They also make a few predictions. For example, the pair believes YouTube’s discovery platform will give its podcasters a leg up. They also suspect the site’s background listening feature is about to become free for everyone, as it currently is in a Canadian pilot program. At the same time, the site may push both podcasts and the brands that support them toward a more visual format. But wouldn’t that just turn them into more video content? What makes a podcast a podcast? Perhaps that is a philosophical question beyond the ken of this humble, text-based content creator.

Cynthia Murrell, September 6, 2022

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