YouTube is not a platform that fails to sniff which way the wind is blowing, and although it’s taken some time, the giant now looks ready to move into the world of podcasts.
A presentation leaked to PodNews indicates that YouTube plans to bring podcasts directly to the platform and will monetise them via audio ads. Publishers and creators will be familiar with YouTube’s current revenue share scheme, and something similar could be on the way with podcasts.
YouTube has the highest monthly usage of any social media app, according to Hootsuite & We Are Social. Users spend almost 24 hours each month on the YouTube mobile app, while Facebook and TikTok are joint-second with 19.6 hours per month, and Instagram trails on only 11.2 hours per month.
YouTube already has a highly popular audio offering. The top query for YouTube searches in 2021 was “Song.” The second most popular search term? “Songs.”
DJ, Dance, New Song, TikTok, and Karaoke also land in the top ten list of YouTube searches.
Ergo, for brands and creators producing podcasts for content marketing, it isn’t difficult to see YouTube’s vast potential upside.
What’s in YouTube’s audio pipeline?
YouTube is currently working on a new podcast discovery page within the app.
Among other things, podcasters would be able to share their episodes via RSS and learn more about their audience via YouTube’s analytics.
As well as ads and RSS, YouTube’s analytics will include metrics for ‘audio-first creators’. YouTube is also working on podcast attribution and indicated it has several big players in the pipeline, such as Podtrac, Nielsen and Chartable.
YouTube’s existing audio content and ads
It goes without saying that YouTube is a massive player in the world of video, but it also has a ton of audio-only content. Its push to music has opened that door (YouTube Music has 77 million paying subscribers), and many podcasts are already uploading their episodes to the site in an attempt to produce another revenue stream.
Audio only ads first appeared in 2020, and featuring them on podcasts would be a logical extension. Doing so would give creators another potential revenue stream and embed them further into the YouTube ecosystem.
Many popular YouTubers already host podcasts, and keeping all their content in one space would be a massive boost to YouTube and would convince their audiences to spend more time on the app.
Facebook made a podcast play in 2021
YouTube isn’t the first big platform to try and grab hold of the podcast bandwagon.
Facebook currently offers its podcast offering to US listeners on mobile. Creators can publish podcasts directly to Facebook and take advantage of the discovery boost that brings. For further exposure, creators can also add a podcast to their Page. When you add a podcast to your Page, users can listen to it directly on Facebook.
To publish a podcast to your Page(for US users), you need to have added your podcast to your Page via RSS. To do so is easy:
- Select your Page, go to Settings and click Podcasts.
- Click Add podcast.
- Enter your RSS feed and click Add.
You can then choose to publish your latest episode to your Page by going to your podcast settings.
Google & LinkedIn podcast opps
Google also has skin in the podcast game.
Creators can get their podcasts on Google, where they will be discoverable across Search, Google Podcasts, Search App, Podcasts app, Google Assistant, Content Action, Android Auto, Apple CarPlay and Discover.
Not one to be left behind, LinkedIn is also coming to the party.
Back in January, LinkedIn launched a test of its audio events platform, which lets users listen and participate in live discussions within the app.
The format looks a lot like Clubhouse and Twitter Spaces, and it could form an additional place for industry connections to prove their knowledge, network and learn new skills.
While not strictly podcasts (at least yet), the mooted audio experience will expand LinkedIn’s ability to host virtual sessions and could bring together creators and audiences in a new format.