YouTube’s taking its next steps into podcast hosting, with some users now able to access a dedicated podcast page in the app, which will eventually enable podcasters to feed their shows straight into YouTube, adding another promotion surface for their content.
As you can see in this example, most of the listed podcasts, at present, link to YouTube accounts and videos of the same, with audio versions available for each, providing another way to better integrate your YouTube and podcast content approach.
As per 9to5Google:
“Available on desktop web and mobile, it’s very rudimentary at this point. There are carousels, which can be expanded via ‘Show all’, for ‘Popular episodes’, ‘Popular podcast playlists’, ‘Recommended’, and ‘Popular podcast creators’. The rest of this page links to various categories: Comedy, True Crime, Sports, Music, and TV & Film.”
YouTube has confirmed the test, explaining that:
“The podcast destination page on YouTube helps users explore new and popular podcast episodes, shows and Creators, as well as recommend podcast content. It’s currently available in the US only.”
So it’s still very limited at present, but it’s the next step in YouTube’s podcast plans, which will eventually provide another consideration for building your YouTube and podcast audience.
YouTube’s move into podcasts was revealed earlier this year, via a leaked pitch deck which provided a basic overview of the platform’s plans to more directly incorporate podcasts into the YouTube experience.
As noted, podcasters will eventually be able to feed their audio shows in via RSS, with YouTube offering audio ads, analytics, and more to help them showcase their audio offerings.
In some ways, it seems strange that the leading video platform is moving into audio as well, but with podcast listenership on the rise, and audio options gaining popularity, there’s clear value in YouTube incorporating podcasts as another potential growth element.
As highlighted in the above image, many popular YouTubers now have their own podcasts anyway, which they share to the platform via in-studio video clips, which essentially means that YouTube already hosts a lot of audio-focused content either way. At the same time, YouTube has also made music a bigger focus, with audio-only listening options providing another means to consume YouTube content.
In late 2020, YouTube reported that music streaming had reached an all-time high, while YouTube Music itself now has more than 77 million paying subscribers. So while visual elements remain central to the platform’s broader offering, there’s clearly significant interest in audio-only content as well, while YouTube also added audio only ads back in 2020, as part of its broader push to maximize YouTube Music.
On balance, the integration of podcasts makes a lot of sense, in providing more ways for creators to solidify bonds with their audience.
YouTube hasn’t provided any further details at this stage, but an official announcement is expected sometime soon.