YouTube has become a destination site for podcast listening, per The Verge. According to a study from Futuri Media/University of Florida cited by The Verge, YouTube is actually ahead of dominant podcast players in certain markets: For example, 43% of monthly podcast listeners say they went to YouTube for podcasts in the past year, ahead of both Apple (34%) and Spotify (23%).
YouTubers and podcasters alike have been using the platform to cross-promote their audio shows, and it’s possible YouTube eventually creates a dedicated section to further promote this behavior. YouTube megastars like Logan Paul and Emma Chamberlain have used their existing fanbase from YouTube to popularize their podcasts by posting video episodes for each audio show on dedicated channels.
And on the flip side, certain podcasters have started YouTube accounts to offer their already popular shows in a new format. Examples include Joe Rogan’s “Joe Rogan Experience,” and Ethan and Hila Klein’s “H3 Podcast,” for both of which there are actually two channels — one for highlights and one for longer episodes and interviews. This segmentation allows hosts to draw in listeners in a way more aligned with YouTube — with the shorter clip — and then offer the full-length episode for those who want more.
YouTube could eventually double down on this natural momentum by building out a designated site or app section that makes podcasts easier to find, similar to what Spotify and Apple Music have each done for podcast content.
Podcasters and other creators might increasingly flock to YouTube to distribute their content given the potential it offers in terms of monetization and audience growth internationally. YouTube provides podcasters an additional monetization opportunity on top of host-read ads.
Typically, podcasters build out relationships with brands and then read ads during their shows. In contrast, YouTube automatically delivers ads for creators and pays them according to total views. Hosts tapping YouTube are still likely to read their own ads, but they can additionally take in ad revenue from the platform serving ads on the video versions of their shows.
Additionally, YouTube’s massive audience — now with 2 billion logged-in users worldwide — could bring in more listeners than creators might have accessed through other platforms. For instance, Spotify has just 230 million monthly users worldwide — only about a tenth of YouTube’s user base. And beyond its reach alone, YouTube is more accessible to those who don’t speak English because of its subtitles feature. That could help podcasters tap a more global audience, as podcasts on Spotify and Apple Music tend to be English-language only.
YouTube’s popularity as a podcast consumption platform could grow further given that most podcast listening happens at home. For those who don’t pay for YouTube Premium, listening to podcasts on the go is difficult: Unlike with Premium, free users can’t continue listening to audio if they lock their phone screen or toggle to a different app. But that’s likely not a dealbreaker, as nearly two-thirds (64%) of podcast listening occurs at home versus just 24% while commuting, per Reuters.
In fact, if more creators continue to upload video of their recording sessions — like Rogan or the Kleins — that extra bit of interactivity could actually be a difference-maker for users, who often feel a strong affinity to hosts. And that’s likely to become even truer as devices like screened smart speakers and smart displays work their ways into homes.
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