The YouTube Podcast has launched with a new Podcasts page. Website youtube.com/podcasts will be a 404 for some people, but for others they will see a landing page that highlights the podcast content. I noticed the page for the first time on the weekend 9to5Google but apparently has been slowly unfolding ever since the last month.
The podcast page isn’t doing much right now. It shows “Popular Episodes” and “Popular Podcast Playlists” for random shows, and that’s about it. Clicking still only gives you the regular YouTube interface. It’s a tiny first step, but it’s all a part planwhich includes a major push into podcasts from Google’s media brand.
Google already has a podcasting product called “Google Podcasts” that has grown very slowly with search department in 2016. It was just starting to become a viable service around 2020, however, when the iOS app finally launched. It was before that Google Play Music Podcasts from 2015 to 2020. Earlier whatwas “Google Listen” based on Google Reader, which ran from 2009 to 2012. YouTube Podcasts will be Google’s fourth podcasting platform.
The endless rotation of Google products is exhausting, but YouTube is Google’s strongest media brand, so the move to YouTube Podcasts makes sense. Podcasts already exist on YouTube, and it would be beneficial to help this style of content grow with better accessibility, an audio-only player, and a separate content feed. This strategy of custom content verticals already on YouTube will follow in the footsteps of others (with varying degrees of success) YouTube verticals such as YouTube Music, YouTube Kids and YouTube Gaming. Assuming the company sticks to its established “vertical” strategy again, we’re just seeing the beginning of YouTube Podcasts.
Some of Google/YouTube’s biggest competitors, e.g Spotify, Amazonand apple, have spent millions (or billions) on podcast-related technology and exclusive deals, and YouTube is trying to keep up. YouTube recently created an executive role “Podcast host” with a mandate to “manage the large volume of existing podcasts and relationships on the YouTube platform.” The company also offered cover start-up costs for popular podcasts that want to go to video. A allegedly leaked YouTube’s presentation to podcast producers also promised improvements for creators, such as support for RSS feeds, improved search and discovery for podcasts, more analytics and audio-only ads.
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