A dedicated podcasts webpage was shortly to be added to YouTube, according to rumours that surfaced earlier this year. This was a hint that the firm was taking its investments in podcasts and the potential ad income they may generate more seriously. After the URL was found to be active prior to any official release, YouTube today verified to TechCrunch that the new podcasts destination is now online for U.S. users.
The dedicated podcast page YouTube.com/podcasts went up sometime last month, and now, at least for some users, it is linked on YouTube’s current Explore page with other popular sites like Gaming, Sports, Learning, Fashion, and others. However, it was not visible in the website’s sidebar navigation.
When contacted for comment, YouTube stated to TechCrucnh that the URL was not currently available worldwide.
According to YouTube spokesperson Paul Pennigton, “The podcast destination page on YouTube helps viewers explore new and popular podcast episodes, series, and artists as well as recommend podcast content.” “It is presently exclusively offered in the United States.”
Regarding the company’s ambitions for podcasts in general or the platform specifically, YouTube declined to comment more, giving the impression that a more comprehensive announcement was still forthcoming. (If we had to guess, it’s conceivable that this will be one of the announcements prepared for a YouTube creator event slated for next month.)
Before today, there were a number of indications that YouTube was taking podcasts more seriously, especially since Spotify joined the market by supporting video podcasts.
According to rumours, YouTube recruited Kai Chuk, a podcast industry expert, to oversee its efforts in the field and has been paying well-known podcasters to record their episodes. A presentation that described YouTube’s podcast roadmap and was 84 pages long was leaked in March by a website named Podnews. In the paper, YouTube made known that it intended to test the functionality by consuming RSS feeds. It also included a new URL, YouTube.com/podcasts, but at the time the link wasn’t functional.
The paper also contributes to the clarification of some of YouTube’s ideas on podcasts, since it implied that YouTube intended to include audio advertisements offered by Google and other partners. At a time when the younger generation has switched their search activity from Google to other sites, like TikTok, this might provide the internet giant a possible new cash source. According to the paper, YouTube intended to offer audio-first metrics to artists and incorporate YouTube data into systems for measuring podcasts, such as Nielsen, Chartable, and Podtrac.
An important step for the organisation is the establishment of a top-level landing page for podcasts.
As the relevance and popularity of other YouTube verticals increased, YouTube would promote these categories by giving them their own homepages on its website and including a link to them in its main navigation. Particularly noteworthy examples of this are YouTube Gaming from 2015 and YouTube Fashion (now Fashion & Beauty) from 2019. It also has a prominent YouTube Music link on mobile devices that launches the companion app for YouTube’s Music service. In the future, if Apple wants to take use of its capacity to direct users from its flagship app to its streaming service, it could presumably do the same with podcasts.
The development of podcasting on YouTube comes after major spending on the format by Spotify. The business has acquired comparable businesses for more than $1 billion. It built podcast ad tech platforms and services, launched premium podcast subscriptions, and brought studios and exclusive programming in-house. This past June, Spotify touted the potential earnings from its podcasting endeavours, pointing out that its podcasting business produced over €200 million last year, rising 300% from 2020.