YouTube is officially working to expand its presence in the ever-competitive podcast arena following numerous spoken-word investments from Spotify, Apple Music, Amazon Music, and others.
The video-sharing platform’s latest podcasting push just recently came to light in a report from 9to5Google, which pointed to a dedicated landing page for the project. At the time of writing, however, this relatively bare-bones page (which some say they’re having difficulty accessing), appropriately titled “Podcasts,” only featured a collection of podcasts, creators, and related playlists.
Beneath a “popular episodes” tab at the page’s top, for instance, are categories for “popular podcast playlists,” recommended shows, and “popular podcast creators,” besides genres such as comedy, true crime, sports, music, and TV and film, respectively.
Perhaps the most interesting component of YouTube’s preliminary podcast offering – which has reportedly been in the works for some time and will mark Google’s fourth podcast platform to date – is the inclusion of comparatively short episodes (and parts of episodes).
A number of YouTube Podcasts’ “popular episodes,” for example, span less than 30 minutes apiece, with a portion of the uploads requiring just 10 or so minutes to consume. Given the considerable length of many full podcasts – the latest Joe Rogan Experience episode, which Spotify is promoting with clips on YouTube, runs over three hours – and the unique opportunity to title videos, it’ll be worth following the Google subsidiary’s precise strategy in the coming months.
More broadly, the YouTube Podcasts project arrives after a study indicated that the namesake company was outperforming Spotify in podcast listenership.
Spotify has made headlines in recent years for dropping billions on podcasts, related businesses, and other non-music audio entertainment. And despite parting with multiple podcasting execs this year, the Stockholm-based service is continuing to close (presumably expensive) pacts for exclusive programming, including a deal with Australian comedy duo Toni and Ryan in July.
Meanwhile, Spotify is reportedly outpacing Apple Podcasts in the growth department – the Cupertino-headquartered company is nevertheless expanding its own podcast library – whereas Facebook in June abruptly shut down its podcast unit altogether. Notwithstanding the uncertain economic climate and a legal battle involving comedians’ composition rights on Pandora, SiriusXM isn’t hesitating to shell out massive sums for podcasts.
At the intersection of spoken-word media and music, Amazon has launched a live-radio app called Amp and tapped Nicki Minaj to host a program that had previously been exclusive to Apple Music. Though live broadcasts are available solely to stateside fans, each installment releases (for international and domestic listeners alike) as a podcast after the fact.