YouTube may be primarily a video service but it is also a top destination for many podcast listeners. The platform already hosts millions of podcasts though the company has done little to improve the experience on the audio side of things. But that could change soon. The Google company is seemingly starting to take the podcasting business more seriously.
According to a Bloomberg report, YouTube is looking to hire an executive who would oversee its podcasting business. The executive will be responsible for organizing and managing the millions of existing podcasts on YouTube, a company spokesperson has reportedly confirmed.
YouTube might gain some podcast-specific features in the future
Google’s mobile apps division is responsible for improving the user experience of the YouTube app and website. While the platform has undergone several user-facing changes over the years, the majority of them focused on improving the video experience. There have been little to no efforts on podcast-specific features that could improve the listening experience on YouTube.
Podcast creators on YouTube mostly upload their content as a video file, sometimes with a recording of their faces while talking, while at other times, with generic cover art or some other related information. But the video feed usually doesn’t contribute to the content of the podcast for listeners. After all, that’s what podcasts are all about, an audio-first experience.
With some podcast-specific features, YouTube could have been a much better place for podcast listeners. Thankfully, the company seems to be giving some attention to it, not just for the sake of users but also because podcast advertising sales are expected to double this year. As more people take to YouTube for listening to podcasts or share their creations, the company wouldn’t want to lose out on any revenue opportunity.
Video will remain its core offering though. YouTube reportedly generated around $20 billion in advertising sales last year. The entire podcasting business, meanwhile, didn’t top $1 billion in the US.
Moreover, Google already has a dedicated podcasts app. So the company may not be looking to overly improve the podcast experience on YouTube. Well, unless it plans to kill off its dedicated podcasts app and merge the service with YouTube, or YouTube Music.
Many of Google’s rivals, including Amazon, Apple, and Spotify, have invested themselves heavily in the world of podcasting. So the company will be on its heels as well. But only time will tell whether YouTube podcasts get the attention they need.
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