It seems that YouTube is reaching out to podcasters and podcast networks offering “grants” of up to $300,000 to induce them to develop video versions of their broadcasts (or, to merely record their podcasts). The corporation is offering $50,000 to individuals for episodes and $200,000-$300,000 to podcast networks. Producers could use the funds to make video versions of their programs or other types of videos.
The move might provide the Alphabet Inc.-owned streaming service with more substantial programming and expand its total podcast lineup. Without investing a lot of money in the format, YouTube has grown into a significant podcasting platform. The service’s discovery system helped major stars like Joe Rogan and the H3 team grow their fan bases. According to Edison Research, they’ve gone on to become some of the most popular podcasters in the United States. The cost of setting up a studio, hiring editors, and developing a fully functional video publication pipeline, on the other hand, may prevent networks and shows from using the platform.
YouTube appointed Kai Chuk as director of podcasting and next-gen media partnerships in September 2021. Around the same time, YouTube launched The Upload: The Rise of the Creator Economy, a podcast that focuses on creators and behind-the-scenes moments from their booming businesses. Shortly after, it began allowing all Canadian users to listen to audio without having to open the app, a capability previously exclusively available to YouTube Premium customers.
Combine these efforts with the rising popularity of YouTube music video streaming, and there’s definitely something there. According to Lyor Cohen, YouTube’s global head of music, more than 2 billion people visit YouTube each month to listen to music, and YouTube Music includes more than 70 million official tracks—more than any other music service.
According to a survey by Futuri Media and the University of Florida, YouTube is ahead of major podcast players in some markets, with 43% of monthly podcast listeners indicating they turned to YouTube for podcasts from 2018 to 2019, compared to 34% for Apple and 23% for Spotify.
As the popularity of podcasts develops in the United States, YouTube may be searching for new ways to reach out to this audio-only audience. After all, 40% of U.S. internet users will listen to a podcast at least once a month. Last year, the firm predicted that for the first time, more than half of all digital audio listeners in the United States will become podcast listeners.
In other related news, YouTube is now hiding dislikes.