YouTube has moved to increase its position in podcasting by appointing a new lead in the field. Kai Chuk has been put in charge of the post to manage podcasts on the platform as the behemoth seeks to keep the likes of Spotify at bay.
Chuk, who has been at YouTube for almost a decade, will look to streamline their operation and better manage and organize the vast amount of podcasters on their platform in such a way that will better position the company on what is now a very busy space.
This news comes at the same time, not coincidentally, as YouTube launches the option to background play music on its service in Canada, which would make its content more amenable for podcasters.
It may be necessary at this juncture to separate the differences between audio and video podcasts. The video podcast industry is going great guns, growing rapidly, and is becoming a more financially beneficial model, especially for the big players in the market. Take into account the vast sums Joe Rogan was offered to leave YouTube and move his podcast show to Spotify late in 2020. That deal was said to have earned Rogan as much as $100m.
It’s believed that in the US alone, the podcast market is worth as much as $14 billion and is growing at quite a rate, and YouTube knows that other competitors are entering the space and could risk costing the company dearly.
Anyone looking to put together their own podcasts may well be seeking to do so on a tight budget. With that in mind, it’s well worth considering using royalty-free music as the source for any music you use, perhaps in your intro, or to score any visuals you may use on a video podcast.
Royalty-free music will help keep you clear of potential penalties for using, without permission, existing mainstream music. Those punishments range from having your social media channels suspended or deleted entirely, all the way to financial penalties or even jail, and therefore it’s well worth checking out.
This is particularly relevant for audio-only podcasts where you really need a large array of tracks, samples, and effects to make your voice heard above the crowd.
Some predict that moves to put more emphasis on podcasts, strictly audio-based ones, be accompanied with some sort of logo or visual presence if they are going to be given any actual standing on the YouTube platform.
After all, YouTube is all about videos, and as such, a move to podcasting being a larger part of their business model would require some kind of compromise on that front.
A spokesman for YouTube, on the appointment of Chuk, stated that his main task is to;
“Manage the large volume of existing podcasts and relationships across the YouTube platform.”
There are many who upload podcasts to YouTube as if they were regular videos, and conversely, there are millions of audio-only podcast episodes on YouTube Music. It, therefore, makes sense to somehow marry those two aspects together.
Currently, any YouTube visitor can listen to the podcasts on YouTube Music for free, but only those who are Premium users, paying $11.99 a month for the privilege, can do so on the background setting.
The moves to simplify the process are in line with how Spotify and Apple Music do, and clearly, Kai Chuk is being put in charge of continuing the process.
It’s interesting that a site as massive as YouTube, where users upload upwards of 500 hours of new content every minute, is still very aware of ‘smaller’ players eating into their bottom line.
YouTube has 2.74 billion, that’s billion with a b, monthly active users. Take into account there are around 8 billion humans on the planet and you can see just how vast the audience the service attracts.
It’s interesting also to note that while other social media giants such as Facebook and Twitter, are regularly attacked for numerous nefarious actions that are undertaken either by their services, users, or their CEOs, YouTube manages to fly under that particular radar and one imagines that’s the benefit of having an audience and appeal that transcends the competition.