YouTube is looking to appoint an executive to oversee its podcasting business, a new role for the video giant and a hint that its parent company, Alphabet Inc.’s Google, is starting to take the category seriously. Many producers create videos while taping episodes and uploading them to YouTube, making it one of the most popular destinations for podcast listeners.
“The Joe Rogan Experience,” one of the biggest podcasts in the world, with over 11 million subscribers on YouTube and some well-known YouTubers, such as Logan Paul and h3h3, have also ventured into podcasting. Despite this, YouTube has done little to tailor its app or website for podcast listeners, entrusting the task to Google’s mobile apps division.
According to a spokesperson for YouTube, the company is now looking for an executive to oversee the organisation and management of the site’s millions of podcasts. In comparison to online video, podcasting is a minor business. Last year, YouTube produced about US$20 billion in advertising sales, whereas the entire podcasting industry in the United States did not exceed US$1 billion. However, the sales of podcast advertising are expected to double in 2021.
Many of Google’s competitors are vying for podcast listeners. For example, Spotify Technology SA has spent billions of dollars on podcasting companies and shows, while Amazon.com Inc. and Apple Inc. are both starting to increase their investments as well. Spotify has also begun to experiment with video podcasts, also known as vodcasts, limiting the length of videos Rogan can post onto YouTube.
At Google, podcasts have had a few different homes. First, they started as part of Play Music, which was disbanded to make room for a YouTube-branded offering. Then Google placed them into a dedicated Android app.