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Embracing YouTube: A Must for Today’s Podcasters

Article by Amplifi Media Amplifi Media

August 24, 2023

by Steve Goldstein, CEO of Amplifi Media

While platforms like Apple Podcasts and Spotify have traditionally been the homes for audio content, a new player is proving to be a game-changer: YouTube.

The rise of YouTube as a podcast consumption platform is undeniable. At our Thursday keynote at Podcast Movement, we revealed a lot of important data from “The New Rules of Podcasting on YouTube,” a new research study from media research firm Coleman Insights, and my podcast consultancy, Amplifi Media. These two findings stand out above all else:  

  1. YouTube is growing rapidly as a destination for podcast consumption. It now outranks Spotify and Apple.
  2. A remarkable 75% of our survey respondents said a podcast can be audio OR video. Most users of Apple Podcasts and Spotify agreed. So, it’s not just a YouTube thing.

This second point is where some legacy podcasters will likely turn a collective bright red on the way to blowing a gasket, having a fit, and impugning the data on the Mastodon social media platform. Go ahead. I get it. But those seeking to capture more listeners and meet the audience where they are will get past the understandable “pure-podcasts-are-audio” tantrum and start making plans to meet consumers’ changing patterns in a dynamic digital world. Here is some actionable advice. 

Tap into the immense audience.

Our study revealed that YouTube is now the number one platform people use to find, listen to, or watch podcasts. It’s no longer just a hub for videos but a melting pot for all forms of digital content. A platform with over 2 billion logged-in monthly users, YouTube offers immense audience development potential that podcasters can tap into. It won’t be easy.  

Shift your focus onto the opportunity. 

So, what’s holding podcasters back? For one, YouTube doesn’t yet support RSS feeds, the tool most podcasters use to distribute their content across multiple platforms. Moreover, the YouTube monetization landscape is markedly different from traditional podcast advertising methods, making it a daunting realm for those accustomed to the current system.

However, focusing solely on these challenges closes our eyes to the extensive opportunities YouTube offers. 

We offered several findings and a few “new” rules at PM23:

  • Visual element: Even if your primary content is audio, the addition of simple visuals, animations, or even just a static background can enhance the user experience. You don’t need to be Steven Spielberg.  
  • SEO benefits: Tweak your content to be sure it is discoverable on YouTube. 
  • Warm up the algorithm: Our experience is that YouTube’s algorithmic rules can be tricky and different. When it sees content gain traction and become popular, it feeds on itself. Just like a popular restaurant becomes more popular as word gets out.  
  • Engagement: The comment section allows for immediate feedback and audience interaction.

Understand how YouTube monetization fits into your strategy.

YouTube monetization can be a minefield, but it’s worth traversing. The key is understanding the platform’s policies and using them to your advantage. Some networks are experimenting with everything from baked-in ads to commerce links. Many podcasters effectively use YouTube not as their primary monetization source but to expand their reach, driving listeners back to their main platform.  

Try science projects – it’s essential. 

Adapting to change is crucial in the ever-evolving digital landscape. YouTube’s emergence as a significant podcast discovery platform is a testament to this. While it may require a shift from traditional podcast distribution methods, the potential rewards for audience reach and engagement are beyond doubt. The biggest podcast companies are embracing, experimenting, and learning. 

It’s time to look beyond the RSS feed and embrace YouTube. The future of podcasting might just be more visual than we ever imagined.

Want to learn more?

We are running a webinar with the same findings presented at Podcast Movement and make our data available at that time. Coleman Insights and Amplifi Media will present “The New Rules of Podcasting on YouTube” webinar on Thursday, September 7th at 2PM EDT/11AM PDT. I hope you join us! Registration is now open.