YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki said in January that podcasting will be one of her company’s priorities in 2022. The Google-owned video platform is said to be backing that up with big money. Bloomberg reports YouTube is offering podcast networks as much as $300,000 to start making companion videos for podcasts streaming on the site. And some individual shows are said to be getting offers as high as $50,000 to do the same.
Citing unnamed sources, Bloomberg says the money being offered by YouTube to podcasters is positioned as “grants” to help audio producers make the leap into video. The cash could be used for either filming a companion to the podcast or producing related video content, it said.
Google has so far not confirmed the report.
Two months ago, Wojcicki said YouTube is “excited about opportunities in areas like podcasting” in 2022, which “enable creators to monetize and expand the reach of their distribution.” YouTube has made some investments in the podcasting space and Wojcicki said that is likely to continue. “As podcast usage continues to grow, we expect it to be an integral part of the creator economy,” she said.
In September, YouTube promoted Kai Chuk to Director of Podcasting and Next Gen Media Partnerships. Chuk joined YouTube in 2012, where he earlier served as the head of North American Entertainment Partnerships. He has also worked at MTV Networks and was a consultant at Bain & Company.
Even as YouTube is primarily a video service, the Edison Research Share of Ear data shows it is also quickly becoming an audio platform as well. YouTube captured a 13% share of time spent listening to audio during the third quarter according to Edison. That compares to a 6% share for podcasts and an 18% share for streaming music. Broadcast radio had the biggest share of audio consumption at 38%.
Edison Research last year conducted a study of people who primarily listen to podcasts on YouTube as part of its research work for NPR. One of the questions it asked is where did they go first to try to find a podcast they have heard about. Half (50%) said YouTube, followed by Google at 30%. Only a small number said they would hunt on a podcast app directly – Edison reports 4% said Spotify and 2% picked Apple Podcasts.