Video streaming giant YouTube has officially started rolling out podcast tools and features in the US that allow creators to upload and mark playlists as podcasts and analyse performance data.
Creators can now use Studio to directly create a new podcast playlist by entering the show’s details, including title and description, and a square thumbnail, which is exclusive to podcasts on the platform. Existing playlists can also be turned into podcasts by changing the setting and uploading a thumbnail.
Each podcast episode that is uploaded on YouTube is viewed as a video when added to a podcast playlist, but it can also be played back as audio-only – an option which can be turned on or off in the user’s video settings. Podcast playlists can also only be used for full episodes and not clips or seasons.
YouTube also advises creators to set the order of the videos on their podcast playlists from newest to oldest if the show is episodic, and from oldest to newest if the show is serial. Other tips from the platform include avoiding putting generic titles in the name of the podcast such as “full episodes” and “podcast” as these will be replaced by the channel name in the YouTube Music app.
In addition to the Studio Creator tools, users will also now be able to track their podcast’s performance through the platform analytics tab and either access an overview of the data to find views and watch time or deep dive into traffic sources, audience demographics, audience retention metrics, revenue data, and more.
Podcast creators will also benefit from new discoverability tools by gaining access to official search cards, badges on podcasts and videos, and the option to be featured on YouTube.com/podcasts. Listeners will be able to find podcasts a lot easier with new podcast-specific discovery and recommendation features.
The platform also stated that podcasts will be “coming soon” to YouTube Music for US creators. YouTube head of podcasting Kai Chuk previously made this announcement at The Verge’s Hot Pod Summit 2023 event in February, but did not confirm the official launch date. Chuk also said that the platform is not planning to license exclusive or original content in the future.
YouTube previously announced that it was testing out these Studio Creator features at the end of February before rolling them out to a wider user base. Studio, which was formerly known as YouTube Creator Studio, is a platform that allows creators to grow their channels, monetise content and interact with audiences.
YouTube is a fast-growing company in the podcasting space amid the rise of video podcast popularity, having been named the preferred platform for listening to podcasts in May 2022 by voiceover talent marketplace Voices in its 2022 Podcast Advertising Report.
The platform has continued to make advancements in its tools and technologies to support podcast creators and consumers, including its roll-out of an Explore page dedicated to trending podcast shows and channels, although this is currently only accessible in the US.
YouTube also recently announced a data integration partnership with podcast company Libsyn that allows advertisers to view video podcast download insights through Libsyn’s advertising marketplace, AdvertiseCast. Additionally, long-running podcast channel Freakonomics also announced a partnership with YouTube recently to upload its entire network’s podcast portfolio to its own YouTube channel.