YouTube is making substantial strides in solidifying its position as a prominent platform for hosting podcasts. This week, at the esteemed Podcast Movement conference, YouTube’s Product Lead, Steve McLendon, delivered exciting news to the podcasting community, affirming that the platform is gearing up to launch support for RSS uploads for podcasters by the year’s end, alongside several other notable updates. The introduction of this new functionality marks the culmination of extensive beta testing, initially conducted as an invite-only pilot earlier this year.
Furthermore, YouTube has divulged that it will expand its support for podcasts to YouTube Music by the end of the year. While YouTube had previously unveiled plans to integrate podcasts into its music streaming service in the United States, encompassing iOS, Android, and web platforms, this expansion signifies a significant push into additional markets.
In a move that positions YouTube Music as a potent contender in the podcasting arena, the company has unveiled a forthcoming feature that enables users to incorporate RSS feeds, including private feeds, into their library within YouTube Music. This strategic move not only enhances the user experience but also elevates YouTube Music’s competitive stance, putting it ahead of Spotify in terms of accommodating private RSS feeds.
Interestingly, Spotify, despite its prominence in the podcasting space, remains the sole major podcast app that has refrained from supporting private RSS feeds, often steering users toward its proprietary podcast subscriptions. However, recognizing the demand for such functionality, Spotify recently took steps to address this by forging a partnership with Patreon, a well-known platform among podcasters. This collaboration allows fans to access subscriber-only Patreon feeds directly within Spotify’s app.
YouTube’s foray into the podcasting realm has been a steadily evolving process. Last year, the platform introduced a dedicated podcasts homepage, prominently featured among its top-level navigation options. Additionally, YouTube has been actively exploring audio advertising within podcasts distributed by Google and other affiliated partners.
Paralleling YouTube’s podcasting expansion, Spotify has ventured into YouTube’s domain by embracing video podcasts. In late 2022, Spotify expanded its video podcast publishing tools, initially made available to creators worldwide, following its successful integration of video podcasts for Spotify Originals and other exclusive shows, including the immensely popular “Call Her Daddy.”
In a related development, Triton Digital, a significant player in the podcast analytics space, has made strides to integrate YouTube podcasts into its renowned Podcast Metrics platform. This integration empowers publishers to gain insights into the performance of their YouTube video content alongside their audio podcast episodes.
In a week marked by significant podcast-related announcements, both Spotify and Apple have also made noteworthy strides in enhancing their podcast creator tools. Apple, for instance, introduced subscription analytics and established a partnership with Linkfire, while Spotify unveiled an array of new customization tools, advanced analytics, and enhanced controls, underscoring the continued dynamism and innovation within the podcasting landscape.