Podcasts look like they are about to be added to YouTube with a new leaked pitch deck providing more insight into the platform’s plans to more directly incorporate podcasts into the YouTube experience. Podcasters will be able to feed their audio shows in via RSS, with YouTube offering audio ads, analytics, and more to help them showcase their audio offerings.

It may seem a touch strange for the world’s leading video platform to be leaning into audio, but in others, the move brilliantly aligns with YouTube’s broader vision of creating a more comprehensive home base for creators, in order to help them maximise their audience reach.

Many popular YouTubers now have their own podcasts anyway, which they share to the platform via in-studio video clips, which essentially means that YouTube already hosts a lot of audio-focused content either way. At the same time, YouTube has also made music a bigger focus, with audio-only listening options providing another means to consume YouTube content.

In late 2020, YouTube reported that music streaming had reached an all-time high, while YouTube Music itself now has more than 77 million paying subscribers. So while visual elements remain central to the platform’s broader offering, there’s clearly significant interest in audio-only content as well, and YouTube also added audio only ads back in 2020, as part of its broader push to maximise YouTube Music.

YouTube hasn’t provided any official release info for its podcast plans, but it did hire a podcast executive to lead its efforts last October, while more recently, it’s been offering deals to popular podcasters to film episodes of their shows.

It is quite intriguing to consider how YouTube is changing focus in this respect, and shifting its content funding away from original, studio quality programming, and into smaller-scale creators instead, one can argue back to the good days.