Is YouTube Looking to Take on Spotify When it Comes to Podcasts?

An interesting wrinkle in the podcasting space

Further changes could be coming to the podcasting space.
Matt Botsford/Unsplash

In the last few years, Spotify has drawn plenty of attention for bringing big-name podcasts on board its platform with exclusive deals. Joe Rogan’s lucrative contract with Spotify is the most prominent example of this, but it’s far from the only one — last summer, for instance, Spotify spent $60 million to bring Call Her Daddy on board.

It’s an understandable maneuver on Spotify’s part — if the only way someone can hear their favorite podcast is to subscribe to Spotify, it’s likely that they’ll opt to do so. But based on a recent report from Engadget, Spotify might not be the only tech company looking to sign podcasters to lucrative deals.

That said, the latest permutation has a memorable twist. The article cites a report in Bloomberg to the effect that YouTube is offering podcasters grants to create filmed versions of their episodes. The grants are reportedly in the neighborhood of $50,000 for individual podcasters, and $200,000 to $300,000 for networks.

If it’s accurate, it’s an interesting spin on podcasts. Podcasters and radio show hosts alike have produced video versions of their shows for years, so this isn’t all that unexpected a move. And it plays to YouTube’s strengths as well — to say nothing of the fact that parent company Google also has its own dedicated podcast app. It could make for an interesting shift in the podcasting world.

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