YouTube makers turn the site into a podcast network

YouTube may not be the first platform people think of when looking for podcasts, but a growing number of top makers prove that YouTube is a bona fide podcast network

Various YouTubers – including Logan Paul, Marques Brownlee and Emma Chamberlain – have launched podcasts last year. They are all available through traditional audio platforms such as Apple Podcasts and Spotify, but many also offer video versions that live on special YouTube channels where they have become incredibly popular.

These creators have discovered how to make podcasts work on a platform not designed for them, using the YouTube search algorithm to meet new audiences, make more money, and expand into a medium that is expected to grow rapidly in the next few years.

Although it is a video-oriented platform, people are increasingly coming to YouTube to search for podcasts. A recent one overview of Canadian adults found that 43 percent of people "went to YouTube for podcasts last year." YouTube preceded Apple Podcasts (34 percent) and Spotify (23 percent).


Some of the best podcasts on YouTube attract millions of views every few days or weeks. Top shows, such as those of Ethan and Hila Klein H3 Podcast or Joe Rogan & # 39; s Joe Rogan Experience, have a dedicated audience that uses YouTube notifications as an RSS feed so they know when a new episode will be available to view. Although the podcasts are also distributed via Spotify and Apple Podcasts, YouTube acts as a first stop.

To reach an even larger audience, YouTubers have discovered that they can break up their show and spread it over multiple channels. H3 Podcast, Cody Ko and Noel Miller’s Tiny Meat Gangand The Joe Rogan experience performed as full episodes on their main podcast channel, but those episodes are then divided into small, separate sections. These cuts, often referred to as clips or highlights, exist on a completely separate channel. They are also demonstrably more important when it comes to using YouTube as a way to grow the podcast.

The H3 Podcast uses one of the most popular versions of the "YouTube podcast" format. Ethan and Hila Klein have three channels: H3H3 Productions (6 million subscribers), H3 Podcast (2 million subscribers), and H3 Podcast Highlights (1.3 million subscribers). The main channel is used for longer commentary pieces, special collaborations and comic sketches, but the last two are exclusively devoted to the podcast. The main H3 Podcast channel has more than 208 million views, but the secondary channel dedicated to clips from each episode has more than 388 million views.

By creating a separate channel for clips, podcasters can take advantage of the YouTube recommendation algorithm, which displays content on specific topics that a viewer is already interested in. "It's a great opportunity to build a new audience," Samir Chaudry, a filmmaker and part of the YouTube duo Colin and Samir, told The edge, discuss the possibility of bringing in new subscribers with podcasts.

Take a recent episode of the H3 Podcast as an example. The main title & # 39; H3 Podcast: Andrew Yang & # 39; comes up for everyone who types in Yang's name. That may be attractive for people looking for a broad discussion with Yang, but the length (almost 90 minutes) and the lack of specific discussion topics in the title can push people away. So on the H3 Podcast Highlights page, the interview is divided into nine separate clips. The clips vary from five to 20 minutes and they have collected 70,000 to 555,000 views everywhere. Because they are shorter, they are easier to view and share, making the podcast spread beyond the existing H3 audience.


"There has always been this question about how to put the podcast on the market," said Owen Grover, CEO of Pocket Casts, The edge. "I'm not surprised that some of these young YouTube-focused producers and creators … are looking for different ways to get their content on a journey, such as separate channels."

The same strategy is part of what made Joe Rogan's podcast so successful on YouTube. Rogan's show is one of the longest on the platform, often longer than three hours, and like H3, he manages a secondary channel that breaks up clips from every episode. The clips collectively have more views than the & # 39; s videos on its main account, despite the fact that the clips channel has several million fewer subscribers.

"Joe Rogan is a perfect example," said Grover. "He does the two to three o'clock" wake me up when it's over "version, and then there are short films that he picks up."

It has also been easy for popular makers with a built-in audience to move their existing fans to new channels. David Dobrik and Jason Nash, a few popular vloggers with 14 million collective subscribers, are organizing a podcast called Views that, according to Dobrik, more than a million downloads per episode of only audio listeners. A YouTube channel for their podcast has more than 550,000 subscribers.

Podcasting is also a rare case where the oddities of YouTube all match for individual makers. They can expand their audience without eliminating their existing ones, and it makes money with advertising revenue at a time when uncertainty about what content can be converted on YouTube is a growing concern.


By keeping a podcast on a separate channel, makers can work on two different types of content. People who subscribe to someone for vlogs, jokes or comedy can be turned off by a long talk or interview show that is injected into their feed.

It also lets them try to talk to a new audience. Logan Paul, the vlogger who is best known for his controversial videos, has a podcast channel with more than 1.7 million subscribers. The content is slightly more mature, the videos are longer and the subject is different from everything on its main channel. With guests such as mathematician Eric Weinstein, the podcast has the opportunity to attract a more mature group of listeners than those who watch Paul's hyper-energetic vlog channel.

Creators know that YouTube is a valuable tool for developing and growing podcasts, but YouTube has not made any product changes to embrace development. Instead, the common growth that personalities see comes from their initiatives, collaborations, and insight into how they can use YouTube to their advantage.

"Podcasting is growing so quickly and considerably, but it feels like YouTube is pushing people into the arms of new media," Grover said. "In particular, I think podcasting is a logical next step for makers."