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“Listen Time” - how to calculate it for your podcasts

LISTEN · · Updated · 4.2 minutes to read

Below: images of the YouTube podcast test that we reported on yesterday.

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The YouTube Podcasting Features Test


Yesterday, we reported on a test for some podcast creators on YouTube. We’ve found someone with access to it; here is an anonymised version of their view:

You Tube's podcast test

On the left - the new “create podcast” link goes to a dialog box that explains: “A podcast is a type of playlist”, and lets you make a new playlist. Unlike a normal YouTube playlist, this dialog asks for a square thumbnail image (the standard for podcasts).


Some playlists in YouTube are already marked as “podcasts”, including the Podnews Daily. We assume this has been a manual process until now. We haven’t been asked to set a square image, though.

YouTube Podnews

On the right - playlists that are marked “podcast” are now marked as a podcast. Meanwhile, there is another tab for “podcasts” under “Channel Content”, which may have some form of analytics in there, like the video tab does.

However, creators still need to upload a video file. It isn’t pulling from RSS at all. This means programmatic ads or any form of dynamic monetisation won’t work; though we do know that YouTube is selling audio ads in some territories already for their YouTube Music product. You might expect them to share revenue with podcast creators in the same way they currently do with video producers (if you’re large enough).

YouTube YouTube Music

If we were to speculate, we’d guess that the same kind of playback experience as on YouTube Music, where you can select the audio or the video, might be what’s coming.

YouTube YouTube Music

YouTube could make RSS versions of podcast audio available everywhere for free (much like Anchor does), and pull visitors to YouTube to watch the video version. As a customer acquisition tool, this would drive usage of YouTube, and allow them to sell audio ads off-platform, perhaps.

YouTube Anchor

But all this is just a guess; and until YouTube communicates more (or, indeed, anything) we’ll be in the dark.


Kai Chuk is scheduled to speak at the Hot Pod Summit on Feb 23.

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Podcast data for Feb 21

#1 in Apple Podcasts
Letters from Sing Sing (NBC News Studios)
Stolen Hearts (Wondery)

#1 in Spotify
The Joe Rogan Experience (Joe Rogan)
My Therapist Ghosted Me (Global)

Over the last week, 214,420 podcasts published at least one new episode (down 1.2%). source

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