The success of the YouTube podcast demonstrates the effortless effectiveness of the video platform
In recent years, Spotify has completely dedicated itself to podcasting. The Swedish company has spent hundreds of millions of dollars to secure exclusive broadcasting rights for some of the industry’s best-known podcasters, including over $200 million for Joe Rogan, and has acquired several companies expanding its podcasting infrastructure.
However, as Insider reported Saturday, Spotify’s podcasting popularity still lags behind that of YouTube, whose executives have shown little interest in developing the format. Although minimal resources are devoted to podcasting, YouTube is the top destination for long-form audio listeners, according to multiple surveys.
It’s a somewhat surprising turn of events that underscores how successful YouTube has been in creating a long-term franchise in the highly competitive and fast-moving consumer internet sector.
YouTube has done this by largely sticking to its core platform, choosing to gradually integrate music streaming, television, and several other features as tastes change and demand increases. While some social media competitors have made aggressive acquisitions or sweeping platform changes to accelerate growth, YouTube has stuck to its video- and creator-centric roots.
The approach has ensured YouTube remains popular across multiple demographics, particularly younger generations who value visual media and authenticity. YouTube is the most visited website for watching videos and listening to music worldwide, while its short video offering closely competes with TikTok. As a result, advertising revenue has grown from $8.2 billion in 2017 to $28.9 billion in 2021.
The fruits of this strategy can be seen in YouTube’s advances in podcasting, an industry expected to generate $2 billion in revenue this year.
Many podcast listeners today want to listen and Watch in-depth interviews, making YouTube’s premier video platform a natural landing spot. YouTube’s appeal to younger viewers also aligns well with podcast listeners, about half of whom are under the age of 35, according to Edison Research and Triton Digital. Additionally, YouTube offers content creators some of the best ad revenue sharing terms on the market, giving podcasters more incentive to post on the platform.
All of this despite the fact that YouTube is doing “almost nothing” to build a dedicated podcasting business, Insider reported. (YouTube officials said they plan to launch several podcast-specific features in the coming months, including a dedicated homepage, and announced that NPR will begin posting more than 20 podcasts on the platform.)
Going forward, there’s little reason to believe YouTube won’t be able to maintain this level of success.
While the space is feeling the brunt of global economic and advertising headwinds — revenue grew just 9% in the first half of 2022, a low figure compared to previous years — YouTube’s audience is stronger than ever. Alphabet executives reported earlier this year that more than 2 billion people use YouTube every month. YouTube Shorts, the company’s short-form video feature, had 1.5 billion active viewers by the end of Q2 (TikTok eclipsed 1 billion in September 2021 but hasn’t delivered an update since).
Perhaps most importantly, younger generations are finding YouTube indispensable, a trend that bodes well for decades to come. A recent poll by Pew Research found that 95% of teens surveyed use YouTube, well ahead of TikTok (67%), Instagram (62%), Snapchat (59%), and Facebook (32%).
YouTube is also not burdened with the baggage that weighs on its competitors. As TikTok’s Chinese owners grapple with American lawmakers over national security concerns and Meta grapples with stagnant user growth, YouTube’s biggest immediate concern may be how to squeeze ad dollars from its Shorts feature. (Antitrust advocates have pushed for Alphabet to be broken up, but that prospect seems a long way off.)
YouTube will inevitably encounter a shattering event, perhaps a shift away from static video towards augmented and virtual reality. But as the unexpected podcast triumph demonstrates, the foundation for building even bigger companies remains in place.
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Waving the white flag. European Union officials do not intend to appeal a court decision abolishing a nearly $1 billion fine Qualcomm, Reuters reported on Monday, citing sources familiar with the matter. The decision would end a seven-year battle between the US chipmaker and EU antitrust authorities who accused Qualcomm of violating competition laws by signing an exclusivity deal Apple tied to iPhone and iPad production. Europe’s second-highest court lifted the fine in June, citing procedural errors and incorrect interpretations of the law by the antitrust authorities.
Finally got a spark. Honda and LG announced plans Monday through Collaborating on $4.4 billion electric vehicle battery plant in Ohio, part of the Japanese automaker’s plans to catch up with rivals on the EV front Wall Street Journal reported. The companies expect to complete construction in 2025 at a yet-to-be-determined location in Buckeye State, where Honda already operates an assembly plant. Honda, which has been slower than other automakers in producing electric vehicles for sale in the US, said in April it would spend $36 billion on its electrification efforts over the next decade.
groceries and group chats. Whatsapp will launches its first end-to-end shopping feature in coordination with a leading Indian e-commerce company, TechCrunch reported Monday. That Meta-own department cooperates with India trust retail and Jio Platforms to debut JioMart on WhatsApp, allowing users to buy groceries entirely within the app. WhatsApp has around 500 million users in India, while JioMart is among the largest e-commerce platforms in the country.
Not so distant reality? Several trademark applications suggest Apple‘s long-awaited mixed reality Headset could be branded dubbed “Reality,” Bloomberg reported on Sunday. The filings, filed by a shell company with various extended ties to Apple, call for trademarks for the “Reality One,” “Reality Pro,” and “Reality Processor” names. Apple has spent several years developing an augmented and virtual reality headset, though company officials have not confirmed any specific plans or target dates for product releases.
THINGS TO THINK ABOUT
shop steward. Give canoe chairman Tony Aquila So much: He is not lacking in conviction. As wealth‘s Jessica Mathews reported on Saturday, the polarizing executive remains extremely confident in the fate of his fledgling electric vehicle startup, even as Wall Street and some former employees question whether his bravery is masking major financial woes at the company. Aquila’s optimism in Canoo, which has yet to begin mass production of vehicles, was spurred by Walmart’s agreement to eventually purchase thousands of vans from the automaker. However, Canoo continues to burn hundreds of billions of dollars, and Aquila’s extensive ties to Walmart and billing expenses with Canoo have raised some eyebrows at the company.
Of the article:
Canoo is hardly the only EV startup that has taken investors and employees on a wild ride in recent years. Concerns about climate change have drawn an unprecedented amount of investor capital into space, but the logistical challenges of starting an automaker from scratch have become no less daunting. Meanwhile, the booming popularity of SPACs in 2020 and 2021 has helped some of these companies jump into the public markets to access capital before their business models were secure.
However, pop the hood even an inch and it’s clear that even with the Walmart deal, Canoo is faltering in the extreme.
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BEFORE YOU GO
A bad rap. Apparently the lip sync technology in the metaverse isn’t that great. As eminem and Snoop Dogg Rapped off the stage at Sunday night’s VMAs, viewers watched the duo perform the Bored Ape Yacht Club NFTs delivers an uninspiring animated performance set in the Otherside metaverse, CNET reported. The animation looked straight out of 1995, the monkeys moved like they were high (Snoop was smoking a comically oversized fake blunt on stage), and none of the lip movements even remotely matched the lyrics. Between that and Mark Zuckerberg’s terrible Horizon Worlds selfie (which he later described as hastily arranged), it’s been a rough week for our 3D future.
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