YouTube is said to be experimenting with a new strategy to attract more podcasters on the video platform. According to a report from Bloomberg, YouTube has started offering up to $300K “grants” to podcasters to convince them to launch a video version of their podcast on YouTube.
“The company is extending offers of $50,000 to individual shows and $200,000 and $300,000 to podcast networks, according to the people, who asked not to be identified because the matter is private. The money could help producers create filmed versions of their episodes or make other kinds of videos,” the Bloomberg report reads.
These new grants for podcasts creators could be the first step towards a more full-fledged strategy to counter Spotify’s aggressive moves to dominate the podcasting business. In recent months, Spotify has acquired several podcasting startups and doubled down on exclusive content. The company reportedly spent $200 million on an exclusivity deal with podcaster Joe Rogan, who built a big part of his audience on YouTube.
YouTube is already a popular platform for podcast creators thanks to its live tools, discovery algorithms, and monetization features. However, YouTube clearly isn’t the best app for listening to podcasts, especially on mobile. Unless you have a YouTube Premium subscription, you can’t listen to videos while using other apps, or when the screen is locked.
If Google has yet to show it’s really serious about making YouTube the best platform for content creators and listeners, there are already some encouraging signs. Last fall, the company hired someone to lead its podcasting efforts, and YouTube also dropped the Premium requirement for listening to YouTube Music in the background in Canada.