Several stories have recently emerged that have YouTube being used — and growing — as a listening platform for podcasts. Those stories cause longtime podcasters to throw their hands in the air and fume. This latest Westwood One study is sure to fuel their fury.
The Westood One study concludes that among the platforms consumers use to listen to podcasts, it’s a close race. According to Westwood, 38% of weekly podcast listeners come from Apple with YouTube a close second at 33%. Spotify is third at 30%.
Podcast industry executives are sure to look at this and call it crazy. They will tell you it’s not even close.
When Libsyn’s Rob Walch announces his listening stats every month, YouTube isn’t even a blip on his radar. And, Apple Podcasts is much higher, more like 60%, with Spotify, while making gains, still a distant second.
So why are we seeing more studies claiming YouTube is a destination for podcasts?
Longtime podcasters say if a show doesn’t have an RSS feed, it’s not a podcast. End of argument. And, just because a podcaster is using YouTube to deliver additional audio content on that video platform, they say, that doesn’t make it a podcast.
If someone is watching Joe Rogan’s podcast on YouTube, are they really accessing his podcast or watching a TV show? Then again, what if someone is listening to Joe Rogan on their YouTube app while working out at the gym or laying out on the beach? Does that mean they are listening to his podcast or listening to his YouTube video? It’s a YouTube video feed but they’re listening to his podcast.
And, perhaps most importantly, how is all of that going to be measured so the advertiser knows exactly how many listens, downloads, and views each podcast is getting. Right now podcasts are measured by downloads and listens, and advertisers want those downloads and listens, from a hosting provider, to be IAB certified.
The debate will rage on for sure.