YouTube might be eager to compete against giant podcast hosts like Amazon, Apple and Spotify. Bloomberg sources say YouTube is offering podcasters "grants" to produce videos, including filmed versions of their shows. Individual show creators would receive $50,000, while podcast networks would receive $200,000 or $300,000.
Parent company Google declined to comment. YouTube is already a home for some podcasts, but it hasn't pursued that episodic content as aggressively as Spotify and other (typically audio-focused) services. There have been hints of changes, though, such as appointing executive Kai Chuk to lead the podcasting strategy. In Canada, YouTube also stopped requiring paid Premium accounts to play audio in the background.
A strategy like this wouldn't be surprising. Amazon and Spotify have been landing more major podcast deals, while Apple's Podcasts app is still considered a vital home for many shows. While YouTube's grants wouldn't secure any exclusives, they would give creators more incentives to make podcasts available on the platform — and fans more incentives to consider YouTube.