YouTube to adopt RSS feeds for podcasts

Steve McLendon, Product Lead, Podcasting, Google. Photo: Kurt Hanson at Podcast Movement

YouTube, whose mighty footprint in podcasting is getting more deeply planted, announced today that RSS feeds will be implemented by end of year. While this can’t be called an innovation (more like heaving its bulk onto a moving train), it could mark an important inflection point in the distribution balance of podcast listening platforms.

Not just listening, but watching. We learn from James Cridland’s Podnews that YouTube is also beta testing the ingestion of RSS feeds and automatically turning them into videos. (See THIS for an example.)

Google is also expected to complete a global rollout of podcast listening in the Google Music app. Better search and discovery are on the product build-out as well.

In the wake of this news, we can’t help wondering what might become of Google Podcasts, the company’s traditional audio podcatcher. We view it as a very fine app, but not a strong magnet — by one reckoning it owns 2.6% of listening, third in the race with Spotify and Apple.

Brad Hill