Podcasting and Shorts and newsletters, oh my…
YouTube to focus on Shorts and podcasts
The new head of YouTube, Neal Mohan, has written a long manifesto for his first year in charge. (Shouldn’t it have been a video? 🤔) Inevitably, it’s full of the normal marketing hyperbole and self-congratulatory nonsense, but there are a few interesting gems in there, including this:
We’ve seen how gifted memberships have connected creators with their communities, and this year we’re expanding to mobile. Gaming streams bring lots of highlights and memorable reactions that viewers love to clip. We’ll enable viewers to remix clips into Shorts and add features that make it easy to recompose the best of gaming content to Shorts.
Notice the focus on:
- Allowing the community to clip and remix
That’s a borrow from TikTok, which has always encouraged the viral spread of formats through its ability to duet/remix other content. Talk of a focus on Shorts:
YouTube Shorts is giving creators greater reach – Shorts is now averaging over 50 billion daily views. And last year, the number of channels that uploaded to Shorts daily grew over 80%. I love seeing how people use Shorts to build community, like creating a safe space to discuss body image.
Except to hear plenty more about Shorts in the coming months. I’m pleased to see this: short form, vertical video shouldn’t be the exclusive preserve of a single platform, and, as TikTok’s position in many countries looks ever more precarious, having alternative outlets for the format is a good thing.
And talking of alternative outlets:
One area creators are increasingly interested in is podcasting. In fact, YouTube is now the second most popular destination for listening to podcasts according to Edison. This year we’re making it even easier for creators and artists to showcase their podcasts on YouTube. New features in YouTube Studio make it easier to publish podcasts, and we’ll also start bringing both audio and video-first podcasts to the millions of people who use YouTube Music in the United States, with more regions to come. And later this year, RSS integration will offer podcasters another way to upload their shows to YouTube and give our users more listening options.
It’s quite possible YouTube will have a bigger impact on the podcasting world than Spotify ever did.
A couple of, well, notable newsletter developments
New Statesman, new Substack
Interesting to note that the New Statesman’s new newsletter is on Substack, rather than their existing newsletter setup.
I’d be fascinated to know why: it’s not listed on their All Newsletters page, suggesting a change of direction, or an experiement. It’s not unusual to use an external service to host newsletters, as The Atlantic’s suite of journalist-led subscriber newsletters published using Ghost shows. But the split here is what intrigues me.
The National is LinkedIn
Meanwhile, The National is experimenting with publishing its Arts Edit newsletter to LinkedIn’s email service, too.
LinkedIn launched collaborative articles
LinkedIn is using AI to generate conversation prompts which are then directed to topic experts to answer:
We are introducing collaborative articles — knowledge topics published by LinkedIn with insights and perspectives added by the LinkedIn community. These articles begin as AI-powered conversation starters, developed with our editorial team. Then, using LinkedIn’s Skills Graph, we match each article with relevant member experts who can contribute their lessons, anecdotes, and advice based on their professional experience.
Mmm. Never mind the quality, feel the engagement… Kinda feels like a massive magnet for self-promotional marketing chum to me, but it’s probably something we should keep an eye on.
The Podfather, part 2
I rather enjoyed this interview with one of the founders of podcasting, former MTV VJ Adam Curry. 15 years ago, I used to listen to him all the time, but he slowly slipped into conspiracy theory territory with the No Agenda podcast, and I stopped listening.
Interesting that he’s at the heart of a Podcasting 2.0 movement, to try to add functionality to a well-established standard. That’ll be tough to do — but it’s worth reading this for an insight into the very early days of podcasting, back in 2004 and 2005.
That means that podcasting will be 20 years old next year… 👴🏻
Quote of the day
Alan Jacobs on Substack writers:
They truly believe they know more than anyone else about how to fix AI, or what various literary classics really mean, or how to renew Christendom, or who the next POTUS will be. Again, no random sample here, but holy moly is there a lot of pontificating, asserting from on high, dictating, declaring. Is there some narcissism-elevating chemical in the Substack water?
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