Why children’s podcasts are not gaining popularity on YouTube

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I hope everyone at The Podcast Show is enjoying the conference (and ignoring their jet lag). While I’m still very much across the pond (like, all the way across the street) in LA, this issue of hot pod leads with some news from BBC Radio. I also dig into podcasts for kids on YouTube and an interesting announcement from Bill Simmons about Spotify cloning voices for advertising.

But before I start, remember Twitter Spaces? Twitter’s live audio platform will make history tomorrow at 6 p.m. PT when Florida Governor Ron DeSantis bursts into a room to announce his bid for the presidency. If The edge reported last year, most of the team behind Twitter Spaces has either been fired or resigned. Hopefully there are no technical issues!

Kids podcasts on YouTube can’t compete with Bluey

Popular adult audio podcasts from Slate and NPR haven’t fared well on YouTube — it turns out that’s also the case for kids’ podcasts. About six months ago, children’s podcast publisher Tinkercast started an experiment on YouTube. The publisher behind popular children’s podcast titles such as Wow in the world And How to be an Earthling started publishing episodes on YouTube and YouTube Kids and made light animation videos specifically for the platform.

Although Tinkercast reached a new (and more diverse) audience on YouTube, that group was much smaller than the traditional podcast audience. Tinkercast’s WowTube channel on YouTube has just over 6,000 subscribers and many episodes have less than 1,000 views. One reason may be that Tinkercast’s programming has to compete with a whole universe of kids’ content on YouTube – from high-quality, hit kids’ TV shows from Disney and Nickelodeon to amateur content like gameplay videos that might not be as enriching. So Tinkercast is in a kind of unique middle ground, where it doesn’t create the kind of low-stakes content that goes viral, but also doesn’t have the resources of huge animation studios.

“Because we’re in that kids’ space, there’s the added dimension of when kids log into YouTube, you know, we’re competing with roblox play videos and extract videos. If we don’t have kids in the first nanosecond, we’ll lose them,” said Johanna Weber, Tinkercast’s senior director of brand marketing and communications. hot pod.

Weber also said there is no correlation between podcast episodes that performed well on YouTube and episodes that performed well on audio podcast players. Tinkercast has found that search terms on YouTube (monkey, poop, and toilet are popular) have boosted the discovery of its podcast episodes.

One thing I will note is that YouTube Kids gives parents the option to turn off the search feature. While this safety feature might come in handy in the case of another Elsagate, it does mean publishers on YouTube Kids are exposed to fewer audiences.

I’ll include more from my interview with Tinkercast in Thursday’s Insider issue.

BBC Radio is opening up more podcast IP to the rest of the world

The British are coming to Audible and Apple and Spotify. Global audiences will soon be able to stream even more UK radio shows on the podcast player of their choice. BBC Radio announced today that it is moving some of its programming to the UK broadcaster’s commercial content division – BBC Studios – in a bid to tap into a global podcast audience. The news came on the second day of The Podcast Show, as podcast and radio professionals from around the world gathered in London.

The move marks quite a big strategic shift for the British broadcaster’s radio arm, which turned 100 years old last year and traditionally sticks to public programming. BBC Radio made the decision following a review in May 2022 to find out how it could tap into the global podcasting market. Like the BBC’s television arm, which partners with streamers such as Disney, Netflix and Amazon to export UK content, BBC Studios has forged partnerships with major audio platforms such as Spotify. The radio broadcaster is shifting programming from its factual, entertainment and drama divisions to BBC Studios, meaning it can be offered for worldwide distribution.

Last year, the British government froze funding for the BBC until 2024, forcing the broadcaster to cut spending. The government has also decided to abolish TV licensing fees by 2027 – which account for nearly two-thirds of funding for the entire BBC, including its audio business.

As a result of the move, more UK podcast IPs will be made available to outside investors and BBC Studios will be able to explore more partnership and funding opportunities. “Our plan will enable the BBC to capitalize on the fast-growing global audio market, enabling our distinctive audio content to reach a wider audience, provide more creative opportunities and generate more investment for the BBC. We’ve seen how world class BBC programs that are hugely popular with our UK audiences can continue to do great things with the support of BBC Studios so I’m excited to see what can be achieved with this plan which will put UK podcasting on a world stage,” wrote BBC’s chief content officer, Charlotte Moore.

Not everyone is happy with BBC Radio’s move. The UK audio industry trade association said producers of indie podcasts now have to compete with BBC Radio in the wider market.

The group asks that independent producers be given the opportunity to compete for BBC audio productions.

“The BBC’s decision to move a number of voice audio production teams to BBC Studios represents a step change in its approach, moving production capacity to provide further competition to the independent sector. As most independent audio production companies specialize in entertainment, facts and drama, they will now face additional competition from the BBC in the wider market,” Chloe Straw, AudioUK’s managing director, wrote in a statement.

Spotify is working on AI clones for host-read ads

Bill Simmons spilled the beans on Spotify’s AI ad experiments. In a recent episode of The Bill Simmons ShowThe Ringer founder revealed that Spotify was working on targeted ads that used voice cloning.

“There will be a way to use my voice for the advertisements. You have to approve the vote, of course, but it opens up, from an advertising standpoint, all these different great possibilities,” Simmons said in a conversation with The Atlantic Ocean writer Derek Thompson.

Cloning celebrity voices is nothing new. Several AI companies are already offering free text-to-speech tools, including Gwyneth Paltrow, Snoop Dogg, Joe Rogan, and other celebrities. While these tools aren’t perfect, many voice actors, audiobook narrators, and podcast hosts have expressed concerns that AI could eliminate their profession altogether. The Screen Actors Guild (which includes a number of audio industry professionals) listed the threat of unregulated use of generative AI as one of the top concerns to address in upcoming contract negotiations. Last week, the guild called for a strike authorization vote.

When hot pod reached out to Spotify, it didn’t directly comment on the accuracy of Simmons’ comments. “We are always working to improve the Spotify experience and test new offerings that will benefit creators, advertisers and users. The AI ​​landscape is evolving rapidly and Spotify, which has a long history of innovation, is exploring a wide range of applications, including our hugely popular AI DJ feature,” Spotify head of advertising in B2B communications Erin Styles wrote in an email.

It’s not a complete shock that Spotify is exploring AI-generated votes for host-read ads. Last year, the company acquired Sonantic, a text-to-speech platform that has created celebrity speech clones for the gaming and entertainment industry, including the voice of Val Kilmer in Top gun: Maverick.

That’s it for now! See you Thursday for an Insider edition of hot pod.

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