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YouTube’s rolling out some new options for podcast creators, while it’s also adding new video download options, and launching a new experiment that will recommend hashtags to include in your uploads to maximize discovery.

First off, creators will now be able to create a new podcast direct in YouTube Studio, and designate an existing playlist as a podcast, which will help to improve the podcast upload and management process.

YouTube Podcasts

The new options will make it easier to focus on podcasts specifically in the app, with improved upload processes and dedicated tools to help separate your podcast uploads from your video clips. YouTube first began testing the new podcast management options with selected users last month.

In addition to this, YouTube’s also adding Podcast Analytics.

“Podcast-specific analytics will be available for podcasts. This is distinct from current analytics offered. Metrics include aggregated metrics across videos in a podcast playlist, insights on how viewers find your podcast, demographics and revenue analytics.”

YouTube’s been gradually developing more podcast tools, as it moves to align with growing audio usage. YouTube Music now has more than 77 million paying subscribers, and while visual elements remain central to the platform’s broader offering, there’s clearly significant interest in audio-only content as well.

And with many popular YouTubers also now running their own podcasts, it makes sense for YouTube to expand its horizons in this direction, and provide a more comprehensive media offering for its creative talent.

The new podcast features will be rolling out to all Creators this week.

On another front, YouTube will also now enable creators to download their videos from the mobile version of YouTube Studio.

“Up until now, Creators have been able to download their own videos in Studio on desktop, but have not been able to do so on mobile. We’re happy to announce that we are launching the ability for Creators to download their own videos in MP4 format from the video list, to their device, in Studio Mobile and YouTube Mobile.”

That could make it easier to manage your YouTube content on the go, or cross-post to other platforms via native apps. Though it is worth noting that YouTube Shorts, when downloaded, will come with a YouTube watermark as a means to limit cross-posting to TikTok and Reels.

I doubt it’ll stop many people from doing exactly that, but sharing watermarked videos does result in a ranking penalty on other platforms – not to mention it looks a little crappy.

YouTube has also added a new shortcut link within Studio to its Creator Music library, which will make it easier to find tracks included in the program.

YouTube Creator Music update

As you can see, the new listing will include filters to help you find relevant tracks that you can use within your clips.

Creator Music, which YouTube launched last July, enables creators to add licensed music to their content, with and fees paid then being shared with musicians.

YouTube’s also running a new experiment that will suggest hashtags to include when publishing long-form video clips.

Shorts creators have been testing this feature with video titles for over a year now and we’ve heard positive feedback from the experiment group, so we are bringing the experience to long-form videos as well. Creators in the experiment will see suggested hashtags appear in the upload flow on mobile. The suggestions will be custom to the channels in the experiment as they are based on content they have previously uploaded to YouTube.”

The idea is that this will help improve discovery, by guiding creators to more specific tags, helping YouTube then better categorize and display your posts.

The experiment will initially be available to a small number of creators in the US.

Finally, YouTube’s also retiring its overlay ads format, which saw full-width promotions displayed along the bottom of the playback screen.

YouTube Overlay Ads

As of April 6th, overlay ads will no longer appear. YouTube says that this is a ‘legacy’ ad format, which has proven to be disruptive for viewers. The removal will ideally push advertisers to more valuable and better-performing YouTube ad types.

An array of updates from YouTube, across various elements, which could be of relevance for your process.