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Hot Pod Insider

Insider February 16, 2023 — Leadership shake-up at YouTube

Plus, Podimo makes its first big move in North America

I am in a Hot Pod Summit prep bunker, so it’s a short one today. 

CEO of YouTube steps down after nine years

Susan Wojcicki, who has run YouTube since 2014, is stepping down from her post. Wojcicki is a longtime Google employee, having started at the company in 1999, and she was instrumental in the decision to buy YouTube in 2006. 

In a letter to employees, Wojcicki said that “after nearly 25 years here, I’ve decided to step back from my role as the head of YouTube and start a new chapter focused on my family, health, and personal projects I’m passionate about. The time is right for me, and I feel able to do this because we have an incredible leadership team in place at YouTube.”

Chief product officer Neal Mohan will take over as leader of the streaming service that has become a dominant force in podcasting. Mohan has been with the company since 2015 and has been instrumental in deploying some of the platform’s big features in recent years, like YouTube Shorts. That means Wojcicki’s departure isn’t necessarily a sign of a dramatic change of strategy over at YouTube. Her announcement comes less than a month after Google laid off 12,000 employees, which included employees at YouTube.

EXCLUSIVE: Kast Media cuts distribution deal for four more shows from Big IP Media

Kast Media, the studio behind pop culture-oriented shows like Welcome to the OC, Bitches! and The Sarah Silverman Podcast, has signed a distribution and first-look deal with Big IP Media for four of its podcasts. The two-year deal will give Kast exclusive ad rights to The John Campea Show, The Big Thing, Dan Murrell Podcast, and Star Wars Explained. Kast and Big IP already cut a deal last month for Happy Sad Confused, the celebrity interview show hosted by Josh Horowitz.

The deal also gives Kast first-look rights to any new podcast projects. Big IP founder Scott Porch says that, like the shows that are part of the current deal, the focus will be on “simulcast” shows, or video podcasts on YouTube that can easily translate to an audio streamer. The four new shows part of the distribution deal get the majority of their audience from YouTube, according to Porch. “It finally is beginning to look like a single market in a lot of respects,” he said.

Podimo to launch in Mexico and collaborate with UK podcast studios

Subscription podcast and audiobook service Podimo is making its first move into North America. The Copenhagen-based company will launch in Mexico at the end of March. It is currently available in Denmark, Norway, Germany, Spain, the Netherlands, Finland, and Latin America.

It is also working with a slew of UK-based podcast studios to produce more than 20 shows in 2023, including Listen, Tortoise, and What’s The Story Sounds. While those shows will be available through RSS, the subscription service is not yet available in the UK. 

See you tomorrow!