Following a report earlier this month that YouTube was looking to add a podcast-focused executive, it seems the company has found that person. YouTube has confirmed that it has put Kai Chuk in charge of “managing” podcasts on the platform, apparently under the title “Podcast Lead.”

YouTube confirmed that Chuk has been given a new role within the company — Chuk has been at YouTube for nearly a decade — that will involve “[managing] the large volume of existing podcasts and relationships across the YouTube platform.” The Verge adds that Chuk’s new title at YouTube is “Podcast Lead.”

In the new role, it seems as though Chuk will be leading a larger ambition with podcasting for YouTube. As reported previously, YouTube is looking to “[organize] and [manage] the millions of podcasts that already exist on the site.” Recently, YouTube opened up cost-free background play in Canada, presumably testing the functionality ahead of a wider rollout. This would certainly make YouTube Music more attractive for podcasts.

Notably, Google leads another podcast experience in “Google Podcasts,” which is integrated with the Google app on Android and iOS, offers a web experience, and syncs with Google Assistant devices such as smart speakers and displays. It’s unclear still how that product would be affected with a larger YouTube podcast push under this new lead.

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Ben Schoon

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