YouTube descriptions are important — they help get your videos in front of the people who want to see them. But summarizing what you just spent hours producing into a snappy, engaging YouTube description can be really tedious.
As someone who enjoys creating content but could pass on the extra work that comes with it, I'm always on the lookout for an automated solution. I mean, who wouldn't want to sit back and relax while a machine does the tasks you dislike? That's why I was intrigued when I heard about AI writing tools that can generate YouTube descriptions automatically.
But the question remains: can they actually do it well?
To find out, I put six popular AI YouTube description generators to the test on an existing Descript video. Then added a ringer: ChatGPT, my go-to all-purpose do-anything AI. Finally, to rate the tools’ ability to show up in search results, I enlisted the help of Steffie Drucker, an SEO strategist and social media expert.
AI actions included with all subscription types (for now); free version includes 1 hour/month transcription time, with paid plans starting at $12/month
Descript's YouTube description:
5 Key Factors to Consider When Choosing a Podcast Hosting Platform In this informative video, we break down the importance of selecting the right podcast host. We discuss five crucial aspects you should think about before making your choice - ease of use, storage space and bandwidth, distribution range, detailed analytics, and monetization opportunities. We also mention the benefits of choosing a host with intuitive platforms and live customer service. If you're interested in checking out our top recommendations, find a link to our list of the best 10 podcast hosting platforms in the description below. 00:00 Introduction to Podcast Hosting 00:37 Ease of Use 00:55 Storage and Bandwidth 01:14 Distribution 01:36 Analytics 02:08 Monetization 02:32 Conclusion and Recommendations
Descript recently joined the fray and added a whole suite of AI actions to its audio and video editing app, including AI podcast show notes.
For Descript users, the biggest benefit is that it's all built in — the tool can read your video transcript and automatically generate a YouTube description, no uploading or cutting and pasting required. It's also technically free: if you already pay for Descript (or use the free version, at least for now), you can use it for no extra charge.
It took a few seconds to generate a YouTube description and chapter markers, then gave me the option to "Ask AI to refine the response." I did—full disclosure, the description above is what I got when I asked it to be "more conversational." But that's the beauty of this tool: it's endlessly customizable. It's basically ChatGPT, if ChatGPT already knew everything that was in your video. You can ask it to change tone, start with a question instead of a statement, or include particular SEO keywords (I even told it to include "banana" and it did!).
Pros: Included with your Descript plan, endlessly customizable
Cons: Shorter copy than other tools on this list, starts out with very formal language
Free for up to 10,000 words/month; paid plans start at $13/month
Writesonic’s YouTube description:
If you're getting ready to start a podcast, one of the most important decisions you'll need to make is choosing the right hosting platform. In this video, we'll walk you through the process of how to choose your podcast hosting platform, so you can ensure your content is easily accessible to your audience.
There are a lot of different podcast hosting platforms out there, each with their own pros and cons. To help you narrow down your options, we've put together a list of the best podcast hosting platforms available. Whether you're looking for a free podcast hosting site or a more advanced platform with additional features, we've got you covered.
To start off, we'll discuss some key factors to consider when choosing a podcast hosting platform. We'll look at things like storage space, pricing, and platform integrations. We'll also consider the level of support and customer service offered by each platform.
After discussing the key factors, we'll dive into some of the best podcast hosting platforms available. We'll give you an overview of each platform, including its unique features and benefits. We'll also provide insight into the pricing structure and any additional costs associated with each platform.
By the end of this video, you'll have a clear understanding of how to choose the best podcast hosting platform for your needs. Whether you're a new podcaster just starting out or an experienced professional looking to upgrade your hosting platform, this video will provide valuable insights and recommendations to help you make an informed decision.
So, if you're ready to learn how to choose your podcast hosting platform, be sure to watch this video and take the first step towards creating a successful podcast. Don't forget to share this video with anyone you know who's also looking for the best podcast hosting platform.
Writesonic bills itself as an SEO-optimized writing tool that keeps its results plagiarism-free. Signing up was a breeze, and I didn’t have to pay anything to test it out. The variety of templates available was impressive, covering everything from blog posts to marketing copy to ecommerce and social media content.
Its YouTube description template asked me to enter the video title as well as search intent — that is, the terms that people might search for to find it. That got Writesonic got some bonus points from Steffie. She told me that from an SEO perspective, search intent is mission critical.
The downside was that the descriptions generated were long — like, 200–300 words long. That's not necessarily a bad thing, but Steffie pointed out that length is "a balance." "You want to give them enough to entice them, in terms of SEO, to get the story or the video in front of them, but there are certain aspects that you want to hold a little back too, so they actually click to watch the video."
Unfortunately, the tone of the descriptions was pretty generic, and there was no way to change it. “It was clear that the AI was repeating the same keyword to the point that it came across as kind of artificial," Steffie said.
Another red flag: it made up what the video was about. Remember, I'd only entered the title and SEO terms. So a lot of editing would be required to get it right.
Pros: Easy signup, generates longer descriptions, includes SEO terms
Cons: Tone is a bit off, can't adjust the tone, takes some editing to get it right
Free for up to 10,000 words/month; paid plans start at $9/month
Rytr’s YouTube description, “Informative” tone:
Are you considering launching your own podcast? Have you been struggling with which hosting platform to choose? Look no further! In this video, I'll help you decide which podcast hosting platform is the best for you. With simple to understand guidance and tips from experienced podcasters, I'll show you how to make the most informed decision in no time and start broadcasting your expert knowledge to the world!
Like Writesonic, Rytr was easy to set up, let me try it for free, and had a YouTube description template. But unlike Writesonic, Rytr had a tone changer.
I tried the default and a "witty" tone, but the difference was subtle. Both were pretty conversational, which I liked. Steffie agreed: "There's a little bit of excitement in it. Some of them have exclamation points."
Plus, the descriptions usually began with a rhetorical question, which Steffie thought was smart: "People are asking Google questions, so those are keywords that you want to hit."
Usability-wise, Rytr was great. It combined all the descriptions into a single editable document, saving me from having to copy each output one by one.
Overall, Rytr did well. Its descriptions were around 4–5 sentences long and focused on what viewers would want to learn instead of what the video was about. However, the descriptions were a bit generic and didn't really stand out. Worse, it still guessed what the video was about and sometimes got it wrong.
Pros: Easy signup, casual tone, tone changer, combines everything in one document for editing
Cons: Generic descriptions, guesses what the video is about
Free for personal use; premium plans start at $24/month
Simplified’s YouTube description:
There are a lot of podcast hosting platforms out there, and it can be tough to decide which one is right for you. In this video, we'll give you an overview of some of the most popular options and what to look for when making your decision.
Starting a podcast is easy, but choosing the hosting platform that's right for you takes a little more thought. In this video, we'll help you understand some of the key differences between popular hosting platforms so that you can make an informed decision about what will work best for your show.
Choosing a hosting platform for your podcast is a big decision. There are a lot of factors to consider, such as price, features, ease of use, and reliability. This video will help you make an informed decision by going over the pros and cons of some of the most popular hosting platforms.
Simplified is more than an AI writing tool — it bills itself as a one-stop shop for digital marketing, with graphic design, video editing, AI writing, and social media publishing in one app. That’s certainly enticing, but I was here for one thing: its YouTube description generator.
In Simplified’s YouTube description template, I was finally given the task of describing my video...in just 120 characters. Talk about getting straight to the point! Unlike the other platforms, Simplified didn't prompt me to enter any SEO terms or the video title.
The tone of the outputs from Simplified were much more informational and less conversational than those from the other platforms, but it did consistently lead with a crisp sentence about the video. According to Steffie, this is a huge positive because those first sentences are prime real estate for capturing your viewer's attention. "The first 120 characters are extra important because that's your ‘above the fold,’ so to speak. That's what you're for-sure-guaranteed gonna get in front of your viewer."
While there was no way to change the tone, you could adjust the "creativity" level. However, even on the highest setting, the output was still pretty similar to the rest, and it didn't quite capture the video's lighthearted and approachable tone.
Pros: Easy sign-up, good "above the fold" sentences, free tier is pretty good, it didn't try to guess what the video was about (mostly).
Cons: You only have 120 characters to describe the video, more informational tone
TubeRanker is more of a template than an AI tool. It gives you various fields to fill out and then compiles them into a longer description. This was too much work for me, and not scalable, so I gave up on it pretty quickly.
Despite this, there were a few things about TubeRanker that I did appreciate. The modifiable template provided a variety of pieces such as links, channel description, social media links, and video timestamps that could be included in a description if needed. I also appreciated that I didn't have to sign up — I could just use the form directly in my browser without creating an account.
After a 4-day free trial, plans start at $24/month
Jasper’s YouTube description:
Podcasting is a great way to share your voice and content with the world. But which platform should you use to host your show? In this video, I compare Apple Podcasts, Spotify, and Stitcher and talk about the pros and cons of each.
Jasper was the most popular tool I tried and also the biggest pain, signup-wise. It was the only one that made me sign up with a credit card for the free trial, and the trial was a measly four days long.
Like most of the other tools, it had a wide variety of templates I could use, including one to generate YouTube video descriptions. It also allowed me to change the tone of voice and add SEO keywords.
Unfortunately, neither Steffie nor I were particularly impressed. There was little variety in the descriptions it generated. "It's just so short and broad and vague. I don't think it really works. It's like "looking to start a podcast? which platform will you choose?" And it's like, you haven't given me anything, you're just asking."
To make matters worse, Jasper misunderstood what the video title meant — something none of the other tools did, even if they guessed at the actual content.
It was clearly set up to have a much bigger and more automated workflow than I needed, which is probably why I found the navigation more confusing than some of the other tools. On the plus side, I did appreciate that you could add outputs generated by the AI to "projects" — if you were working with multiple clients or creating content for different channels, this would be a handy feature.
Pros: Allows you to organize by project, has options for tone of voice, can add SEO keywords
Cons: Trial requires a credit card, produces vague and broad descriptions, guesses what the video is about
Free for the basic version; $20/month for priority usage with ChatGPT Plus
ChatGPT’s YouTube description, using the video transcript:
Unlock the full potential of your podcast with the right hosting platform! In this video, we'll show you how to choose the perfect host for your show based on five key factors: ease of use, storage and bandwidth, distribution, analytics, and monetization. We'll break down each factor and provide you with valuable insights and tips to help you make the best decision for your podcasting needs. Plus, we'll give you a list of the top 10 hosting platforms to explore in the link below. Whether you're a seasoned podcaster or just starting out, this video is packed with useful information to help you take your show to the next level. Don't wait - watch now and start creating the podcast of your dreams!
Through the entire process, I was getting more and more frustrated. What I really wanted to do was put the video transcript into the templates and get a description that way. How hard was that? The tools either guessed at what the video was about (and were wrong), or ended up so generic that the video could have covered any number of topics. It was time to bring out my go-to AI pal, ChatGPT.
Turns out, my instinct was right. The transcript was a critical piece. When I gave it only the video title, all I got were some punchy yet cheesy descriptions that didn't really capture the essence of the video.
But when I put the video title and transcript into the prompt, voila! Finally, the descriptions accurately described what the video was about, without any guessing or vagueness. Steffie was impressed too: "It hits all the right notes. It had the right intent. It had the right keywords, the right length. It wasn't too fake or corny."
I asked ChatGPT to tell me the best description from the two dozen or so I generated from all the AI tools, and it picked the best one as…a description written by ChatGPT. Very humble.
Well, for all the AI’s hubris, I suppose the humans did agree. The ChatGPT YouTube descriptions using the transcript got a thumbs-up from all of us. That's two humans and one robot, if you're keeping track.
Pros: Free, lets you use the transcript, accurate descriptions
Cons: Default tone may not be your cup of tea
Verdict: Useful, but still needs that human touch
In general, I was surprised at the variety in quality of the AI tools I tested. As someone who's not an SEO expert, I found it would have been extremely helpful to have an example to work from instead of starting from scratch. But alas, not all of the tools lived up to my high expectations.
Steffie agreed that the tools have their usefulness, noting that they "help and get you started, maybe make some of the work a little bit easier or faster." But she emphasized the need for human intervention to make sure the results are accurate and have the right tone. "We'll always need human editors or quality checkers."
Just three years after its founding, Pushkin Industries has become an audio-storytelling powerhouse, with an arsenal of podcasts and audiobooks built around household-name authors like Malcom Gladwell (Revisionist History), Michael Lewis (Against the Rules), and Ibram X. Kendi (Be Antiracist).
Since ChatGPT is a new technology with new techniques to learn, there are a lot of common mistakes that people make with it. If you're struggling to make it work for you, you might be making some of those mistakes too.