What you need to know
- YouTube Music has officially announced the addition of a dedicated section for podcasts.
- Users will be able to consume podcasts offline and in the background, features normally exclusive to subscribers.
- Podcasts are only available for YouTube Music users in the United States for now, with no word on global expansion.
After falling behind in the podcast space, particularly as they became more popular over the last few years on other music streaming platforms, YouTube Music is finally bringing a dedicated podcast experience to the platform.
Google announced the addition on Thursday after previously teasing podcasts on the platform in February. Back then, Kai Chuk, YouTube's director of podcasting, stated that YouTube Music would bring enhanced focus to the audio-first podcast experience.
YouTube Music users can find podcasts via the Home or Explore tabs. In the Home tab, users can select the "Podcasts" filter at the top, where they can jump into recommended episodes and various topics of interest. In the Explore tab, there's a dedicated option for Podcasts at the top, which will allow users to explore popular shows, episodes, and other topics.
Users can also find a Podcast chip in the Library tab, with an automatic "Episodes for later" playlist. Podcasts are also available to download in YouTube Music, and they will show up in the Downloads section of the Library tab with a dedicated "Downloaded Episodes" list.
A support page further explains how users can navigate the experience.
The YouTube team notes that all users will be able to listen to podcasts "on-demand, offline, in the background, while casting and seamlessly switch between audio-video versions on YouTube Music." These features will be available for YouTube Premium/Music subscribers and free users as well.
The team notes, however, that subscribers "may experience host-read endorsements or sponsorship messages when listening to podcasts."
For now, the new podcast experience on YouTube Music is rolling out "gradually" in the United States and will be available on Android phones, iOS, and the web. However, the team says they hope to expand to other regions "in the future." For now, they can still enjoy video podcasts on YouTube.
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Derrek is a long-time Nokia and LG fanboy who loves astronomy, videography, and sci-fi movies. When he's not working, he's most likely working out or smoldering at the camera.