YouTube Music is officially adding podcasts to its platform in the United States on Android, iOS and the web. The rollout comes a few months after Kai Chuk, head of YouTube podcasting, revealed that podcasts would soon be added to YouTube Music.
The update allows users who watch podcasts in the main app to continue listening to them on YouTube Music. The company notes that all users listen to podcasts on-demand, offline, and in the background while casting and seamlessly switching between audio-video versions on YouTube Music.
“This podcast listening experience differs from our music listening experience where you need a Premium or Music Premium subscription to enjoy some of these features,” the company wrote in a blog post. “This new podcast listening experience complements the podcast video experience on YouTube.”
Podcasts in YouTube Music are available whether or not you have a YouTube Premium subscription. In fact, YouTube notes that paying customers may encounter host-read recommendations or sponsorship messages when listening to podcasts on YouTube Music.
YouTube is gradually rolling out the update to all of its listeners in the United States, which means not everyone will be able to see it just yet. The company said it plans to bring podcasts to YouTube Music for users outside the United States soon, but did not provide specific launch details.
The YouTube Music home tab now includes a new ‘Podcasts’ tab that takes you to a dedicated feed where you can see your favorite podcasts and recommended episodes.
YouTube advises creators that if their podcast is audio-only, they should consider uploading a video with a static image or using audiograms or other dynamic video formats. The company notes that it will soon offer creators the ability to upload their audio podcasts directly to both YouTube and YouTube Music via RSS feeds.
According to previous reportsYouTube has no plans to make exclusive deals with podcasters, which has been a key strategy at Spotify. YouTube instead seems to be focused on fusing the experience of listening to podcasts over video and audio.