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 YouTube podcasting head Kai Chuk revealed that podcasts would be added to YouTube Music soon.
The update allows users watching podcasts on the main app to continue listening to them on YouTube Music. The company notes that all users can listen to podcasts on-demand, offline, in the background, and while casting and can seamlessly switch between audio-video versions on YouTube Music.
“This podcast listening experience is different 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 will be available regardless of whether you have a YouTube Premium subscription. YouTube even notes that paying customers may encounter host-read endorsements or sponsorship messages when listening to podcasts on YouTube Music.
YouTube is rolling out the update to all of its listeners in the United States gradually, which means not everyone may see it yet. The company said it plans to bring podcasts to YouTube Music to users outside the United States soon but didn’t provide any specific launch details.
The YouTube Music Home tab now includes a new “Podcasts” tab that takes you to a dedicated feed, which will display your favorite podcasts and recommended episodes.
YouTube is advising creators that if their podcast is audio-only, they should consider uploading a video with a static image or use audiograms or other dynamic video formats. The company notes that it will soon offer creators the option to directly upload their audio podcasts via RSS feeds to both YouTube and YouTube Music.
According to previous reports, YouTube isn’t looking to sign exclusive deals with podcasters, which has been a key strategy at Spotify. YouTube instead seems to be focused on melding the experience of listening to podcasts on video and audio.