YouTube Music will soon officially support podcasts but not replace the Google Podcasts app
As part of a larger push for podcasting across the platform as a whole, YouTube has today made the official announcement that podcasts will soon be distributed through YouTube Music. This comes after several months of buildup and speculation on whether podcasts would become part of the YouTube experience as a whole, or just the Music app.
The official announcement took place today at the "Hot Pod Summit" in Brooklyn as part of On Air Fest, and it was made by YouTube's Podcast Lead, Kai Chuk. However, no specific date was given as to when this was taken place, and was simply announced as coming "in the near future."
.@YouTube will soon be distributing podcasts through @youtubemusic. Listeners will be able to consume podcasts with a locked screen.#HotPodSummit@onairfest— Arielle Nissenblatt (sounds like ‘this & that’) (@arithisandthat) February 23, 2023
The news reached the masses via a tweet by Arielle Nissenblatt of SquadCast.fm, and included some preliminary information as to how the feature would work, including that YouTube Music would stream podcasts even when the user's screen is locked. Additionally, Alban Brooke of Buzzsprout tweeted additional information regarding the announcement, which included the fact that the podcast experience on YouTube Music will be audio-first and will aim for "unifying the audio and video experience," allowing users to begin listening to a podcast on one device before continuing it on another.
Kai Chuk, Head of YouTube Podcasting, just announced that podcasts are coming to YouTube Music.— Alban NYC for Hot Pod Summit (@AlbanBrooke) February 23, 2023
- audio first experience
- background listening
- library controls
In an email to 9to5Google, Google confirmed all the above and clarified that YouTube Music will only support podcasts in the United States for the time being. Furthermore, Google added that creators will be able to upload their audio podcasts via RSS "later this year."
We will soon start to bring both audio and video-first podcasts to YouTube Music for users in the US, making podcasts more discoverable and accessible, with more regions to come. This will help make the podcasts that users already love on YouTube, available in all the places they want to listen.
We’re also rolling out podcast creation in YouTube Studio, making it easier for Creators to set their videos as podcasts. Podcast playlists will be eligible for current and upcoming podcast features on YouTube, such as eligibility for youtube.com/podcasts, podcast badging, and inclusion in the YouTube Music app.
The announcement went on to state that YouTube will make suggestions for podcasts to users based on the types of content that user typically listens to and that YouTube Channels may in the future have a tab specifically designated for podcasts. Additionally, YouTube clarified that the music rights for podcasts will be the same as those for videos.
For now it appears that the standalone Google Podcasts app will not be immediately discontinued as a direct result of YouTube Music's decision to include podcasts, which is good news considering that we don't have an exact date of when the service will launch on YouTube Music. Furthermore, it would probably best for there to be a transition period to move users over and a tool to ensure that their existing subscriptions are migrated.
Things that are NOT allowed: