What you need to know
- A YouTube executive has confirmed that podcasts are coming to YouTube Music.
- The feature will include ad-supported background listening and enhanced library features.
- YouTube Studio recently added new podcast creation tools.
While Spotify has dived heavily into the podcast space in recent years, YouTube Music has sat quietly while the main YouTube app got all the attention with video podcasts. However, things are going to change soon, as YouTube is finally getting serious about podcasts on its platforms.
Kai Chuk, YouTube’s director of podcasting, recently confirmed during the Hot Pod Summit that podcasts are finally coming to YouTube Music “in the near future,” as reported by The Verge.
Expanding on the current podcast experience on YouTube, this move would also bring enhanced focus to the audio-first podcast experience, something YouTube Music has notably lacked even in the wake of Spotify’s growing investment in the space. “If someone wants to listen to a podcast only, we should have a great experience for that as well,” Chuk stated.
A YouTube spokesperson also confirmed the move in a statement to TechCrunch:
“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.”
Chuk notes that users can expect ad-supported background listening, badges to identify audio-first podcasts, and “enhanced library tools.” However, unlike Spotify, YouTube apparently isn’t interested in securing exclusive deals and will instead focus on making a great ecosystem for creators and users.
“We’re just focused on the YouTube users and ecosystem and bringing podcasts into that fold,” Chuk continued.
YouTube Premium and YouTube Music recently celebrated hitting 80 million subscribers, which still falls behind Spotify’s more than 200 million paid listeners. However, the service has been solely focused on music, even as more creators take the main YouTube app to post their podcast videos. That said, with the growing interest in podcasts and the introduction of new podcast creation tools, YouTube may finally be able to close the gap some.