YouTube is now dipping into the podcast market. Head of YouTube podcasting Kai Chuk announced that podcasts will soon become a feature on YouTube Music.
Despite hosting video versions of many well-known podcasts, YouTube has not yet ventured into audio-only podcasting until now. Chuk notified audiences that podcast creation tools will be coming to YouTube Studio and that creators will be able to add audio podcasts to YouTube through RSS feeds later this year.
It doesn’t look like YouTube will be giving up the video versions of podcasts either. Instead, the platform seeks to combine video and audio podcasting, giving users the option to seamlessly switch back and forth between the two.
Additionally, the option of background listening will be available for free, which means you won’t have to worry about your podcast being cut off if you lock your phone. However, the free service will remain ad-supported unless users subscribe to YouTube Music.
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
Unlike Amazon and Spotify's podcast strategy, it seems that YouTube will not be looking to acquire rights to exclusive podcasts. Instead, it will be focusing on elevating a customizable and audio-only experience.
This announcement follows a line of exciting YouTube developments, including updates like custom radio stations and multi-language audio dubbing.
YouTube Music’s custom radio stations allow users to create radio stations tailored to their favourite genres, artists and moods by combining existing radio stations, albums and playlists. The experience also gives users the option to choose how frequently certain artists appear and to apply special filters that alter the mood of the stations.
“The result is giving users a lot more control over their music listening experiences, and allowing them to slice their music in many ways currently unavailable to them, on YouTube Music or really any music service,” said YouTube in a company email.
With YouTube Music and YouTube Premium topping 80 million subscribers, the new highly-customizable updates scheduled to roll out may give users even more reason to give YouTube Music a try.