YouTube wants to edge into the lucrative podcast industry—by offering new and convenient features through YouTube Music.
- YouTube revealed in a Thursday blog post that it is expanding its podcasting features through its existing YouTube Music app.
- U.S. customers can now listen to podcasts offline, in the background with other apps open, and swap seamlessly between YouTube and YouTube Music.
- The user experience is designed to “complement the podcast video experience on YouTube.”
- These podcasting features are available to users who do not have a YouTube Premium subscription.
- Podcasting features are set to progressively rollout in other countries as well in the coming months.
Why It’s News
Podcasting has become one of the premiere forms of entertainment, with dozens of apps offering free and abundant podcasts—like Apple Podcasts and Spotify—in addition to convenient offline features. YouTube is a significant host of video content and podcasts, but up until now, the website only allowed users with subscriptions to download and listen to content offline.
The news is also coming in the aftermath of parent-company Alphabet’s quarterly earnings report, which showed that ad revenues for the umbrella company had declined for a second quarter in a row. With YouTube being one of the least profitable branches of the company, finding new revenue streams through it would be prudent.
Backing Up a Bit
As we previously reported, Neil Mohan became the new CEO of YouTube on February 16. He subsequently outlined his new vision for the future of the company in a March 1 blog post, mentioning that YouTube would be integrating new podcasting features into the website and apps.
“We’re happy to share that podcasts on YouTube are now available in YouTube Music! We’re rolling this out to all our listeners in the United States gradually, so hold tight if you do not see it yet! This update allows those watching podcasts on the main app to continue listening to them on YouTube Music,” says YouTube.