YouTube is bringing podcasts into the YouTube Music app in the UK, having done so in the US earlier this year. It means users can consume podcasts within the YouTube ecosystem via what it calls a "listen-centric experience".
Plenty of people use the main YouTube platform to access both audio and video podcasts. However, for a medium that is predominantly audio, it makes sense to make podcasts available through the Google firm's predominantly audio app as well.
It may also bring a new audience to YouTube Music. The music service itself is premium-only, but podcasts will be available without a paid-for subscription. So that might result in more people using the app who could then be upsold a subscription to the main YouTube Music service.
As for why people currently accessing podcasts on the main platform would switch to the YouTube Music app, well, background and offline listening will be available to free users within that app.
On the main YouTube platform that functionality is only available on premium. And, with longer-from content that is more likely to be consumed on the move - like podcasts - background and offline listening are arguably more important.
Says Alison Lomax, MD of YouTube UK and Ireland: "We’re THRILLED to be launching podcasts in the UK on YouTube Music. Podcasts have soared in popularity in recent years among all age groups, particularly Gen Z users. With long-form, Shorts, VOD and now podcasts, YouTube is cementing itself as the platform for multiformat creators and ushering in a new era of creativity on the platform".
Currently, podcasters need to manually upload their content to YouTube but, the company says, from later this year they will be able to deliver their podcasts by providing an RSS feed, as is the norm with most other podcast platforms.