YouTube Music starts rolling out podcast features outside the US

Users in Brazil and Canada report seeing podcasts appear in app, according to 9to5Google

YouTube Music has started rolling out its podcast features within the app to international users, according to reports from 9to5Google.

The technology news website reported that users in Brazil and Canada first started seeing podcasts in the app on Thursday last week. Until that point, podcasts on YouTube Music had only been available to US users since the features officially started rolling out in April this year. 

Podcasts on YouTube Music appear on the Home tab as a new filter, which loads a number of carousels with podcast recommendations when clicked, including ‘Keep listening’, ‘Recommended episodes’ and ‘Your Shows’, as well as categories like ‘True Crime’ and ‘Gaming’. Podcasts are also accessible via the ‘Explore’ and ‘Library’ pages.

Both YouTube premium subscribers and non-subscribers are able to play podcasts offline and in the background as well as switch between video and audio. Shows will be monetised through host-read endorsements and sponsorships rather than through subscriptions. 

Only creators and channels that have uploaded their podcast as video are able to have their show available on the YouTube Music app, as it does not yet support RSS feeds. However, the streaming service is currently testing out uploading podcasts via RSS feeds with select shows like CNN’s One Thing andCityCast Pittsburgh - as reported by PodNews in May. 

YouTube Music’s plans to integrate podcasts were first announced in February this year by the platform’s head of podcasting, Kai Chuk, at The Verge’s Hot Pod Summit 2023. At the time, Chuk revealed that users would be able to play podcasts in the background ad-free and feature designated badges on shows that are audio-first to distinguish them from video. 

“If someone wants to watch a podcast, we have a solution,” said Chuk. “If someone wants to listen to a podcast only, we should have a great experience for that as well."