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YouTube podcast feature goes live in the US

YouTube Music has officially rolled out podcasts to its users in the United States. This comes after the extensive testing that the feature underwent in March. This new feature offers listeners the ability to access podcasts on-demand, offline, and in the background. Even users without a YouTube Premium subscription can access podcasts with seamless switching between audio and video versions. This feature is being gradually rolled out to all YouTube Music users in the US, complementing the podcast video experience on YouTube. Currently, only podcasts that have uploaded video versions of episodes to YouTube are available.

The new Podcasts chip in the YouTube Music Home tab loads a dedicated feed with personalized carousels that include “Keep Listening,” “Recommend Episodes,” and “Your Shows.” Listeners can explore sections like “Political Commentary,” “History,” “True Crime,” and “Gaming” in the podcast discovery section. The Explore tab offers a Popular Episodes carousel, and “Podcasts” joins New Releases, Charts, and Moods & Genres.

In the Library section, Podcasts joins the high-level filter for Playlists, Songs, Albums, and Artists. This section includes two Auto playlists for “New Episodes” from subscribed shows and “Episodes for Later,” as well as a sub-filter for “Downloads” with a “Downloaded Episodes” auto-playlist.

Show pages display show art and an episode list with two lines of description, along with the publish date and playback status. Users can save episodes for later using the bookmark button and download for offline playback. The Now Playing screen replaces next/previous with 10-second rewind/30-second forward and includes playback speed on the left and a sleep timer on the right. Show “Details”/notes are located at the bottom, while the Up Next queue remains unchanged.

YouTube Music’s search feature includes filters for “Episodes” and “Podcasts” with equivalent sections in the results list. This feature is rolling out to Android, iOS, and the web. Listeners can expect a seamless transition between audio and video versions of podcasts, along with the ability to save episodes for later and access them offline. While this new feature is only available in the US for now, it has the potential to expand globally, providing more options for podcast fans on the platform.