Hey music fans, YouTube Music is bringing more of what you want—that’s right, podcasts. Why listen to your favorite music playlist when YouTube Music can cram podcasts down your throat faster than Spotify.
Call me old-fashioned, but when I click on my music streaming app it’s probably because I want to listen to music. If I wanted to listen to podcasts, I’d open one of the myriads of apps that are tailor-made to handle how I want to listen to podcasts—complete with features for skipping annoying ads mid-stream. YouTube Music is ready to jump on board the podcast train with Spotify, leaving Apple Music and Tidal alone in their singular music-focused apps (sorry, Deezer loves podcasts too).
“We will soon start to bring both audio and video-first podcasts to YouTube Music for users in the United States, making podcasts more discoverable and accessible, with more regions to come,” confirms a YouTube spokesperson. “This will help make the podcasts that users already love on YouTube, available in all the places they want to listen.”
YouTube says background listening to podcasts will be available for free. YouTube says it’s focusing on making podcasts available on YouTube rather than signing exclusivity deals like Spotify did throughout 2019-2021. YouTube Music and YouTube Premium now have over 80 million subscribers, while Spotify maintains the largest market share in paid music streaming with 205 million subscribers.
I personally ventured away from Spotify once the podcast recommendations took over my feed. I’m not against podcasts and listen to quite a few of them—but I do so with a dedicated app.
Spotify’s recommendations and playlist features may be more robust, but I grew tired of having podcasts crammed down my throat when all I wanted to do was listen to music while exercising. Only time will tell if YouTube Music makes the same mistake with its podcast integration, especially in the name of discoverability.