YouTube Music is planning to add a special service focussed on podcasts for its 80 million paid subscribers. The aim for YouTube Music is to elevate its position in competition with Spotify, Swedish music streaming giant headquartered in Sweden. Kai Chuk, the head of podcasting at YouTube, revealed the platform’s podcast-related plans during a recent event. For now, Chuk skipped on providing an exact timeline for the rollout of YouTube’s planned podcast services.
YouTube Music is looking to offer background listening for podcasts. For paid users, this service would be free of advertisements, whereas non-paying listeners of YouTube Music would have to bear with ads during their podcast streams.
“If someone wants to watch a podcast, we have a solution. If someone wants to listen to a podcast only, we should have a great experience for that as well,” The Verge quoted Chuk as saying at the Hot Pod Summit held earlier this week in Brooklyn, US.
YouTube Music will add an array of enhanced library tools to have podcast creators experiment with advanced audio technologies. Additionally, the platform will also be pasting podcast badges to distinguish audio-first shows for users to identify content at a glance.
“Our focus is on creators, so as long as they find it successful and helpful, that’s success for us. We’re just focused on the YouTube users and ecosystem and bringing podcasts into that fold,” added Chuk, who was appointed as YouTube’s head of podcasting in 2021.
Unlike Spotify, which has over 200 million paid users, YouTube Music is currently not considering tie-ups with podcast celebrities to offer exclusive originals. This, however, could become part of its future roadmap.
Spotify, which was founded in 2006, added the podcast feature in 2015 when the platform hit 60 million users. Meanwhile, YouTube Music, which is substantially behind Spotify in terms of its paid subscriber-base, has begun loading its platform with newer features.
Earlier this year, it rolled-out a new Radio playlist feature that allows users to create a custom radio list. The service will let users choose artists, songs, and their frequency.
The platform has also released a redesigned library interface on Android and iOS devices with immediate access to playlists, songs, albums, and more.