YouTube Music: Drift Off to Your Favorite Podcast Soon!

Preparations for podcast support are underway

Google Podcasts is disappearing soon, and YouTube has declared its intention to take over by focusing on long-form content in YouTube Music. While there is no direct evidence of these changes in the YouTube Music app interface, code strings within the latest app update reveal that Google is working hard behind the scenes to support podcasts.

The YouTube management team says that podcasts will be available “in the near future” for users in the US, and 9to5Google has identified signs of this in version 5.48 of the YouTube Music app. According to several text strings, users will be able to add podcasts to the playback queue, just like songs. Furthermore, the content will appear in the Library tab, along with downloaded songs, effectively blurring the line between music and podcasts to help the new feature appear to have always been a part of the app.


<string name=”add_to_queue_toast_episode”>Episode added to queue</string>

<string name=”play_next_toast_episode”>Episode will play next</string>

<string name=”library_episodes_shelf_title”>Episodes</string>

<string name=”offline_podcasts_shelf_title”>Podcasts</string>

<string name=”offline_episodes_detail_page_title”>Downloaded Episodes</string>

<string name=”offline_downloads_tracks_and_episodes_empty_state_text”>Music and podcasts you download will appear here</string>

The Settings menu will also feature a related change, allowing users to play podcast videos as audio only, much like the existing toggle that disables music video playback in favor of the album version of songs. YouTube Music will also support features optimized for long-form content right from the start, like lengthy countdowns with the sleep timer.

<string name=”sleep_timer”>Sleep timer</string>

<string name=”sleep_timer_hours_and_minutes_left”>Sleep timer \u2022 %1$s %2$s left</string>

When podcasts roll out, the YouTube Music search bar will also reflect the platform’s focus on this type of content, changing the prompt text from “Search songs, albums, and artists” to “Search songs, artists, podcasts.”

To create a launch-ready library of streamable content, YouTube is already giving creators the necessary tools to turn playlists into shows via YouTube Studio. The launch of podcasting content on YouTube Music is imminent, and we’re excited to see how it will do in this competitive landscape.