Google has announced that its first users in the US can now listen to podcasts via YouTube Music. The good thing is that the new feature, which was teased back in February, doesn’t require a paid YouTube Music subscription. At least not for now. The feature works just like any other audio/video content. It’s available on demand, offline and in the background while streaming and switching between audio and video.
In addition, the functions, at least currently, are free according to Google. What Google hasn’t said is what will happen to the Podcasts app in the future. Currently, Google Podcasts can’t be found via web search and the last update came in August 2022. At the same time, the range of podcasts on YouTube Music isn’t nearly as extensive as on the original platform. That should change, however, the further the app progresses in the changeover.
There’s also a chance that this is some sort of A/B testing and YouTube Podcasts remain market-dependent. However, Google is known for phasing out many features and services. There’s a lot of evidence that the Podcasts app is next in line to the software graveyard.