Kai Chuk, Head of YouTube Podcasting, announced on Thursday that users will soon be able to watch and listen to podcasts on YouTube Music.
“We will soon start to bring both audio and video-first podcasts to YouTube Music for users in the U.S., making podcasts more discoverable and accessible, with more regions to come,” a YouTube spokesperson said in a statement. “This will help make the podcasts that users already love on YouTube, available in all the places they want to listen.”
YouTube Music users will be able to switch between podcasts’ audio and video formats as they wish and continue listening to the audio when they lock their screen, without paying an additional fee. However, the company will show ads to non-subscribers to its streaming service.
Kai Chuk shared the news at the Hot Pod Summit in Brooklyn, where the company also announced that creators will get access to YouTube Studio’s podcast creation tools which will enable them to convert their videos into podcasts easily. Meanwhile, the company isn’t planning to shut down its existing Google Podcasts app sometime soon.
Also Read: The 5 Best Podcast Apps
Reporting from the event, Alban Brooke tweeted that the company currently doesn’t have a plan to sign exclusive deals with podcast creators, unlike its rival Spotify.
The news comes months after YouTube quietly launched a dedicated page for podcasts last August. Around the same time, Luminate Data reported that YouTube became the most used platform for podcast listeners and watchers in the United States.
However, the company’s mobile apps do not yet allow non-subscribers to listen to audio in the background. The feature, which is expected to be launched in the next few weeks, could help YouTube lure more users to its service.