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YouTube Music aims for podcast supremacy as users remain unimpressed

YouTube feels its podcast recommendations are its secret sauce as users struggle with the lack of basic features.
By

Published onApril 25, 2024

YouTube Music logo on smartphone, next to headphones and Nest Mini (3)
Edgar Cervantes / Android Authority
TL;DR
  • YouTube Music has vowed to become the “ultimate destination” for podcasts.
  • The platform feels its podcast recommendations are its “secret sauce.”
  • However, users who moved from Google Podcasts aren’t pleased with the new experience.

YouTube Music wants to be the “ultimate destination for podcasters and fans alike,” the company announced in its latest blog post discussing the future of podcasts on YouTube.

The platform also highlighted recent changes it’s made to improve podcast listening on YouTube Music. These include support for third-party RSS podcasts, updates to the Android Auto experience for easy in-car listening, enhanced download options, and customizable playlist sorting. The last one on that list is the newest and hasn’t rolled out widely yet. It adds more podcast sorting filters such as “Progress,” “Unplayed,” and “Played.”

Additionally, YouTube says it has revamped its recommendation and discovery algorithms “to help creators and listeners discover new content effortlessly.” YouTube Chief Product Officer Johanna Voolich feels YouTube’s “secret sauce” is its podcast recommendations.

While all that sounds great, it doesn’t look like YouTube is really listening to its podcast users. Users aren’t happy with the podcast experience on YouTube Music.

The ground reality of podcasts on YouTube Music

Google’s decision to move podcasts to YouTube Music hasn’t been well received by legacy Google Podcasts users. In April, Google officially shut down its Podcasts app in the US and had users migrate to YouTube Music. People outside the US can still use the old app, but not for long.

Those who moved their podcasting needs over to YouTube Music are struggling to use the service. The podcasting experience on YouTube Music lacks basic features such as “Mark as Played” and notifications for new episodes. Users also struggle to discover content on the platform, switch between listening to podcasts and music, create queues and playlists, and more. The list of complaints is very long.

Do you like listening to podcasts on YouTube Music?

529 votes

“It’s really annoying when it jumps back to a podcast I’ve already listened to, and the played message goes away,” a Reddit user noted just a few days ago.

“With Google Podcast, I was able to select and play several podcasts in a raw. I cannot see how to do that with YouTube Music. Many podcasts are not transferred to YouTube Music and cannot be found with the search option. Overall, the user experience is horrible,” wrote another unhappy user.

“If I pause an episode part way through and close the app, it goes back to the beginning of the episode when I reopen. There is no auto-deleting of downloaded episodes after they’ve been played, and sometimes when I manually delete a download, it won’t go away,” complained another.

Reddit is filled with such remarks from those using YouTube Music to listen to podcasts. A large number of users have also switched to or are looking to move to alternative podcasting platforms such as Pocket Casts.

For Google to make YouTube Music an “ultimate destination” for podcasts, it first has to improve the platform’s basic usability before it adds more complex new features.

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