Google Podcasts will be shutting down next year, and in response to this news, YouTube Music has introduced a new feature that allows users to auto-download podcasts. Users can visit a podcast show page and tap on the settings gear icon to enable the “Turn on auto-downloads” button, which will immediately download the most recent episode for offline listening. However, there is currently no auto-removal setting, unlike other podcast clients. Google Podcasts, for example, has a “Remove completed episodes” preference that allows users to specify when episodes should be deleted, such as after 24 hours, 7 days, 30 days, or 90 days.
Auto-downloads for podcasts on YouTube Music can be enabled on a per-show and per-device basis, and users need to enable them individually. On Google Podcasts, there is a dedicated Auto Downloading page where users can easily toggle downloads on or off. Managing auto-downloads on YouTube Music can be done by visiting the Library tab, selecting the Podcasts filter, and then accessing the Downloaded section through the individual overflow menus. This new feature is currently available on version 6.21 of YouTube Music for Android and iOS.
One highly anticipated feature that many users are waiting for is subscription via RSS. This would turn YouTube Music into a more traditional podcast player, eliminating the need for shows to create and upload video versions. Google is also working on an automated flow for this feature. Overall, the addition of auto-downloads to YouTube Music is a step towards enhancing the podcast listening experience on the platform, and users are hopeful for more improvements and features in the future, such as subscription via RSS.