The latest update to YouTube Music allows users to automatically download podcasts for offline listening. This feature comes after the announcement that Google Podcasts will be shutting down next year. To enable auto-downloads, users can visit a show page and tap the new settings gear icon to save the podcast to their library. This will immediately download the most recent episode for offline listening. However, there is currently no auto-removal setting available, unlike other podcast clients. Google Podcasts, for example, offers the option to remove completed episodes after a certain time increment.
Auto-downloads for podcasts can be enabled on a per-show and per-device basis, requiring users to enable them individually. Google Podcasts provides a dedicated Auto Downloading page for easy toggling of downloads, while YouTube Music users can manage downloads by going to the Library tab, selecting the Podcasts filter, and accessing the individual overflow menus. The latest version of YouTube Music on Android and iOS supports the auto-download feature.
One highly anticipated feature that YouTube Music is still working on is subscription via RSS, which would make it a more straightforward podcast player that doesn’t require video versions of shows to be made and uploaded. While this feature is yet to be launched, Google is also developing an automated flow for podcast subscriptions. It remains to be seen when this functionality will be added to YouTube Music.