As reported by 9to5Google, the YouTube Music podcast service has been expanded to users in Brazil and Canada. This expansion comes after podcasts were exclusively launched for U.S. users in late April. Discovering Local Language Podcasts Users of YouTube Music in Brazil and Canada can now enjoy podcasts with local language support. This feature was previously accessible only to users based in the United States. The Home tab on YouTube Music now includes a dedicated “Podcasts” filter presenting recommended episodes and topic-based content tailored to users interests, making exploring new content effortless. Enhanced User Experience: Free and Premium Users As part of this endeavor, both free users and YouTube Premium subscribers can benefit from the platform’s podcast features. On-demand listening of podcasts in the background or without an internet connection is provided to all users. However, to fund this service, host-read endorsements or sponsorship messages will be served up to all listeners on the platform. Interactive Podcast Features: Audio and Video Listeners can use the casting feature while listening to a podcast episode, and freely switch between audio and video versions of available podcasts. Creators of podcast content wishing to make their content available on YouTube Music are required to upload a video version, although this could be accompanied by static imagery or other dynamic video formats. An important note for creators is that only those podcasts that have uploaded video versions are currently supported on YouTube Music. However, YouTube has mentioned its future plans to facilitate creators uploading audio-only versions through RSS feeds. Competing with Spotify: Incorporating Podcasts Following Spotify's example, YouTube Music aims to make itself more competitive by introducing podcasts onto the platform. As opposed to Spotify though, it seems that YouTube isn't interested in pursuing exclusive contracts with podcasters. Spotify currently holds 30% market share as of 2022, leaving rivals Apple Music (15%) and YouTube Music (9%) lagging behind. With its newly introduced features, YouTube music hopes to close this gap by providing a broader media platform for its audience. In an era dominated by various music streaming platforms, additions like these can prove instrumental for growth. Recognizeably so for YouTube music which is trying not only to compete but also surpass major players like Spotify. User Oriented Design: Organization Aiding user experience, there have been design changes in the library tab too. Filters like Playlists, Songs, Albums, Artists are now joined by a “Podcasts” filter allowing seamless access between different media types. Further enhancing user experience are additional features like "New Episodes" Auto playlists from shows users have chosen to subscribe to and previously saved "Episodes for Later". These changes are aimed towards boosting user engagement with individual shows on their own terms. It's worth noting that despite these attractive features being available for all users on the platform - whether free or premium - they will be subjected to occasional host-read endorsements or sponsorship messages during their listening time. Special functionality such as offline playback also doesn't necessitate having a premium subscription implying that content access isn't heavily gated behind paywalls unlike some other platforms. In conclusion, with these updates and support for local languages in international markets like Brazil and Canada, Youtube Music takes steps towards building a more inclusive media streaming service while simultaneously prying into audience segments from established competitors.