Adding YouTube Music makes the ‘Explore’ tab redundant
In April 2020, YouTube Music replaced “Hotlist” with the “Explore” tab. A small addition presented as a new way to access Explore avoids its position in the bottom bar more or less.
In recent days, YouTube Music for Android and iOS has widely rolled out an “Explore” section at the very bottom of the “Home” feed that links to new releases, charts, and moods and genres. These shortcuts take you to the exact same pages as the items at the top of the Explore tab.
This gives you the functionality of the Explore tab, except for the combined feed which displays all three sections at once. This sort of mirrors how the main YouTube app replaced the dedicated Explore tab (with “Shorts”) and moved it to the top Home tab carousel.
It’s unclear how many people regularly use Explore because it’s not too personalized compared to the recommendations that appear in Home. However, some want a generic trending section to browse what the world finds popular.
YouTube Music could remove the dedicated Explore tab without too much trouble, as the underlying functionality remains accessible to those who still want it. As such, this leaves an opening for a new section in the bottom bar.
Reading the institutional tea leaves, a “Podcasts” tab would make a lot of sense given that YouTube proper is laying the groundwork for a big push. Hopefully, a tab dedicated entirely to audio shows means that the main Home/Music tab never needs to display podcasts, which is a big complaint of Spotify‘s implementation.
While we’ve yet to see a major sign that podcasts are definitely coming to YouTube Music, a minor sign comes from the addition (last month) of channels that reveal “playback speed” controls are in effect. preparation for application. This capability is obviously in the main YouTube client, but it doesn’t make sense for YouTube Music tracks. It is suitable for longer periods of audio and is the bare minimum for a podcast player. It would be great to see a development on that front sooner rather than later.
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