Google Podcasts, a dedicated podcast app that launched in 2018, will be shut down in 2024 and folded into YouTube Music. This decision comes after years of struggling to gain traction, with only 4% of US listeners, compared to 23% for YouTube.
In a blog post, Google announced that it will be “investing heavily in the podcast experience on YouTube Music” in 2024. This will include new features for podcasters, such as “robust creation and analytics tools” and streamlined RSS uploads. Google also plans to expand the ability to listen to podcasts in more locations, such as in the background, in the car, and offline. Additionally, new “YouTube-only” tools and capabilities will be coming to podcasts on YouTube Music, though Google has not yet provided any specifics.
For current Google Podcasts users, there will be a “simple migration tool” to help with the transition to YouTube Music. Users will also be able to manually add podcast RSS feeds to their YouTube Music library, or even export their current podcast subscriptions to rival platforms.
Google’s decision to shut down Google Podcasts is not surprising. The podcasting market is highly competitive, with a number of established players such as Apple Podcasts, Spotify, and Overcast. Google Podcasts has struggled to differentiate itself from these competitors, and its decision to focus on YouTube Music instead is likely to be seen as a wise one.
YouTube Music is already a popular destination for podcasts, and it has a number of features that make it a good platform for this format. For example, YouTube Music allows users to listen to podcasts in the background, download podcasts for offline listening, and switch between audio and video content on smart speakers. Google’s investment in the podcast experience on YouTube Music in 2024 is likely to make it even more competitive in this market.
Overall, the decision to shut down Google Podcasts and focus on YouTube Music is a positive one for Google and its users. It will allow Google to focus its podcast efforts on a single platform, and it will give YouTube Music a significant boost in the podcasting market.