Google is planning to retire yet another one of its apps or services. This time, it's the Google Podcasts app, which will be going away sometime in 2024.
The standalone Google Podcasts app first launched for Android in 2018, with the company stating at the time that it was created so it would "make it easier than ever for Android users to discover and listen to podcasts." Later that year it announced plans for its own Google Podcasts creator program, to help “underrepresented voices” in the making of their own podcast content.
In 2020, the Google Podcasts app finally made its debut on Apple's iOS platform. However, it looks like the company is going to be making some changes in how it offers podcasts on its platform. Earlier in 2023, it added a way to listen to podcasts inside the YouTube Music app and will add that feature globally around the world by the end of the year.
In a blog post today, Google stated that according to outside research, 23 percent of podcast listeners say YouTube is their most frequently used service, while just four percent use Google Podcasts. That's part of the reason why Google stated "we’ll be discontinuing Google Podcasts" sometime in 2024.
We want to make sure we get this right and will give fans and podcasters plenty of time to make the transition. For users, it means a simple migration tool and the ability to add podcast RSS feeds to their YouTube Music library, including shows not currently hosted by YouTube. For those who prefer a different listening platform, the tools will also include an option to download an OPML file of their show subscriptions, which they can upload to an app that supports their import.
Podcasters will also see features like analytics tools and RSS uploads incorporated into future updates for YouTube Music. The company says it will wait until all the podcast migration tools are ready before they are released along with their guidelines.