Google, after a six-year run, has announced that it will be shutting down Google Podcasts in 2024.
Why is Google Podcasts shutting down?
Instead, the company plans to focus on making YouTube Music the primary destination for both podcasters and listeners.
This decision was confirmed by YouTube, which stated that in 2024, it will significantly enhance the podcast experience on YouTube Music, leading to the discontinuation of Google Podcasts, first launched in 2018.
Per Variety, YouTube is already the preferred platform for a substantial portion of podcast listeners in the US.
Approximately 23% of weekly podcast users in the country report that YouTube is their most frequently used service, while only 4% cite Google Podcasts.
How to migrate from Google Podcasts to YouTube Music
To facilitate the transition for users, Google intends to provide a “simple migration tool” that will allow users to move their podcast subscriptions to YouTube Music.
Additionally, users will have the option to add podcast RSS feeds to their YouTube Music library or transfer show subscriptions to a compatible podcast-listening app.
For podcast creators, YouTube Music will offer enhanced creation and analytics tools, as well as support for RSS uploads.
The aim is to expand the podcast listening experience to match the ways in which YouTube Music users already consume content, such as in the background, during car rides, and offline.
Google has stated its commitment to collecting feedback in the coming weeks and months to ensure that the migration process from Google Podcasts to YouTube Music is as seamless as possible.
Once the migration tools are ready, the company will release them along with clear instructions on how to use them.
Can you listen to podcasts in the background on YouTube Music?
Earlier this year, YouTube introduced the ability to watch and listen to podcasts on YouTube Music in the US. without requiring a paid membership.
This includes features like downloads, background play, accessibility on smart speakers, and the ability to switch between audio and video podcasts. Google plans to make podcasts on YouTube Music globally available before the end of 2023.
Furthermore, Google hints at the introduction of new “YouTube-only” capabilities for podcasts on YouTube Music, spanning community engagement, content discovery, and seamless transitions between audio and video formats.
While acknowledging that this transition will take time, Google’s ultimate goal is to create a unified and rewarding platform for creators and artists while offering the best possible podcast experience for fans.
In the interim, users will continue to have access to YouTube, YouTube Music, and Google Podcasts, and Google pledges to be transparent in communicating future changes with its user base and podcasters.
More details about this transition are expected to be shared in the coming months.