Google Podcasts Shutting Down in the US: Transitioning to YouTube Music

Google has announced the closure of its application, Google Podcasts, in the United States today, April 2. This decision marks the end of a beloved chapter for fans of this medium.

The closure is a strategic move by Google, as they aim to consolidate their audio services under the established umbrella of Youtube Music. Google Podcasts, with over 500 million global downloads, has served as an easy gateway for discovering, following, and listening to podcasts for years. Its intuitive interface and ability to add podcasts via RSS have been highly valued by the community. Despite its popularity, Google already indicated last September their plans to discontinue the service in early 2024 to unify their audio services.

The transition is similar to Google’s previous move with Google Play Music and Youtube Music. Podcasts have continued independently until YouTube Music was ready to embrace them. By the end of 2023, YouTube Music was ready to support podcasts globally, allowing the uploading of RSS feeds, a crucial step in facilitating the transition for creators and listeners.

This shift demonstrates an adjustment in Google’s service management and may significantly impact the podcast landscape, especially with the growing interest in video podcasts. YouTube, already a dominant platform for video, could offer a rich and diverse experience for podcast fans by combining traditional audio with visual elements. It will be interesting to see where former Google Podcast users migrate.

Competition in the podcast space is fierce, with platforms like Spotify aggressively expanding their catalog of video podcasts, and TikTok also a prominent player. Google has stated that although the service in the US will end by the end of March 2024, users will have until July of that year to export their subscriptions. This grace period is essential to ensure a smooth transition to Youtube Music, marking a new chapter for podcasts within the Google ecosystem.

As Google Podcasts joins the Google Cemetery, this closure signifies the end of an era for the beloved podcast application. Despite the closure, fans of podcasts can look forward to a new chapter within Youtube Music, as Google continues to evolve and streamline their services.