Is Google Podcast Going Away? Here’s What You Need To Know

James Anderson
By James Anderson 25 Min Read
25 Min Read

Hey reader! Let’s chat about Google’s journey with podcasts. It’s been a pretty wild ride!

From Google Listen to Google Podcasts

First up, Google had this thing called “Google Listen.” It’s like an old toy they used to play with. But in 2012, they decided they didn’t want it anymore. So, they replaced it with something called “Google Play Music Podcasts.”

Then, in 2018, they gave us another surprise. They came up with their very first app just for listening to podcasts. They called it – wait for it – “Google Podcasts.” (Simple, right?)

Did They REALLY Launch It?

Here’s the funny thing. Google didn’t really make a big show about launching their new podcast app. If you had an Android phone, the app was there, but it was kind of like a hidden treasure. You couldn’t just find it on your phone’s main screen. You had to play detective and search for it using Google Search. If you wanted to download it, you had to go on a special treasure hunt in the Chrome Store. So, even though they had this new app, they didn’t really brag about it. It’s like they made a delicious pie but kept it a secret!

Guess what? Even with all this mystery, “Google Podcasts” became super popular! It’s like the quiet kid in class who everyone realizes is actually super cool. In the world of podcast apps, only two big ones – Apple Podcasts and Spotify – are more famous. Sites like Libsyn and Buzzsprout even have numbers to prove it!

Here’s the puzzling part. With all the love for “Google Podcasts,” why would Google think of stopping it? Especially now, when other big tech companies are trying to jump into the podcast world. It’s like everyone’s trying to get a piece of the podcast pie!

So, my friend, that’s Google’s interesting story with podcasts. It’s a mix of hide-and-seek and surprise hits! Let’s wait and see what they do next.

Signs Google Podcasts Could Be Phased Out

#1 No Updates? That’s Suspicious!

Firstly, people are raising eyebrows because Google hasn’t given their podcast app any fresh updates since 2021. If Google’s not sprucing things up or adding cool new stuff, many think it means they’re not that into it anymore.

#2 Google’s History of Saying “Goodbye”

Google isn’t shy about ending things. Remember Google+, Google Hangouts, and Google Surveys? Yep, they all went away. There’s even this place called “Killed By Google” – kind of like a graveyard for all the apps Google said goodbye to. It’s where we go to remember and maybe shed a tear for our old faves. Sad times, right?

Our pals at Podnews shared some interesting news recently. They spotted that Google Podcasts is missing from Google Search for those using it in English. But don’t worry, if you’re searching in German or Spanish, it’s still there (for now).

Now, here’s why that’s a big deal: most folks stumbled upon Google Podcasts through, you guessed it, Google Search! Imagine this – you’d search for a cool podcast, find one from the list, hit play, and boom! A Google Podcasts player would pop up and you’d start listening.

So, if Google’s removing this, it could mean fewer people might discover and listen to some great podcasts. But there’s another side to this. Todd Cochrane, from Blubrry’s Podcast Insider podcast, thinks if people were really clicking on these links a lot, Google would’ve kept them.

Why Would Google Want to Exit Podcasting?

Have you ever wondered why Google, with all its tech muscle, might want to step back from podcasting? Especially when it seems like everyone and their grandma are diving into podcasts (like TikTok and Twitter for starters)?

#1 They’re Not Really Leaving!

Here’s a fun twist from us at The Podcast Host: we don’t think Google’s actually leaving the podcast world. Nope!

#2 A New Game Plan

Google’s just changing their playbook, something they’re kinda famous for. When they brought Google Podcasts to life, they were like the last kid to join a playground game. And, with so many other kids (or apps) playing already, it was going to be tricky for Google to be the playground champ.

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#3 Hello, YouTube! Switch Between Audio & Video Anytime.

Guess what? The world’s going crazy for podcasts that you can watch, not just listen to. So, where’s Google setting its sights? Their superstar platform: YouTube.

Recently, YouTube’s been super busy. They’ve introduced a special corner just for podcasts and added loads of new cool tools for podcasters. It looks like Google’s big plan is to get everyone listening (and watching) podcasts on YouTube. It’s where they think they can wear the crown.

#4 Video Podcasts: The Future?

A lot of folks are buzzing about how video might be the next big thing for podcasts. Whether that’s totally true or just a bit, one thing’s for sure: YouTube is the king of video. So, it’s like Google’s thinking, “Why not guide everyone to YouTube for their podcast fix?” They believe that might be their secret weapon.

So, while it might seem Google’s taking a step back from podcasts, they’re actually just dancing to a different tune. Keep your eyes on YouTube, because that’s where the party’s moving!

Would Google Podcasts Be a Big Loss For the Podcast Community?

Let’s have a heart-to-heart. Is Google Podcasts really a big deal for podcast lovers like us? Here’s what’s up.

The Good Side of Google Podcasts

Google Podcasts might not be the fanciest app out there, but it’s been like a good friend to the podcast world. One super cool thing? It let podcasts pop up right in Google Searches! This magic trick has sure helped a lot of podcasters get their shows to fresh ears.

Plus, check this out: Google Podcasts is responsible for 2.6% of all podcast listening. Might sound tiny, but when you line it up next to big names like Apple Podcasts and Spotify, Google Podcasts is still up there, holding its own. So those numbers? They count!

Not All Rainbows and Butterflies

But let’s be real. The Google Podcasts app is like that simple, no-frills sandwich. It fills you up, but it’s nothing to write home about. There are a few things it just doesn’t do.

For starters, it doesn’t let you watch video podcasts. Bummer, right? And there are some other features it’s missing out on. Like, you can’t add a podcast to the app using a special RSS link, and if you’ve got a bunch of episodes downloaded? You can’t just let them play one after the other. You’ve got to pick ’em out one by one. A bit of a drag!

So, Big Loss or Not?

All in all, if Google Podcasts packed up and left, it’d be a bit like losing that handy sandwich shop down the street. Sure, it’s not gourmet, but it’s been there when we needed it. The podcast world would feel its absence, but hey, there’s always another sandwich (or app) around the corner!

What Podcast Creators Should Do Now to Prepare

With all the buzz about Google Podcasts possibly saying goodbye, it’s got us thinking. What should you do to be ready for any curveballs the podcast world throws? Let’s chat.

The Power of Open Podcasting

First off, remember this awesome thing about podcasts: you’re not tied down to just one app or company. It’s like having a kite that can fly no matter which way the wind blows.

Imagine being famous on just YouTube or TikTok. What if, out of the blue, those platforms disappeared? Kind of like the wild stuff that happened with Musk and Twitter, right? But with podcasting, even if giants like Apple or Spotify closed shop, your show wouldn’t vanish. Thanks to the magic of the RSS feed, your voice would still ring out far and wide. Yes, losing a big app would sting, but your loyal listeners would find you on another app. The podcast world? It’s strong and would keep on rocking!

Two Golden & Life Saving Tips for Podcasters

  • 1. Spread Your Wings: Make sure your podcast is everywhere! The more places it’s available, the better. Think of it as setting up shop in every town and city.
  • 2. Keep Calm and Podcast On: Changes happen. Companies change. Apps come and go. So if one app bites the dust, take a deep breath and remember it’s not the end of the world.

Podcasting’s Bigger Picture

Always keep this in mind: no single app or company holds the key to podcasting’s heart. And the coolest part? You’re the captain of your podcast ship. You decide where it sails and how fast. So keep on creating, keep on sharing, and let your voice be heard!

Some Alternatives To Replace Google Podcasts

So, with all the chatter about Google Podcasts possibly hanging up its boots, you might be wondering, “Where do I go now?” No worries! Let’s check out some awesome alternatives to keep those podcast vibes strong.

#1 Pocket Casts

When people chat about podcast apps, Pocket Casts is often the star of the show. And it’s not just because of its neat features (we’ll get to that). It’s got quite the tale. Born in 2010, this app took quite a journey. It was adopted by NPR and some public media buddies in 2018. Then, in a plot twist, it was bought by Automattic (the same cool folks behind in 2021. And guess what? They’ve made its mobile versions open source! Cool, right?

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Once you give Pocket Casts a whirl, you’ll get the hype. Even without spending a dime, its free version is a treat:

  • Organized & Stylish: See your subscribed podcasts in a list or grid. Got a ton? Filter them with options like “In Progress” or “Release Date.”
  • Simple Controls: Skip ahead 30 seconds, or rewind 10. Perfect for when you missed a juicy bit!
  • Smart Queue: Planning a road trip or a long walk? Line up your episodes to play one after another.
  • Fun Stats: Ever wondered how many hours you’ve spent listening? Pocket Casts tells you!
  • More Features: Download episodes, make playlists, set sleep timers, and keep your episodes neat with “played” and “archive” options.
  • Sleek Audio Controls: Adjust playback speed, amp up voice volumes, and even trim silent gaps without any weird audio glitches.
  • Stay Synced: Jump from Android to Mac, iPad, iPhone, or Windows and pick up right where you left off.

But wait, it gets even sweeter. This app is totally ad-free. For a little extra pizzazz, Pocket Casts Plus lets you organize podcasts in folders, gives you desktop app access, and even offers 20GB of cloud storage. It costs $3.99/month or $39.99/year, but they let you try it free for a month.

#2 Castbox

When you first open Castbox, you’ll notice it’s a bit like a bustling market square – there’s a lot going on! The main page is always suggesting a mix of podcasts for you. Looking for something specific? No worries! Just type it into the search box up top and you’re off to the races. Once you pick a podcast, Castbox is like that enthusiastic friend who immediately suggests ten more things you might like. Though, to be fair, these suggestions might not always hit the mark.

Be a little careful as you navigate. I accidentally hit subscribe on a couple of shows without meaning to. Also, the app seemed pretty keen on downloading stuff on its own. Oh, and about signing in? You can’t use just an email to register. You’ll need to link it to accounts like Google, Facebook, Twitter, or Line.

At the bottom, you’ll find four handy tabs:

  • Discover: Dive into a sea of podcasts and pick your faves.
  • Community: Think of it as a chatroom about podcasts. Though, a quick heads-up, it can be a bit… lively.
  • Personal: Tweak the app settings to your liking.
  • Library: This is your cozy corner. All your subscribed shows, downloads, and top picks live here.

There are some neat features, too. You can skip back or ahead by 10 seconds, set a sleep timer for those night-time listens, and queue up episodes.

Now, about those ads. At times, you might find an ad covering up a podcast’s artwork. If that bugs you or if you want some extra perks like ditching the ads, more subscription slots, and custom playback settings, there’s a premium version available. It’s $19.99/year, $7.99 every 3 months, or $3.99/month.

#3 PodBean

First up, when you land on PodBean’s website, it feels like you’ve walked into a space built for podcast creators. It’s like a behind-the-scenes look at a movie set. But don’t be fooled, because while it’s a hub for podcasters, it does have a nifty mobile app tailored for listeners like you and me.

Once you’ve got the app fired up, you’ll notice a bunch of sample podcasts waiting for you. It’s a bit like getting a plate with a few pre-selected appetizers at a restaurant. If some aren’t to your taste, no worries; just uncheck them. While the free version has some ads hanging out at the top of your homepage, you’ll be pleasantly surprised to find none when you dive into an individual podcast’s main page.

PodBean packs some cool tricks up its sleeve:

  • Language Swap: Feel like changing the app’s language? Go right ahead!
  • Auto-Clean: Let the app automatically toss out played downloads to keep things tidy.
  • Auto-Download: Choose which podcasts you want to auto-download, so you’re always ready for your next listening session.
  • Storage Management: Running out of room? No problem. A quick tap and you can clear up space.

If you’re the type who loves to customize, PodBean offers a Golden Member Subscription for $9.99 a year. With this, you can shift your home page to focus on your “Following” list. Plus, those display ads? Gone. And if you’re a playlist pro, you’ll love the ability to craft unlimited playlists.

#4 Podcast Addict

As soon as you dive into Podcast Addict, you’ll notice it’s buzzing with activity. Much like walking into a bustling marketplace, there are ads at the top and a spread of suggested podcasts waiting below. But don’t let the initial hubbub deter you. Dive in, search for your faves, and you’ll be guided smoothly, with instant options to either stream or download episodes. Tap on any podcast, and you’ll get more details, making it super easy to hit that subscribe button.

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The real magic of Podcast Addict lies in its customization powers. This app is like a playground for podcast lovers who want to tweak and twist every little detail. Some cool things you can do:

  • Updates & Edits: Ensure your podcast stays fresh with updates. Or, if you’re feeling creative, modify the podcast URL, rename it, or jazz up its artwork.
  • Prioritize: Got a top podcast you always want at the top of your list? No problem!
  • Wake Up to Podcasts: Yes, you can even set an alarm with your favorite podcast.

With all these nifty tools, Podcast Addict is perfect for those who love to micromanage their audio experiences. And while there are ads, they’re pretty polite and hang out quietly at the bottom of the page.

Not a fan of ads? A one-time payment of $6.99 and they’ll vanish. And if you’re hunting for even more features, the Premium version, available for 99 cents/month or $9.99/year, adds extras like a handy playlist widget and the power to pick your app’s opening screen.

#5 AntennaPod

One cool thing about AntennaPod? It’s open-source and crafted lovingly by volunteers. This means it’s not just about business; it’s made by podcast lovers for podcast lovers. This shows in its clean, no-nonsense design and handy features.

Upon opening the app, a nifty side menu is your gateway to all things podcast. From adding new shows to your collection, glancing at your current queue, or getting updates on fresh episodes, it’s all there. The homepage serves up some neat options:

  • Resume & Play: Jump back into podcasts you paused midway.
  • New Episodes: Stay updated with the latest from your subscriptions.
  • Feeling Adventurous?: Tap on “Get surprised” and let AntennaPod pick a random episode for you!
  • Downloads: Grab the newest episodes or manage your existing downloads easily.

Click on any podcast cover, and you’ll enter its dedicated page. Here, you can stream or download the latest episode based on your preference. A trio of buttons at the top gives you the power to:

  • Get more info about the podcast.
  • Filter episodes (like separating played from unplayed).
  • Access some pretty cool settings.

Speaking of settings, AntennaPod has some gems. Want a personalized listening experience? Change your username for certain podcasts, adjust playback speed, or even auto-skip intros and outros. Plus, if you’re a numbers person, the app gives you stats on your listening habits, storage, and more.

#6 Spotify

Spotify might be the DJ for most of our parties, but it’s no slouch when it comes to podcasts. Around the same time Google hinted at saying goodbye to Podcasts, Spotify decided to jazz things up by adding neat podcast-focused tools, like better transcripts, easier browsing with chapters, and extra content. The catch? The podcast creator needs to add these features.

I’ve always rocked out to Spotify’s music, but diving into its podcasts was a new adventure. A quick tap on the “Podcasts & Shows” button on the app’s home page and you’re met with a smorgasbord of suggestions. Looking for something specific? Hit the search button, and you can either browse or search directly. Found one you like? Just “follow” it – that’s Spotify’s way of saying “subscribe”.

On each podcast’s page, it’s like having a mini control center. Add episodes to jam out to later, download them for on-the-go, get alerts for fresh episodes, and more. And when you’re listening? Skip back a little, leap forward, adjust the speed, or even snip out those silent moments. Best part? Spotify remembers where you left off, whether you’re on your computer, phone, or tablet.

Music & Podcasts: Can They Coexist? Here’s a tiny hiccup. With Spotify juggling your music and podcasts, you’ve got to specify “Podcasts & Shows” to sift them out from your tunes. But the silver lining? Spotify’s got some solid podcast features to play around with.

If you’re thinking of going premium, it’ll unlock offline music listening (though podcast downloads are free for all), kick out those ads, and give your ears a treat with better sound quality. Price? $10.99/month for solo listeners, discounts for students, duo packs, and a family deal for up to six accounts, complete with Spotify Kids.

Wrapping It Up: The Podcast App Landscape

In the evolving world of podcasts, choices are abundant. While dedicated podcast apps like Pocket Casts, AntennaPod, and others offer tailored experiences for enthusiasts, multifunctional platforms like Spotify are expanding their horizons to cater to the growing podcast audience.

It all boils down to personal preference. If you cherish a one-stop-shop for both music and podcasts, Spotify’s enhancements make it an appealing choice. However, if you lean towards specialized podcast experiences without the musical mix, dedicated apps might be your best bet.

Whatever you choose, the key is to dive into the rich world of audio storytelling and enjoy every moment. Happy listening! 🎧

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Introducing James Anderson, a tech enthusiast and seasoned writer who has made a name for himself in the tech blogging world. With a deep understanding of tech, Android, Windows, internet, social media, gadgets, and reviews, James has honed his skills in crafting informative and engaging articles. His passion for technology shines through his work, as he expertly dissects complex topics and offers valuable insights to his readers. With a writing style that is both approachable and knowledgeable, James has garnered a loyal following who rely on his expertise to stay up-to-date with the latest tech trends and make informed decisions.
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