Google Podcasts is going away. Starting next year, Google will focus on offering podcast access within YouTube Music instead.
This change doesn’t come as a complete surprise. In April, Google launched the ability for users in the US to listen to podcasts in YouTube Music without a paid membership. It also lets users listen to podcasts offline and in the background while also switching between the audio and video versions on YouTube Music. As part of its podcasts push, YouTube also announced it will make podcasts available within YouTube Music globally before the end of 2023.
“Looking forward to 2024, we’ll be increasing our investment in the podcast experience on YouTube Music — making it a better overall destination for fans and podcasters alike with YouTube-only capabilities across community, discovery and audio/visual switching,” YouTube writes in a blog post. “Later in 2024, as part of this process, we’ll be discontinuing Google Podcasts.”
YouTube justifies the discontinuation of Google Podcasts by saying the move “matches what listeners and podcasters are already doing.” It cites data from Edison, which suggests 23 percent of weekly podcast users in the US say YouTube is their most frequently used service, as opposed to 4 percent for Google Podcasts.
YouTube will also help Google Podcasts move over to YouTube Music by providing “a simple migration tool and the ability to add podcast RSS feeds to their YouTube Music library.” The platform will also offer a tool that lets users download an OPML file of their show subscriptions, allowing them to upload it to other listening platforms.