Google is planning to discontinue its Google Podcasts app by the end of 2024, according to a report, marking a significant shift in its podcasting strategy. This transition is part of Google’s broader effort to steer its streaming listeners toward YouTube Music.
Google’s decision to move away from the Google Podcasts app stems from its commitment to enhancing the podcast experience on YouTube Music. The vision is to make the platform a hub for podcast enthusiasts while offering features that revolve around discovery and community engagement.
In April 2023, YouTube Music officially announced that it is adding podcasts to its Android, iOS, and web platforms in the United States. This support for podcasts was set to be available worldwide by the end of the year.
Also, in August 2023, YouTube product lead, Steve McLendon confirmed at the Podcast Movement Conference that the platform will be rolling out support for RSS uploads for podcasters by the end of the year, among other updates.
Nevertheless, Google is actively enhancing its efforts to assist users in making a smooth transition to YouTube Music. According to the report, the company is planning to provide users with valuable migration tools.
These tools will enable them to seamlessly incorporate podcast RSS feeds into their YouTube Music library. Although these migration tools are currently unavailable, they will be accessible to users in the upcoming weeks and months, preceding the global rollout.
Also, Google will support users with the option to download an OPML file version of their show subscriptions from Google’s Podcasts so as to not lose it. This can then be uploaded to any app that is compatible i.e. if a user does not want to move it to YouTube Music.
Google is transforming YouTube Music
Google has been gradually encouraging people to stop using its older services as it aims to make its music platform a stronger rival to Spotify, Apple Music, Amazon Music, and similar platforms.
Back in 2020, they did something similar when they encouraged users to shift from Google Play Music, which they later shut down. Now for podcasts, many people prefer to listen to content directly on YouTube instead of using Podcasts, a separate app.
In 2022, Google in a statement cited a report by Edison. It said,
According to Edison, among weekly podcast listeners in the US, YouTube is the second most frequently used service for consuming podcasts.
So, Google is now making efforts to bring all things audio, including podcasts, under the YouTube Music umbrella. While the transition may initially present challenges, it also opens up new opportunities for Nigerian podcasters to gain global recognition.
What Google Podcasts exit means for the Nigerian podcasting industry
The Nigerian podcasting industry has experienced tremendous growth in recent years. The opportunity to move content to YouTube Music, a platform with billions of users, provides better opportunities to engage with their audience in innovative ways. This, in turn, will enable them to foster creativity in the content they produce.
Other benefits might include:
Nigerian podcasters will benefit from greater visibility on a global scale. YouTube Music, with its vast user base, will serve as a platform for their content. As YouTube Music expands its podcast support worldwide, Nigerian creators will have the chance to connect with a more diverse and extensive audience.
YouTube Music’s emphasis on discovery and community features will empower Nigerian podcasters. They can engage with their audience more deeply through tools like Q&A sessions and polls. This interaction will enable podcasters to better understand their listeners’ preferences, ultimately resulting in more engaging and relevant content.
As YouTube Music competes with other major streaming platforms like Spotify and Apple Music in the podcasting space, Nigerian podcasters may feel compelled to explore innovative ways to stand out in a global platform like YouTube Music.
As podcasters and listeners adapt to these changes, the Nigerian podcasting scene is poised to become more vibrant and connected on a global scale.
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