Google will discontinue its standalone podcast app, Google Podcasts, and instead focus on integrating podcasts into YouTube Music starting in 2024. This move aligns with Google’s previous efforts to consolidate its services and provide a better overall podcast experience for users. In April, Google launched the ability to listen to podcasts in YouTube Music without a paid membership, allowing users to access podcasts offline and switch between audio and video versions. YouTube plans to enhance its podcast experience by investing in community, discovery, and audio/visual switching capabilities on its platform.
The decision to discontinue Google Podcasts is based on user behavior and preferences. According to data from Edison, YouTube is the most frequently used service for 23% of weekly podcast users in the US, compared to only 4% for Google Podcasts. YouTube Music aims to cater to the needs of listeners and podcasters by becoming a primary destination for podcast content. To facilitate the transition, YouTube will provide a migration tool and enable users to add podcast RSS feeds to their library. Additionally, users will be able to download an OPML file of their show subscriptions, allowing them to switch to other podcast listening platforms if desired.