Google announced that it will be shutting down its Google Podcasts app in 2024 as part of its transition to move streaming listeners to YouTube Music. Earlier this year, YouTube Music began supporting podcasts in the U.S. and will expand globally by the end of the year. Google plans to increase investment in the podcast experience on YouTube Music, making it a destination for podcast fans with features focused on discovery, community, and switching between audio podcasts and video.
To make YouTube Music the new home for podcasts, users will need to transition away from the current offering, Google Podcasts. About 23% of weekly podcast users in the U.S. already use YouTube as their most frequently used service, compared to just 4% for Google Podcasts. To ease the transition, Google will offer Google Podcasts users a migration tool and the ability to add podcast RSS feeds to their YouTube Music library, including shows that are not currently hosted by YouTube. In addition, Google will support the option for users to download an OPML file of their show subscriptions from Google Podcasts, which they can upload to any app that supports importing.
Google’s move to consolidate its podcast offerings into YouTube Music is part of its effort to compete with Spotify, Apple Music, Amazon Music, and other major players in the music streaming industry. However, unlike its competitors, Apple has not consolidated music and podcasts into a single destination. Google’s transition reflects the fact that many users already turn to YouTube itself to listen to podcasts, rather than the dedicated Google Podcasts app.