Google has announced the imminent shutdown of its Podcasts app in the United States, signaling the end of an era for over 500 million Android users who have relied on the app for podcast discovery and listening.

The tech giant has initiated notifications to prompt users to transition their podcast subscriptions to YouTube Music by April 2, emphasizing the need for a seamless migration to continue enjoying their favorite shows.

Originally launched over half a decade ago, the Google Podcasts app has provided a user-friendly platform for discovering, following, and listening to podcasts, alongside features for adding podcasts via RSS feed. However, Google revealed its decision last September to phase out the Podcasts app in early 2024 as part of its strategy to consolidate its audio services within YouTube.

This transition mirrors a similar strategy employed by Google in 2020 when it encouraged music listeners to migrate from Google Play Music to YouTube Music before the former’s shutdown. While YouTube Music initially lacked support for podcasts, significant progress has been made, with global podcast support being rolled out by the end of 2023, followed by the introduction of RSS feed uploading capabilities in February.

The move to integrate podcasting into YouTube Music not only streamlines Google’s audio offerings but also positions the platform to capitalize on the growing popularity of video podcasts, a trend exemplified by Spotify’s recent partnership with Universal Music Group (UMG) to introduce video podcasts to U.S. users.

Bleeping Computer first reported the shutdown date for Google Podcasts in the U.S., with a support page on Google’s site confirming that users will only have access to the app until the end of March 2024. To facilitate the transition, Google plans to provide users with additional time to export their subscriptions using the app’s export feature until July 2024.

While Google has not disclosed a timeline for the discontinuation of Google Podcasts in other parts of the world, the company remains committed to its April 2 deadline for the U.S. market. However, it’s evident from previous announcements that the global shutdown of Google Podcasts is set to occur in 2024.

As users prepare to bid farewell to the Google Podcasts app, the transition to YouTube Music represents an opportunity for Google to strengthen its presence in the podcasting space and offer a more unified audio experience for its vast user base.

By Noel Nortei


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