In a notable move, YouTube declared its intentions to phase out Google Podcasts in favor of integrating podcasting capabilities into YouTube Music. By next year, the Google Podcasts app will no longer be available. To facilitate the transition, Google aims to guide its podcast users toward the Podcasts feature in YouTube Music. With statistics suggesting that 23% of US weekly podcast listeners primarily use YouTube, compared to a mere 4% for Google Podcasts, this shift seems in tune with users’ existing behaviors.
Google Podcasts’ fate seemed uncertain earlier this year when it embeds vanished from search outcomes. Despite the overlap in YouTube and Google Podcasts’ functions, earlier statements from Google officials implied both platforms would continue to coexist. However, the latest announcement confirms the consolidation of the podcast experience under the YouTube banner.
Apple, on the other hand, is advancing its podcast application to serve as a unified platform for an array of premium non-music audio content. Apple unveiled an updated Apple Podcasts version following the iOS 17 update. This enhanced version offers links to third-party subscriptions from diverse domains, such as news, lifestyle, and more. Renowned platforms like Bloomberg, The Economist, Sleep Cycle, and Curio, among others, will find integration. Moreover, subscribers of services like Apple Music, Apple News Plus, Calm, and Lingokids will enjoy the convenience of accessing their original audio content directly through Apple Podcasts.
The reshuffling of podcasting strategies by tech giants underscores the evolving landscape of audio consumption. The pursuit to centralize podcast listening experiences is a testament to the growing influence and prevalence of audio content. As these platforms adapt, the real winners will be the users, who will benefit from streamlined, comprehensive listening environments.