Google Podcasts Bids Farewell: Say Hello To YouTube Music

Key Takeaways

  • Google Podcasts is merging with YouTube Music to create a combined space for audio and video podcasts from April 2.
  • Simple steps to transfer your podcast subscriptions to YouTube Music or another preferred service before the end of July.
  • Compare Spotify, Apple Podcasts, and Pocket Casts to find which platform suits you best based on their unique features.

Today marks a big change for podcast listeners, as Google is shutting down Google Podcasts and moving its users to YouTube Music.

Starting April 2nd in the US, this shift aims to combine music and podcasts on one platform, hoping to make things simpler and more enjoyable for users.

If you’re used to Google Podcasts, there’s some good news: you have until July to move your podcast subscriptions to YouTube Music or another service you like. Google will remind you to do this whenever you try using the Google Podcasts app.

This change started in the U.S. last December and has now reached most places where Google Podcasts is used.

Listeners in other countries have more time to switch, as Google plans to close Google Podcasts outside the US sometime in 2024, though they haven’t said precisely when.

Why is Google Podcasts Closing?

Google Podcasts started in 2018, aiming to offer a personalized podcast listening experience.

As of April 2023, YouGov data showed that 28% of Americans who listened to podcasts weekly preferred Google Podcasts. However, it still trailed behind Spotify Podcasts, which was the top choice for 42% of weekly listeners in the US, and Apple Podcasts, chosen by 30% of these listeners.

Interestingly, Google Podcasts was especially popular with the younger crowd. 37% of listeners aged 18-34 used it, more than 26% of those aged 35-54, and 15% of those over 55. The stats highlight its strong appeal among younger people.

Spotify Stats | Source: YouGov
U.S. Podcast Stats | Source: YouGov

Despite doing well, Google Podcasts hasn’t matched the growth of Spotify and Apple, leading Google to merge it with YouTube Music. This move mirrors a broader trend in the industry, seen also with Spotify and Amazon, where music and podcasts are combined in one app for easier use by listeners.

Move to YouTube Music

When Google rolled out podcasts on the YouTube Music app in 2023, the writing was on the wall for Google Podcasts. The merge will allow users access to a wide range of audio and video content in one place.

YouTube Music also has video podcasts, adding another dimension to the podcast listening experience.

How to Transfer Your Podcast Subscriptions

To ensure you don’t lose your podcast subscriptions, Google has made it easy to move them to YouTube Music or another podcast app. Here are the steps for both methods:

Moving to YouTube Music

  • Download and sign into YouTube Music with your Google account.
  • Open Google Podcasts and follow the prompt on the banner to export your subscriptions.
  • Choose to export directly to YouTube Music.
  • Complete the transfer process, including subscribing to some podcasts through their RSS feeds.
  • Check your YouTube Music podcast library to ensure all your podcasts have been moved.

Moving to Another Podcast App

  • In Google Podcasts, choose to export your subscriptions and download them in OPML format.
  • Save this file, usually named google-podcasts-subscriptions.opml, on your device.
  • Open the podcast app you’re moving to and find the option to import OPML files.
  • Import the saved OPML file.
  • Verify that all your podcasts have been transferred successfully.

Exploring Other Podcast Platforms

If you’re looking for alternatives to YouTube Music, there are plenty of other podcast platforms to explore. Spotify, Apple Podcasts, and Pocket Casts are popular choices, each with features and content. Consider what’s most important to you: the app’s interface, the variety of content, or the quality of recommendations.

Podcast Platform Comparison

Feature Spotify Apple Podcasts Pocket Casts
Subscription Cost Free with ads, Premium options for ad-free listening and downloads. Free for millions of shows. Premium shows, episodes, and channels are available. Free with a Plus version for additional features like cloud storage.
User Interface User-friendly with easy navigation and playlist creation. Clean and intuitive interface, integrated with iOS devices. Highly customizable interface with themes and layout options.
Discoverability Personalized recommendations based on listening habits. Features top charts and new shows, recommendations based on listening. Offers discover tab with trending podcasts and curated lists.
Exclusive Content  Offers Spotify Originals and Exclusives. Premium shows, episodes, and channels are available No exclusive content, focuses on wide accessibility.
Offline Listening Available for Premium subscribers. Available for all users. Available for Plus subscribers.
Cross-Platform Available on multiple devices and platforms. Primarily designed for Apple devices, available on others via iTunes. Available on multiple devices and platforms.
Analytics Provides podcast creators with listener demographics and behavior. Limited analytics for creators through Podcasts Connect. Detailed analytics for creators with the Plus version.
Community Features Allows sharing on social media and interacting with podcasts via polls and Q&As on some shows. Integration with the Apple ecosystem allows easy sharing. Offers a unique feature to discover what others are listening to.