In an attempt to migrate its streaming listeners to YouTube Music, Google is planning to shut down its podcast app in 2024.
YouTube Music's podcast offerings will be expanding globally by the end of 2023, introducing users to discover and community features, as well as the ability to switch between audio podcasts and video.
Google Podcasts originally launched in 2018, but struggled to compete with the likes of Spotify, Overcast, or Apple Podcasts, servicing only 4% of podcast listeners in the U.S., according to statistics provided by Edison Research. Comparably, 23% of U.S. podcast listeners access their content through YouTube.
According to YouTube, users in 2024 will see a notable increase in the company's “investment in the podcast experience” through an enhanced focus on “robust creation and analytics tools.”
Google Podcasts users will begin to see an in-app tool to seamlessly move to YouTube Music, with the option to download a file of their show subscriptions from Google Podcasts and upload it to any other streaming app that supports importing.Users will also be invited to add podcast RSS feeds to their YouTube Music library. These tools are still under development.
“We know this transition will take time, but these efforts will allow us to build an amazing product and a single destination that rewards creators and artists and provides fans with the best
Podcasts experience,” YouTube explained in a blog post. “ For now, nothing is changing and fans will continue to have access to YouTube, YouTube Music, and Google Podcasts. We're committed
to being transparent in communicating future changes with our users and podcasters
and will have more to share about this process in the coming months.”