Google Podcasts, an app on Google Play with 500 million downloads and a solid 4.6-rating, will shutdown next year. As wild as that seems, the writing was probably on the wall earlier in the year when Google fully opened up podcasts on its YouTube Music platform. We should have seen where this was going.
So yes, Google Podcasts is shutting down in 2024 and will be replaced by YouTube Music as Google’s default podcast platform for you to use. The announcement dropped this morning, with Google explaining further how this shutdown process will go.
What do you need to know? For one, podcasts on YouTube Music will launch globally before the end of 2023, as it apparently isn’t yet available everywhere. That seems important. The other thing to be aware of is that Google is very much early in this process of killing off Google Podcasts, needs to create migration tools, and is still gathering feedback on how this process might shake out. Still, 2024 isn’t that far off, but Google did at least mention that Google Podcasts will live through at least “later in 2024.”
Over the coming months, Google will increase its investment in the podcast experience on YouTube Music, which should mean a better visual experience and also features like manual RSS feed adding for shows not hosted on YouTube. If you are a podcaster, this change should mean “robust creation and analytics tools,” RSS uploads, and the wider reach of YouTube Music.
As far as migration goes, again, this is early days. The goal at this moment is to make migration as “simple and easy as possible” for everyone and Google won’t ask you to move over to YouTube Music until they “feel the migration tools are ready.” Google will also offer you an OPML file download in case you want nothing to do with YouTube Music and would rather take your podcast listening to another platform.
To recap, nothing is changing for now, but we should hear more over the coming months on how to migrate from Google Podcasts to YouTube Music for your podcasting needs.