Technology

Google Podcasts is shutting down soon, users urged to move to YouTube Music

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Google will shut down its Podcasts app in the United States in a few days. The company has started warning app users that they will need to migrate their subscriptions to YouTube Music by April 2 to follow and stream their favorite shows in the future. Users who don’t do so immediately will still have more time to migrate, but will no longer be able to stream directly from the Podcasts app after that date.

The Google Podcasts app, installed more than 500 million times on Android devices worldwide, has for more than half a decade provided a simple, streamlined interface for discovering, following and listening to podcasts, as well as tools for adding podcasts via RSS feed. Unfortunately for fans of the app, the tech giant announced last September that it would begin removing the Podcasts app in early 2024 as part of its broader plan to centralize its audio services under YouTube.

In 2020, YouTube Music proposed a similar transition strategy to move music listeners away from Google Play Music before it shut down that same year. However, the Google Podcasts app continued to be maintained for years, as YouTube Music was only ready to support podcasts more recently. By the end of 2023, YouTube Music was able to support podcasts worldwide, and by February they also had the ability to upload their RSS feeds.

The decision to move podcasting to YouTube could help Google become a bigger player in the field, not only by combining its efforts and refining its focus, but also because interest in video podcasts – which were already popular on YouTube – is on the rise. This week, for example, Spotify struck a deal with Universal Music Group (UMG) to offer video podcasts to U.S. users of its streaming app after announcing testing of video podcasts in 11 other markets around the world in early March.

Bleeping Computer was the first to notice the Google Podcasts shutdown date in the United States, and a support page on Google’s site confirms that users in the United States will only be able to use the Podcasts app until through the end of March 2024. For those missing out on in-app pop-ups, Google will offer users additional time to save their subscriptions by allowing them to use the app’s export feature until July 2024.

Google did not immediately respond to a request for comment, but after publication it responded saying that while it was still “getting closer” to the April 2 timeline for the United States, it did not has not yet shared a schedule for the rest of the world.

However, based on its previous statements, there are plans to discontinue Google Podcasts globally in 2024.

Updated 3/29/24, 5:00 p.m. ET with comment from Google.



News Source : techcrunch.com
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