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Google podcasts bid farewell, ushering users towards YouTube music

Google is set to retire its Podcasts app by April 2, urging users to migrate their subscriptions to YouTube Music for future listening.

If you're a fan of Podcasts, brace yourself for a bit of a shake-up. Google has announced that its Podcasts app will bow out in the U.S. in just a few days. As the curtains close by April 2, users are being nudged to migrate their subscriptions to Music to continue enjoying their favourite shows. But not to worry if you can't make the switch right away – you'll have a bit more time to transfer your subs, although direct streaming from the Podcasts app will be off the table after the cutoff date.

A beloved app says goodbye

With its half a billion installs worldwide, Google Podcasts has been a go-to for Android users seeking a no-fuss way to discover and listen to podcasts. Its streamlined interface and handy tools, like adding shows via RSS feed, have made it famous. However, in a move announced last September, Google revealed plans to phase out the app in early 2024 gradually. This is part of a larger strategy to unify its audio offerings under the YouTube banner.

Transition to YouTube Music: A Familiar Playbook

This isn't the first time Google has guided users from one of its music services to another. Back in 2020, listeners of Google Play Music were directed to transition to YouTube Music before the former was discontinued. Although the Podcasts app remained operational for a while longer due to YouTube Music's initial lack of support, by the end of 2023, YouTube Music had geared up to welcome podcasts globally. As of February, podcasters could even upload their shows via RSS feeds.

The shift towards integrating podcasting with YouTube could position Google as a formidable contender in the podcasting arena. This strategy could benefit from the growing popularity of video podcasts – a domain where YouTube already shines. The timing is apt, considering Spotify's recent collaboration with Universal Music Group to introduce video podcasts to its U.S. audience, following tests in various other markets.

What's next for Google Podcasts users

Bleeping Computer spotted the specific shutdown date for Google Podcasts in the U.S., with a Google support page confirming the app's availability until the end of March 2024. For those who might miss the transition cues, Google has provided an option to export subscriptions through July 2024.

Google's response to inquiries has been sparse, but the company has indicated it's on track to meet the April 2 deadline in the U.S., though it hasn't disclosed plans for other regions. Nevertheless, the intent to discontinue Google Podcasts globally within 2024 remains clear.

In this digital age, transitions between services are inevitable, but they can also open doors to new experiences. As Google Podcasts users make their way to YouTube Music, they'll likely find a rich new world of audio and video content awaiting them.

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Gabriela Gavrailova
Gabriela Gavrailova
Gabriela is a freelance news editor at Tech Edition, where she writes about technology and often does listicles and product reviews. Based in Austria, Gabriela is a person with many and diverse hobbies. If you don't find her reading a book at home or baking something, she will probably be out hiking or taking some classes to learn a new skill.

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