Per the YouTube blog, “Looking forward to 2024, we’ll be increasing our investment in the podcast experience on YouTube Music — making it a better overall destination for fans and podcasters alike with YouTube-only capabilities across community, discovery and audio/visual switching. Later in 2024, as part of this process, we’ll be discontinuing Google Podcasts. As part of this process, we’ll be helping Google Podcasts users move over to Podcasts in YouTube Music. This matches what listeners and podcasters are already doing: according to Edison, about 23% of weekly podcast users in the US say YouTube is their most frequently used service, versus just 4% for Google Podcasts.”
With more investment into YouTube Music, the aim now seems to build out a single destination ‘that rewards creators and artists and provides fans with the best Podcasts experience’.
Podcasts on YouTube Music
In April this year, podcasts landed on YouTube Music – albeit in the US only – without the need for a premium subscription.
That meant you could watch or listen to podcasts on demand, offline, in the background, while app-switching, casting etc. You could also seamlessly switch between audio-video versions on YouTube Music. While the service is yet to roll out to Ireland, it’s growing wings and should see availability in other countries later this year.
For creators in the US, you can already upload audio and video versions of the podcast, with encouragement for audio-only podcasts to consider uploading a video with a static image, or use audiograms or other dynamic video formats. At the time of launch, it was also planned to allow the import of audio-only podcasts straight from RSS feeds to save doubling up on work.
Looking at one of the busier podcasts I produce, I can’t say that the traffic from Google Podcasts will be missed with the likes of CasteBox, podcast Addict, Pandora and Amazon already streets ahead.
For now, Google Podcast Manager is still available and so too is the analytics data that comes with it. For podcast listeners, they’ll be able to export their subscriptions from Google Podcasts direct to YouTube Music or else take an OPML file to upload to another podcast app.
What I am looking forward to is seeing how the analytics will be made available and fed back to the likes of Transistor, Acast or other publishing platforms.
Whatever the case, we’ll all find out by the end of the year.