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Google Podcasts Are Sunsetting: What does this mean?

In a strategic move, Google has recently revealed plans to discontinue its Google Podcasts app by the close of 2024, as part of a broader initiative to transition streaming listeners to YouTube Music. This shift aligns with current listening patterns, as data from Edison Research indicates that 23% of weekly podcast users in the US frequently use YouTube, compared to only 4% utilizing Google Podcasts. To facilitate this transition, Google will introduce a migration tool that enables users to add podcast RSS feeds to their YouTube Music library, including shows not hosted by YouTube. This tool is expected to roll out in the coming weeks and months.

YouTube Music's new focus will revolve around enhancing discovery features, fostering community engagement, and providing a seamless experience between audio podcasts and videos—features also in development by Spotify. As part of this strategy, podcasters can upload their RSS feeds to YouTube by the end of the year.

For users uninterested in migrating to YouTube Music, Google will provide an alternative: the option to download an OPML file containing their show subscriptions from Google Podcasts. This file can then be imported into any app supporting the format.

This transition aims to position YouTube Music as a formidable contender against competitors like Spotify, Apple Music, and Amazon Music. Notably, Apple remains the sole major player yet to consolidate its music and podcast services into a unified platform.

While this transition will take time, Google aims to create a comprehensive platform that benefits creators, artists, and fans alike, offering the ultimate podcast experience. Presently, users will continue to access YouTube, YouTube Music, and Google Podcasts as usual. Stay tuned; more details about this transition will be communicated transparently to users and podcasters in the coming months.

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