In addition to announcing that podcasts are coming to YouTube Music today, Google provided some clarity on the future of Google Podcasts.

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Google Podcasts was officially announced in June of 2018 with a new Android “app” to follow the company’s previous attempt with Play Music. It’s currently available on Android (technically, it’s updated and gets new features via the main Google Search app), iOS, and the web with the basic features you’d expect in a podcasting client. 

You can add shows via RSS feeds, while there’s playback speed adjustments with silence trimming, sleep timer, queuing, downloads, Cast support, and pretty instantaneous new episode notifications. The app’s UI is quite simple with a three-tab layout on mobile. However, it lacks support for chapters.  

A company spokesperson told us today that “Google Podcasts continues to serve its many audio users around the world.” 

What we’re doing with YouTube Podcasts and YouTube Music are separate from that, with a focus on audio and video. We have no plans to merge the two apps.

Compared to podcasting on YouTube, which arguably found success because of that platform’s reach and algorithm, Google Podcasts is the more traditional approach, and the company seems to recognize the value (and differences) in that. That said, YouTube does plan to let Creators directly upload audio podcasts via RSS.

9to5Google’s Take

It makes sense for Google Podcasts to stick around since it’s so closely tied to the Google app. Given how it’s distributed, Google Podcasts is essentially already available on every Android device, with the app that appears in the Play Store just serving as a homescreen shortcut. 

Ultimately, this two-track development is good for podcast users that absolutely don’t want music or videos in their listening experience. The traditional approach to podcasting remains viable, if not being meaningfully different from YouTube.

Google Podcasts sticking around gives those users an avenue to do so within the Google ecosystem. Hopefully, this means Google Podcasts will get new features going forward, though it hasn’t seen any recent updates.

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Abner Li

Editor-in-chief. Interested in the minutiae of Google and Alphabet. Tips/talk: