Google Podcasts is over – and so is my religion in Google


Google Podcasts is useless. It's been dying for a number of months, since Google introduced final fall that it was shutting down its devoted Podcasts app to focus all of its podcasting efforts on YouTube Music. It is a dangerous concept and an enormous let down, and I’d have been extra indignant if I had been extra shocked.

The Podcasts app is the newest product to undergo a course of I name the Google Cycle. It at all times goes the identical manner: The corporate launches a brand new service with attractive language about the way it matches into its mission of organizing and making accessible the world's data, then instantly updates it with some neat options. , instantly forgets that it exists, ultimately launches an out of doors competitor from one other a part of the corporate, begins to explicitly condemn it and begins specializing in the brand new competitor, and Then, years later, it lastly takes off. The Google graveyard is crammed with Reader, Duo, Inbox, Allo, Pockets, and numerous different apps which have come by the Google Cycle, and it appears simply as dangerous each time.

Google says it’s merely responding to the market and that YouTube is a much more common place for folks to seek out podcasts than Google Podcasts. There's definitely proof to assist this: In its shutdown discover in September, Google cited a statistic from Edison Analysis that mentioned about 23 p.c of podcast listeners within the U.S. say YouTube is their main podcast platform. , whereas for Google Podcasts the determine is 4 p.c.

Nevertheless, probably the most disappointing factor about this case is that Google had a possibility to do one thing actually nice with podcasts. Trying to find podcasts is an issue, and so is discovering data buried inside hours of audio. What Google ought to have completed was actually discover methods to attach its providers. Once you seek for your favourite podcast in YouTube Shorts, it ought to give you a one-tap strategy to subscribe to that podcast in Google Podcasts. It ought to have made the transcripts searchable in Google so you could find the moments and insights you're searching for proper within the audio.

Google had a possibility to do one thing actually nice in podcasts

Google might have owned that whole expertise, serving to flip a bunch of informal scrollers into listening obsessives — and possibly determining the right way to monetize it for everybody. However it is going to contain the type of cross-platform, coordinated work you possibly can't actually count on from the corporate behind Google's many competing messaging apps and complicated reminder programs. Google has been engaged on podcasts in numerous shapes and codecs since 2016 and has by no means even come near placing all of the items collectively.

There's a quite simple, short-sighted logic at work within the transfer to YouTube Music. YouTube is a video platform; Video adverts make YouTube some huge cash; Google Podcasts doesn’t comprise video adverts. So you possibly can think about a gathering the place somebody's like If we will get everybody to look at podcasts on YouTube, they'll watch extra movies, and we will present extra adverts! Plus, YouTube Music is a subscription app, and nobody goes to pay $10 a month for a podcast app. There’s a a lot straighter line from podcasts to cash on YouTube than on YouTube podcasts.

To Google, I say: It's your fault, and I don't even care. There are many creators that may fortunately work right into a YouTube-like advert income system for audio, however Google by no means bothered to create such a system. Podcast apps are additionally not that costly to keep up; A number of the greatest are run by a single particular person. It's one factor to kill a nasty or unpopular app, however Google is killing a very good and well-loved app as a result of it's simpler to get its current advert stock to point out you some other place.

Even permitting for all the cash to be made, the primary downside is that Google Podcasts is a a lot better podcast app than something coming from YouTube. The principle YouTube app, neglect it; Except you have got Premium, you possibly can't play issues within the background, which makes it immediately ineffective for podcasts, so I needed to take care of a complicated mixture of audio podcasts, video podcasts, non-podcast movies, and every little thing else. No must complain about. ,

Inside YouTube Music, podcast assist has improved over the previous six months, however the app nonetheless largely prefers music. The app itself tells you every little thing it’s worthwhile to know: “Podcasts” is only a filter on the prime subsequent to “Energize” and “Commute.” My podcast queue is at present on the fifteenth row of the homescreen on my app, slightly below “Trending Neighborhood Playlists” and “Forgotten Favorites.” that’s all proper! it's referred to as youtube music, It's a very good music app, and that's sufficient. Music deserves its personal actual property within the audio/video world, and so do podcasts.

Music deserves its personal actual property within the audio/video world, and so do podcasts.

A method to have a look at the Google graveyard is a bunch of merchandise launched by Google that weren’t profitable and thus died. One other manner to have a look at it’s that Google has been unable to make its merchandise make sense. Google has wormed its manner by a dozen messaging apps; Created a number of competing VR and AR platforms; Killed many common manufacturers attempting to create a sensible residence; and lots of extra. In each case, there's a compelling cause for Google to get entangled, to try to set up and make some new nook of our tech lives accessible. And again and again, Google has proven it could't get the job completed.

YouTube Music is a shiny new factor in the mean time, however I wouldn't wager a dime that this app will even exist in 5 years. Historical past says this is not going to occur. Fortunately, there are many good podcast apps like Pocket Casts, Overcast, AntennaPod, and even Apple Podcasts. I’d additionally half-heartedly advocate Spotify or Pandora, which aren't going away, not less than not within the close to future. However for those who're a Google Podcasts consumer, must you use YouTube Music for Podcasts? No, you shouldn’t do that. As a result of Google has made it clear again and again that it could and can get distracted by shiny new issues. The belongings you love will deteriorate, and can come to an finish. Choose out of Google Cycle wherever potential.

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