It’s official, Google Podcasts will be discontinued in 2024. Google announced this news on Tuesday September 26th 2023. Find out why Google has made this decision, what this means for podcasters, and how you can prepare.
In this article...
Why is Google Podcasts going away?
Let’s start by answering the question on everyone’s lips: why is Google Podcasts going away?
There were hints earlier on in the year that something was happening with Google Podcasts. In February 2023, Google removed podcast carousels from its search results. In April 2023, Google announced YouTube Music would begin supporting podcasts in the US (which would roll out globally by the end of the year). In August 2023, it was announced that YouTube would support RSS uploads for podcasters (also by the end of the year).
The decision to remove Google Podcasts is because the company wants to focus on further increasing its investment in the overall podcast experience on YouTube Music. Google wants YouTube Music to become the destination for podcast fans to discover new shows, feel a sense of community and easily switch between audio podcasts and video. The latter is something that Spotify are also focusing on with them rolling out video podcast support last year and community features such as Q&As and polls.
In an article on YouTube’s website it said,
“We know this transition will take time, but these efforts will allow us to build an amazing product and a single destination that rewards creators and artists and provides fans with the best Podcasts experience. For now, nothing is changing and fans will continue to have access to YouTube, YouTube Music and Google Podcasts. We’re committed to being transparent in communicating future changes with our users and podcasters and will have more to share about this process in the coming months.”
Podcast listener stats and figures
Google has said these plans reflect current listener behaviour and trends. According to research by Edison, about 23% of weekly podcast users say YouTube is their preferred service, whereas just 4% said Google Podcasts.
What should you do now?
Firstly, there is no need to panic or worry. Google discontinues products and services all the time. We can’t stop this from happening, but we can be aware and prepare ourselves and our podcasts. Google have said they,
“Want to make sure we get this right and will give fans and podcasters plenty of time to make the transition”.
In the coming months, they’ll gather feedback from users and podcasters, and keep the industry updated with announcements.
Secondly, there are many other podcast streaming apps out there. Google Podcasts is just one example, with new apps and services popping up regularly.
If you are currently sending people to subscribe to your show on Google Podcasts, this will have to change. With Captivate’s Single Subscribe Promo Link, listeners can easily subscribe to your show at a click of a button, whether they prefer Spotify, Amazon Music etc.
We recommend keeping an eye on your download numbers, something that most podcasters will be doing anyway. Look at your weekly and monthly trends, if you see a decrease, put a plan together to attract more listeners.
Putting together a plan to attract more listeners
With the Single Subscribe Promo Link, you have data on what apps are the most popular for your podcast. You can see how many clicks each app has gained over a certain time period. Use this data to drive Google Podcasts listeners to these apps instead.
Look at your other popular listener apps and focus on getting more reviews on that platform. Also, set yourself up on Podchaser (the IMBD for podcasts), if you’re not already on there.
Do you have the budget to spend on advertising? Can you reach out to another show and do a trailer swap, or appear as a guest? Maybe you can step up your marketing efforts and look at ways to repurpose your episodes. Here are more ideas for marketing your podcast and growing listeners.
You probably won’t notice substantial drops in listener numbers, as for context Demand Sage carried out research into the most popular podcast platforms and with a 33.7% share Spotify is the market leader for podcast streaming, closely followed by Apple with a 27.6% share, in comparison Google Podcasts comes in at 3.6%, behind iHeartRadio which has 6.2%.
Google Podcasts being discontinued in 2024 may be a surprise for some podcasters, but there is no need to panic or worry. Whilst we can’t stop this from happening, we can give ourselves enough time to prepare. Also, there are many other listener apps out there, Google Podcasts is just one example.
Change is inevitable, products and services in the industry will come and go. Ultimately, Google has made this decision based on listener behaviour and trends. As podcasters, we need to be able to adapt to change.
You have enough time to make a plan and make changes e.g. if you’re currently sending people to Google Podcasts to subscribe, this will need to change. Remember, with Captivate’s Single Subscribe Promo Link, listeners can easily subscribe to your podcast on any platform they prefer with a click of a button.
Keep an eye on your download numbers – something you should already be doing as podcasters. Look out for trends and other opportunities where you can attract more listeners – again something else you should already be doing.
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