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Google Podcasts Closing, Users Switching To YouTube Music

Google is set to close down its Podcasts app in the United States within days. Users of the app are being informed by the company that they must transfer their subscriptions to YouTube Music by April 2 if they wish to continue accessing and streaming their preferred shows. Those who delay the migration will still have a grace period to make the switch, but they will lose the ability to stream directly from the Podcasts app after the specified date.

The Google Podcasts app, which has been installed on over 500 million Android devices worldwide for more than five years, has provided a straightforward and user-friendly platform for discovering, subscribing to, and listening to podcasts, along with tools for adding podcasts via RSS feed.

Regrettably for its enthusiasts, the technology giant announced last September that it would gradually phase out the Podcasts app in early 2024 as part of its broader strategy to consolidate its audio services under YouTube.

In 2020, YouTube Music implemented a similar transition plan to migrate music listeners from Google Play Music before its closure in the same year. However, the Google Podcasts app continued to be operational for some time because YouTube Music was not initially equipped to support podcasts.

By the conclusion of 2023, YouTube Music had the capacity to support podcasts worldwide, and as of February, users could also upload their RSS feeds.

This transition to integrate podcasting into YouTube could potentially position Google as a major player in the field, not only by consolidating its efforts and refining its focus but also due to the increasing popularity of video podcasts, a format already thriving on YouTube.

This week, Spotify announced a partnership with Universal Music Group (UMG) to introduce video podcasts to its U.S. users, following earlier tests of video podcasts in 11 other global markets in March.

The closure date of Google Podcasts in the U.S. was initially observed by Bleeping Computer, and a support page on Google’s website confirms that U.S. users will only be able to utilize the Podcasts app until the end of March 2024.

For those who overlook the in-app notifications, Google will extend the timeframe for saving their subscriptions by enabling them to utilize the app’s export feature until July 2024.

Google did not provide an immediate response to a request for comment, but following publication, it acknowledged that it is still “on track” for the April 2 deadline in the U.S. However, it has not disclosed a timeline for the rest of the world yet.

Despite not sharing specific details, Google’s earlier statements indicate its intention to discontinue Google Podcasts globally by 2024.

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