Google recently announced on its Keyword Blog that it’s phasing out Google Podcasts by next year and I totally called it way back in February. In the immediate future, the service will continue running, and a migration tool will be rolling out to anyone who wants to seamlessly transition their subscriptions over to YouTube Music, Google’s new golden boy for podcasting efforts.
Google will keep its podcasting efforts in YouTube Music completely separate. The bad news is two-fold. For listeners, the app is invariably doomed and while it may not shut down immediately, the clock is ticking.
If you’re thinking of branching out from YouTube Music and parting ways with Google entirely for your podcasting needs, you’ll also have the capability of exporting your podcasts via OPML file, which is widely accepted with its competitors.
YouTube Music is clearly getting ready for its spotlight moment and thanks to the new lead of audio experiences, Kai Chuk, Music is planning a slew of enhancements that will precede the Podcast app shutdown. For starters, YouTube Music will have global availability before the year ends, instead of just being available in the US, Canada and Latin America. Additionally, Google will let you add other podcasts not on the service to it via RSS feeds!
Lastly, as the push for YouTube to be an all-inclusive platform for audio and video gears up for world domination, Google will be adding extra community engagement and content discovery features, likely to go beyond just feature parity with Google Podcasts and take the idea of listening on the service into the future.