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Google has finally launched its long-running podcasting app as the company doubles down on investment in the audio format.
The news was apparently released prematurely on Product Hunt by Google product manager Zack Reneau-Wedeen, but the app was not immediately available. It is now available for download globally in 47 languages, on Android only.
The Internet giant entered the world of podcasting several years ago, after having spear its Google Listen audio search engine application in 2009, before To kill him three years later. google then podcasts added to its Google Play Music app in 2016. But podcasts felt — and still feel — like second-class citizens in the Google Play Music app, and with podcasting growing as a medium, the company clearly believes the time is right to launch a standalone podcast app.
The inner workings of today’s launch were thrown in April, when the company started making podcasts available through the main Google search app on Android, as well as through the Google Assistant. So if you enter one of your favorite podcasts in the search box, you can listen to it directly from the search results.
Google didn’t say at the time if a standalone app was in the works, but it was pretty clear that such an app would be on the cards – and a some code leaked earlier this month more or less confirmed the pending launch.
State of play
Sure, there are plenty of podcast apps already on Google Play, but Google is Google, and it promises a bunch of smarts to woo you. For example, the app will base its recommendations on users’ listening habits and subscriptions – discovery really is the name of the game in today’s content-overloaded world. Google will also sync podcasts across platforms via Google Assistant, meaning you can listen on your phone when you get home from work and pick up where you left off on your Google Home smart speaker when you walk through your door. of entry.
The app also includes all the usual features, such as downloads, subscriptions and, interestingly, a donate button so you can buy your favorite creators a beer.
Podcasting was one of the top trends in 2017, and 2018 is already shaping up for the same. A number podcast-focused startups have raised venture capital funds this year, adding to the mountain of similar investments in podcast Last year.
Edison Research published a recent Infinite Dial Report 2018 on podcast listening trends which suggests that 26% of Americans listen to a podcast every month, up 2 percentage points from last year. And the number of podcasts users listen to has risen to an average of seven per week, up from five last year.
Apple has offered its own dedicated podcast app since 2012 and recently rolled out its podcast analysis platform so creators can access more data on how audiences consume their podcasts. That Google is now entering the fray with its own podcasting app should come as no surprise, although it’s perhaps a little surprising that it’s taken so long.
“More than 2 billion people use Android, and we believe Google Podcasts can help double global podcast listening over the next two years, primarily through seamless integration with Google Assistant and AI-powered features. – starting with personalized recommendations,” Reneau-Wedeen said.
As Google continues to expand its new YouTube Music service to more markets, today’s launch answers a key question about the company’s podcasting intentions. There was no mention of podcasts in any of the company’s marketing pitches around YouTube Music – we now know for sure why.
As for Google Play Music, the company’s other audio app, Reneau-Wedeen added that there would be no changes to the existing podcasting experience.
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