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Google has finally launched its long-rumored podcasting app as the company doubles its investments in the audio-focused format.
The news was apparently published prematurely on Product Hunt by Google Product Manager Zack Reneau-Wedeen, but the app was not immediately available. It is now available for download worldwide in 47 languages, only on Android.
The internet giant has been in the podcasting world for several years now, having launched its audio search engine application Google Listen in 2009, before killing it three years later. Google then added podcasts to its Google Play Music app in 2016. But podcasts have felt – and still feel – like second-class citizens in the Google Play Music app, and with podcasting as a medium, the company clearly believes the time is right. to launch a standalone podcasting application.
The wheels for today’s launch were set in motion in April, when the company began making podcasts available through the main Google search app on Android, as well as through the Google Assistant. So if you typed any of your favorite podcasts into the search box, you can listen to it directly from the search results.
Google did not 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 agenda – and some code leaked earlier this month has more. or less confirmed the impending launch.
Of course, there are plenty of podcast apps out there already on Google Play, but Google is Google, and it promises a whole lot of intelligence 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 all platforms through Google Assistant, which means 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 doorstep. Entrance.
The app also includes all the usual features like downloads, subscriptions, and interestingly, a donate button so you can buy a beer from your favorite creators.
Podcasting was one of the hottest trends in 2017, and 2018 is already shaping up to be the same. A number of podcast-focused startups have raised venture capital funds this year, adding to the mountain of similar investments in podcasting last year.
Edison Research released a recent 2018 Infinite Dial report on podcast listening trends which suggests that 26% of Americans listen to a podcast each month, up 2 percentage points from last year. And the number of podcasts users listen to has increased to an average of seven per week, from five last year.
Apple has been offering its own dedicated podcast app since 2012 and recently rolled out its podcast analytics 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 shouldn’t come as a surprise, though it’s perhaps a little surprising that it took so long.
“Over 2 billion people use Android, and we believe Google Podcasts can help double podcast listening globally over the next two years, primarily through seamless integration with Google Assistant and features based on it. ‘AI, 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 gossip around YouTube Music – now we know for sure why that was.
As for Google Play Music, the company’s other audio app, Reneau-Wedeen added that there would be no change to the existing podcasting experience.
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