Google Podcasts to Shut Down Soon, Users Urged to Go to YouTube Music | TechCrunch

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Google is shutting down its Podcasts app in the US in a few days. The company began warning app users that they would need to migrate their subscriptions to YouTube Music by April 2 in order to follow and stream their favorite shows. Users who do not migrate immediately will still have additional time to migrate, but will not be able to stream directly from the Podcasts app after this date.

The Google Podcasts app, installed over 500 million times on Android devices worldwide, has provided a simple and streamlined interface for discovering, following and listening to podcasts for more than half a decade, as well as the tools to add podcasts via an RSS feed. Unfortunately for fans of the app, the tech giant said last September that it would begin shutting down the Podcasts app in early 2024 as part of a broader plan to centralize its audio services under YouTube.

In 2020, YouTube Music offered a similar transition strategy to move music listeners away from Google Play Music before its shutdown that same year. However, the Google Podcasts app has been held up for years as YouTube Music wasn't ready to support podcasts until recently. By the end of 2023, YouTube Music will be able to support podcasts worldwide, and by February, they will have the ability to upload their RSS feeds as well.

Moving podcasting to YouTube will help Google become a bigger player in the space, not only by consolidating its efforts and sharpening its focus, but also by growing interest in YouTube's already popular video podcasts. This week, for example, Spotify signed a deal with Universal Music Group (UMG) to bring video podcasts to US users of its streaming app after announcing tests of video podcasts in 11 other markets around the world in March.

Bleeping Computer was the first to note the Google Podcasts shutdown date in the US, and a support page on Google's site confirms that users in the US will only be able to use the Podcasts app until the end of March 2024. Pop-ups in the app for those who missed it, Google is giving users extra time to save their subscriptions by allowing them to use the app's export feature until July 2024.

Google did not immediately return a request for comment. However, from its previous announcements, the plan is to discontinue Google Podcasts in 2024.

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