Google has never really shown much interest in podcasts despite their age and popularity but today this changes.
The tech giant, today announced the launch of Google Podcasts, an application for Android users to discover and listen to the world’s podcasts. Integrated with the Google Assistant across Android devices and packed with personalised recommendations, Google Podcasts is designed to make it easier than ever for Android users to discover and listen to podcasts.
The internet giant has been dabbling in the podcast world for a number of years already, having launched its audio search engine app Google Listen back in 2009, before killing it off three years later. Google then added podcasts to its Google Play Music app back in 2016. But podcasts have felt — and still feel — like second-class citizens in the Google Play Music app, and with podcasting growing as a medium, Google clearly feels the time is right to launch a standalone podcast app.
Podcasting was one of the breakout trends in 2017, and 2018 is already warming up for the same. A number of podcast-focused startups have raised a reasonable amount of cash this year, adding to the mountain of similar investments in podcasting last year.
Edison Research published a recent 2018 Infinite Dial report on podcast listening trends that suggests 26 percent of Americans listen to a podcast each month, up 2 percentage points on last year. And the number of podcasts users listen to has risen on average to seven per week, up from five last year.
With Google Podcasts, users can listen and subscribe to any podcast the and it also uses artificial intelligence (AI) to offer recommendations based on listening habits of the user such as interest in sports or true crime, or podcasts from a particular network. Moreover, it automatically syncs across a variety of Google products, including the Google Assistant.
The amazing part of Google Podcasts is the size of its catalogue, is remarkably large because the app automatically pulls in everything that’s interesting by Google, it has a much more thorough catalogue, with about 2 million podcasts, according to product manager Zack Reneau-Wedeen.
“We even have the people who are too lazy to put it on Tunes,” And while many people will likely be looking for the bigger-name shows, it should be equally easy to find shows with smaller followings, he added.