Google Play Music has evolved ever since it debuted back in May 2011 when it was just a digital locker to store 25,000 songs. Now it’s a full-fledged streaming service that you can pay $9.99/month to get unlimited tracks, playlists and so much more from Google’s library of over 30 million songs. But there’s more coming. Podcasts. For a long time on Android, listening to podcasts has been a bit weird. The default music player doesn’t allow us to play podcasts, and while there are many apps available in the Play Store, it’s still yet another app we need to install and use to listen to our favorite podcasts. Well not anymore. Google Play Music will be bringing Podcasts on over to their service.
Google Play Music product manager Elias Roman spoke with the folks at Re/Code today, saying “Podcasts allow us to do everything for our users. It makes us a more complete concierge.” And it makes perfect sense. Now you have music, and podcasts in the same app. Or you will in the very near future. Roman also stated that Podcasts were always in Songza’s roadmap (a company that Google acquired), however Google accelerated it.
Podcasting has been on the rise in recent years, primarily due to mobile. However, with Apple having a built-in app for podcasts, and a pretty decent experience actually, many listeners use iOS to listen to podcasts. And recent surveys have backed that up. For podcasters, this is a big deal. And it could really help them increase their audience as well as make it easier for new listeners to find their show. Spotify announced in the summer that they are bringing podcasts to their app on iOS and Android as well. So far, podcasts aren’t yet available on Android. But they are also looking to bring those over pretty soon.
Google has said that they will run podcasts on both the paid and free tiers of Google Play Music. So it looks like the podcasters won’t be getting a cut of the cash from the paid subscription fees. Although with artists, labels and now YouTube Red, that $9.99 per month is pretty much spent. So that’s not too surprising. Podcasters can upload their podcasts now, with the official launch coming soon.