Nearly six months after being announced, Google is bringing Podcasts on over to Google Play Music. This is a big deal, considering Google closed down Google Listen a few years ago and since then Android users haven't had a podcatcher from Google, let alone one that was pre-installed on smartphones. And as big of a market as podcasts cover, that's a pretty big deal. Many users have gravitated to the likes of Pocket Casts, BeyondPod and many others. However now, everyone can rejoice and just use Google Play Music.
Google Play Music has had it open for podcasters to add their podcast RSS feed to the app for about 6 months already, so there should be loads of podcasts already available within Google Play Music. Of course if you haven't added yours you can do so in the Podcast Portal. It's pretty simple and takes just a few minutes. On their blog post announcing Podcasts, Google notes that they'll "connect you with podcasts based on what you're doing, how you're feeling and what you're interested in." Basically, Google is expanding their Songza integration to Podcasts, which they purchased a few years ago and implemented into Google Play Music. This is how Google was able to get so great at curating playlists. Google says that they want to make it "easy to find the right podcast". Which can be huge for podcasters, as they should see more traffic.
As is normal with new Google products, it's only available in a few places. This time around it's available in the US and Canada, although we should see it launching in more countries where Google Play Music is available, pretty soon. There's no cost for these podcasts, and you don't even need to sign up for Google Play Music Unlimited to get podcasts in your account. Right now its unclear if we'll see a new app update to Google Play Music for podcasts or if it is simply a server-side update for podcasts. But podcasts are rolling out today in the US and in Canada. So you can ditch your favorite podcatcher and use just one app for music and podcasts.