Google said it will shut down Google Podcasts and transition customers to YouTube Music by the end of 2023.
The move is part of a plan by Google to make YouTube the go-to app for all things streaming, including podcasts. Google said 23% of weekly podcast listeners in the U.S. name YouTube as the service they use the most, drastically outperforming Google Podcasts, which garners only 4% of weekly users surveyed.
Google said it plans to “get this right” before fully shutting down its podcast service. This segue gives podcasters and audiences time to transition to YouTube Music. Users can use a simple migration tool to add podcast RSS feeds to their YouTube Music library, which includes shows not currently hosted by YouTube.
Members who do not want to move to YouTube can download their favorite shows to play on another compatible app of their choosing. Podcasters will have ample time to move all their content and RSS feeds to YouTube Music.
“In the coming weeks and months, we’ll gather feedback to make the migration process from Google Podcasts to YouTube Music as simple and easy as possible,” Google said. “Once we feel the migration tools are ready, we’ll release them along with clear guidelines on how they work.”
Podcasts launched on YouTube Music in April. There’s no paid membership required. Signing up for an account lets you download podcasts for offline listening, keep them playing in the background, and switch between audio and video podcasts. Google Podcasts will continue running through the end of this year as users and podcasters transition. Google Podcasts will shutter sometime in 2024 as YouTube fully takes over.
“We’re committed to being transparent in communicating future changes with our users and podcasters and will have more to share about this process in the coming months,” said Google.