In the world of podcasts, Apple and Google are making significant changes. Google Podcasts is on its way out as YouTube Music takes over the role of a podcast destination. Google’s decision is based on the fact that 23% of weekly podcast users in the US already consider YouTube their primary podcast service, compared to just 4% for Google Podcasts.
This transition has been somewhat anticipated, with Google Podcasts showing signs of decline earlier in the year when its embeds disappeared from search results. YouTube’s move into podcasts further solidifies its dominance in the podcast space.
On the other hand, Apple is expanding its Podcasts app beyond its traditional role. With the recent iOS 17 update, Apple Podcasts is becoming a hub for various premium non-music audio content. It’s linking third-party subscriptions from apps like Bloomberg, Curio, Sleep Cycle, and others, as well as audio content from services like Apple Music, Apple News Plus, Calm, and Lingokids. This shift makes Apple Podcasts resemble Spotify more closely, with a growing universe of audio content beyond just podcasts.
The goal for companies like Apple and Spotify is to keep users within their ecosystems for as long as possible. Apple is striving to make Apple Podcasts a one-stop destination for all types of premium audio content, making it more than just a podcast app.
This shift in the podcast landscape highlights the blurring lines between podcasts and other forms of audio content. For consumers, the specific distribution method may become less relevant, and they’ll have access to a wide range of audio programming on-demand, across various devices and platforms.
Ultimately, these changes indicate that major players like Apple and Google are adapting to cater to the evolving preferences of podcast listeners, with a focus on convenience and accessibility.