Google Podcasts shuts down, the latest addition to the crowded Google Graveyard

Google adds another body to its growing graveyard with Google Podcasts shutting down this week in the US, with other regions to follow in June 2024.

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Google Podcasts is no more, with the app and podcasting service shut down by Google this week in the US and later in June for the rest of the world. Google announced last year that the dedicated podcast service app would disappear and be replaced by a dedicated podcast section within YouTube Music.

Google Podcasts shuts down, the latest addition to the crowded Google Graveyard 02

Google has a long history of unceremoniously axing what it deems unsuccessful services, apps, and hardware - from the video app Google Duo to Google Hangouts to its cloud gaming Google Stadia service. The list is long, to the point that sites like 'Killed by Google' keep track of it all, creating a virtual Google Graveyard. Check it out; odds are there'll be a few "Oh, I remember that" moments as you scroll.

The reasoning for Google Podcasts's demise makes sense when you consider that most notable podcasts with a video component are hosted on YouTube, so presenting an audio version on the YouTube Music platform and app feels more like a lateral move. So this isn't Google abandoning podcasts altogether.

Still, at no point did Google connect YouTube and Google Podcasts in any meaningful way, which should have been the one thing to differentiate it from other podcast platforms - being able to watch a video podcast on YouTube, subscribe to the audio version, and then continue listening on your smartphone. Google Podcasts launched in 2018, so it lasted six years. However, it took a while to get all of its current features.

As a Pixel phone user, it's my go-to podcast app - the clean interface and responsive controls are great. After checking out YouTube Music to see how it might work, I found one major issue that Google needs to iron out. As a subscription service, the only way to play videos and music in the background (so you can turn off your screen or switch to another app) is if you're an active subscriber.

So, as it stands today, the only way to listen to a podcast on YouTube Music is to cough up $10 a month - which is silly. Or, as is the case when Google brings the hammer down on a service or tool you use - switch to something else.

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Kosta is a veteran gaming journalist that cut his teeth on well-respected Aussie publications like PC PowerPlay and HYPER back when articles were printed on paper. A lifelong gamer since the 8-bit Nintendo era, it was the CD-ROM-powered 90s that cemented his love for all things games and technology. From point-and-click adventure games to RTS games with full-motion video cut-scenes and FPS titles referred to as Doom clones. Genres he still loves to this day. Kosta is also a musician, releasing dreamy electronic jams under the name Kbit.

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