In a series of new releases, Google just released its standalone Google Podcasts app. The Podcasts app lets you save, download and listen to podcasts anytime, anywhere. It uses Google’s algorithms to recommend podcasts you might be interested in based on your listening pattern.
Hasn’t Google tried podcasts before?
Oh yes it has. The Google Podcasts app isn’t Google’s first attempt to allow podcasting. A while back, it launched Google Listen, which was not successful and was scratched off in 2012. Podcasts since then have been moved to Google Play Music. The new Podcasts app, as Google deems, is going to be bigger, better and more intuitive. Google has developed a lot since then and its AI capabilities have skyrocketed.
How’s the interface?
The Google Podcasts has a minimalistic and intuitive interface. When you open it up, it shows you the ‘For You’ section which shows all the previous unfinished podcasts, downloaded ones, and new episodes of channels you subscribed to. If you scroll down, you will find podcasts from different genres, and a curated list according to your tastes. Dive in and listen away!
The Podcasts app also has integration within the Google Assistant, which means you can listen to Podcasts on all devices that support assistant, like your Google Home.
The app will soon bring in automatic closed-captions if you have a problem in hearing or you are in a noisy environment. It will provide a real-time transcript for the audio session so that you don’t miss out on anything.
In the past few years, podcasts have surged a lot in terms of popularity. With the availability of high-speed internet on the go, people have switched to listening to podcasts on their way. Google plans to cash-in on this and expects hundreds of millions of users to tune in daily. It wants a more diverse group of people making podcasts, as there is already a shortage of women and people of colour in the podcasting community.
The company doesn’t plan on monetizing Podcasts. It will rather promote smaller and under-rated creators so that everyone gets a fair chance to succeed.
Google’s direction for the Podcasts App seems quite clear and exciting. We have jumped into an era of web-centred multimedia and podcasts were one of the under-represented things. With the Google Podcasts App, everyone will be able to listen to their favourite audio-channels whenever they want. It truly is multimedia-nirvana.