The demise of Google Podcasts exemplifies the flaws in Google services

Launched in 2018 as an independent application, Google Podcasts has long been presented as the most credible rival to Apple's application, which is reserved for the brand's devices. Google has finally decided to replace it with YouTube and is starting to deactivate the service.

On the site Killed by Googlewhich references all the services abandoned prematurely by the brand, Google Podcasts has just appeared. The Android ecosystem listening service has no longer been functional in the United States since April 2, 2024, a few months after Google announced its intention to integrate podcasts into YouTube. The end of an application that is nevertheless appreciated by its users, but which has never managed to dethrone Apple Podcasts or Spotify in market share.


Google cannot maintain its services

The death of Google Podcasts is the perfect illustration of what is wrong with Google services.

Before launching its own application, Google tried to integrate podcasts into Google Play Music, its music streaming service. Due to lack of success, the company tried to launch an independent application, like Apple. In the meantime, it killed Google Play Music, to integrate music into YouTube (with YouTube Music). A little over six years later, it's Google Podcasts' turn to die, for a return of podcasts in the streaming application…

Google Podcasts on Android. // Source: Capture Play Store
Google Podcasts on Android. // Source: Capture Play Store

In itself, a group changing its strategy is not surprising. The problem with Google is that this phenomenon keeps recurring, so much so that some people are now wary of the brand's services, which always end up disappearing.

Google Stadia, Google+, Google Reader, Google Hangouts, YouTube Originals, Gmail Inbox… The company has become the specialist in premature cancellation. She invents, she tries, then she gets tired. It's a shame, since some of the services on this list had great potential.


Without Google Podcasts, owners of an Android smartphone have two solutions:

  • Turn to a music streaming application, like Deezer or Spotify, which include a podcast section.
  • Turn to a podcast application or wait for their integration with YouTube.
The Google Podcasts application when it was launched in 2018. // Source: NumeramaThe Google Podcasts application when it was launched in 2018. // Source: Numerama
The Google Podcasts application when it was launched in 2018. // Source: Numerama

For content creators, Google promises a smooth transition. A tool will transfer your library to YouTube automatically, hoping that users will follow too.

Note that the application was also available on iOS, but that this market is highly dominated by Apple's application. A large majority of podcast fans on iPhone listen to them from Apple Podcasts.