How To Migrate Your Google Podcasts Subscriptions Before Google Kills The App

Podcasts Dead
Google has a well-deserved reputation for killing products, and sometimes the users of those products are left in the lurch. There are still people upset about the death of Google Reader, for example. Google's latest end-of-life product won't elicit that kind of loyalty perhaps, but it's still a bummer to lose the Google Podcasts app. Just six years after its debut, the app is shutting down today, but you still have time to save your subscriptions.

Google Podcasts is just one of many ways to listen to podcasts, but it was tightly integrated with the Google ecosystem. Instead of maintaining a separate app for podcasts, Google has opted to bundle podcasts into YouTube Music. This is a return to how Google used to do things—the release of Google Podcasts in 2018 extracted podcasts from the Google Play Music service. This was more akin to Apple's podcast setup on the iPhone. Now, podcasts are being tucked back into Google's primary music service.

To avoid losing your podcast subscriptions, go to the Google Podcasts app or website, and you'll see an export banner at the top. Tapping the export button will link you to YouTube Music, where you'll confirm the transfer. Depending on how many subs you have, the process could take several minutes. I tested it with my modest collection of eight subscriptions, and it only took a few seconds. Google also notes you also have the option of exporting your subscriptions as an OPML file, which you can load into numerous third-party podcast apps.

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The runaround is annoying, but Google claims this arrangement makes the most sense. While Google Podcasts did attract a lot of downloads, the company says most podcast listeners were already using YouTube. About 23% of weekly podcasts listeners used YouTube as their main source of content—it's common for podcasters to publish to both RSS and YouTube. Just 4% of those listeners used Google Podcasts more. Still, Google Podcasts was a nice little app, and it's a bummer that a giant company like Google can't devote some resources to keeping it alive. On the other hand, YouTube is a major profit driver inside Alphabet. Increasing usage of YouTube is better for the bottom line.

For those in the US, today (April 2) is the shutdown date, but users in other regions have a bit longer. Google hasn't decided when Podcasts will shut down internationally, but it's going to be this year.
Tags:  Google, podcasts