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Google launches podcasts to Google Play Music

19 Apr 2016

The new feature will offer recommendations for podcasts based on your activities or your interests, just like it does with music

It’s official, podcasts have finally made their way to Google Play Music for the Web and Android! Back in October, Google announced that it was entering into the podcast distribution and began accepting RSS feeds to build a podcast store. The company managed to sign up a ton of podcasts, including major shows like Marc Maron’s WTF, Chris Hardwick’s The Nerdist, and Neil deGrasse Tyson's StarTalk Radio, among others. Some users even got an accidental glimpse of the new feature back in February, but now Google’s podcasts are officially live on the Web and rolling out to Android devices.


The podcast section of Google Play Music will offer contextual recommendations based on your activities or your interests, just like it does with music. With this new feature you can now search for and subscribe to your favorite shows and then play them anywhere, as long as your app works. Google has arranged the app into fun topical sections like “Stuff You Should Know” and “How To Do Everything”, and added a “top charts” selection. Once you take your picks, the app will occasionally check for new episodes and download them automatically. While the neat topics may not be enough to make you desert your favorite podcasting app, the new Google Play Music feature could help users find great new shows to listen to.


However, from a developer’s point of view, putting a podcast store right in the Google Play Music interface makes the user experience a bit more complicated. The app is already a home to a radio system, an online music store and to a music subscription service. Nevertheless, it seems like the whole idea of mashing everything into a single app was to get podcasts to work on Android TV, Android Wear, and Android Auto. The addition of podcasts makes the Google Play Music app an even busier place which is good news for the company.


Before you get pumped up and grab your earpieces, we need to specify that the new Google Play Music feature is only live in the US and Canada, so don’t drop your current podcasting app just yet. But no worries, the Android update is rolling out incrementally, and even though there's no mention of an iOS launch, it can't be far behind.