Google has announced that it will be shutting down the Google Podcasts app in 2024 (month unspecified) and moving podcast listening functionality to the YouTube Music app instead. This transition is not surprising, as Google has been signaling this shift since the announcement of adding podcasts to YouTube Music in February 2023, with the actual addition happening in April 2023.
Google’s direction of merging Google Podcasts into YouTube Music is similar to Spotify, which supports both music listening and podcasts from the start. Google Podcasts has over 500 million downloads, while YouTube Music has over 1 billion downloads, both only on Android.
According to Google, surveys show that 23% of podcast listeners in the United States already use YouTube, compared to only 4% on Google Podcasts. Therefore, this transition makes logical sense, and Google will provide assistance in moving podcast data from Google Podcasts to YouTube Music, including the option to export data as an OPML file for use with other podcast apps.
TLDR: Google is shutting down the Google Podcasts app and migrating podcast functionality to the YouTube Music app in 2024. This move aligns with the trend of podcast listeners already using YouTube, and Google will assist in transferring podcast data to YouTube Music.