It’s Official: Google Adds Podcasts to Play Music

Posted on April 18, 2016 by Paul Thurrott in Music + Videos with 0 Comments

It's Official: Google Adds Podcasts to Play Music

This was one of those long-running open secrets, but now it’s finally happening: Google has added podcast support to its Google Play Music service. And, Google being Google, they are of course doing it in their own quirky way.

“People love podcasts,” Google Play Music product manager Ilia Malkovitch writes in a new post to the Official Android blog. “In fact, these days, there are so many podcasts to choose from, it can be hard to pick which one to listen to at any given time. That’s where Google Play Music comes in. Google Play Music already gives you the right kind of music for the right moment—whether you want to have fun at work, prepare for a dance party, or just need to focus—and now, that includes podcasts.”

So, that’s interesting. If you’re familiar with Google Play Music, you know that the service provides a Listen Now view as its default. Looking at this on the web at the time of this writing, it looks like so.


You may notice that that second item, Laughing Out Loud, has a little icon in its lower right: That indicates that that set of playlists includes podcast-based content. (In fact, this particular set may in fact consist only of podcasts.)


Looking at each, I see playlists that are made up of complete podcast episodes. Since many of these things are an hour long-ish, it’s sort of like a music playlist that’s made up only of early Yes and Pink Floyd songs.

But Google also lets you subscribe to podcasts as you would with other podcasting solutions. A new Podcasts item appears in the main menu, alongside Listen Now, Music Library, and other top-level choices, and lets you browse and search for podcasts.


So what the heck, I took a few minutes to subscribe to some of the podcasts I typically listen to in Pocket Casts. This was simple enough, except that some of my favorite podcasts—like Travel with Rick Steves and NPR’s On Point with Tom Ashbrook—are not available. And I don’t see a way to add them with an RSS URL, as is usually the case.


It’s early days, of course. Google Play Music currently supports podcasts only on the web and Android in the U.S. and Canada. (I’m not seeing the Android update yet.) Presumably iOS support is coming soon. But this is a big deal for Android in particular, since it never had a built-in podcast app until now.


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