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Google urges US podcast users to switch to YouTube Music before April 2

Google will shut down its Podcasts app in the United States within days. The company has started warning users of the app that they need to migrate their subscriptions to YouTube Music by April 2 in order to follow and stream their favorite shows going forward. Users who don’t migrate immediately will still have extra time to migrate, but will no longer be able to stream directly from the Podcasts app after this date.

With over 500 million installs on Android devices worldwide, the Google Podcasts app has provided a simple and streamlined interface for discovering, following and listening to podcasts, as well as tools to add podcasts via RSS feeds for more than five years. Unfortunately for fans of the app, the tech giant said last September that it would begin phasing out the Podcasts app in early 2024 as part of its broader plan to centralize audio services under YouTube.

In 2020, YouTube Music offered a similar transition strategy to move music listeners away from Google Play Music before shutting down that same year. However, the Google Podcasts app continued to be maintained for years, as YouTube Music was only recently ready to support podcasts. By the end of 2023, YouTube Music will be able to support podcasts globally, and by February, they will also be able to upload RSS feeds.

The move to move podcasts to YouTube could help Google become a bigger player in the space, not only because Google will work together and sharpen its focus, but also because interest in video podcasts, already popular on YouTube, is growing rise. For example, Spotify this week struck a deal with Universal Music Group (UMG) to offer video podcasts to U.S. users of its streaming app, following an announcement in early March that it was testing video podcasts in 11 other markets around the world.

Bleeping Computer was the first to note the US Google Podcasts shutdown date, with a support page on Google’s website confirming that US users will only be able to use the Podcasts app until the end of March 2024. Through an in-app pop-up, Google will allow users to use the app’s export feature until July 2024, giving users more time to save their subscriptions.

Google has been asked to comment on closing dates for other markets but did not immediately respond to a request for comment. However, judging from its previous statement, the plan is to discontinue Google Podcasts in 2024.

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