Tag Archives: Google

Podcast Subscription Code Discovered in Google Beta App



Google Play logoWhen Google announced it would be bringing podcasts to its Google Play Music app, many hailed this as the arrival of podcasting in the Googlesphere (including the Android and Google Home operating systems), likening it to the support Apple has provided for podcasting thru its desktop iTunes application and iOS Podcasts app. At the time, it felt like Google’s aversion to supporting podcasts had truly come to an end, and that having podcasts available thru the Google Play Music app would cause a massive stream of new listeners to come flooding into the podcasting space. But podcasting’s entry into Google Play Music came off with more of a whimper than a bang. Since then, very little has happened with podcasting and Google.

A recent teardown of the APK (Android application package) for the beta version of Google app 7.3 uncovered code within the app that appears to provide one-click style subscriptions to users of the app:

Last year, Google took a (half-hearted) stab at supporting podcasts with the Play Music app. The same day, in a much less expected move, it also became possible to listen to individual episodes right from a Google search. Fast forward several months and Google Assistant also gained the ability to play podcasts, which turned out to be a fairly natural feature for Google Home.

While Play Music allows users to subscribe to podcasts, listening to one through Google Search or Assistant meant asking for shows by name, and may also require a specific episode number if you want to hear anything but the most recent recording. Now it looks like Google is going to close that gap with built-in podcast subscriptions.

By all appearances, podcast subscriptions will be accessible in Google Assistant settings and will likely be treated much like subscriptions to news sources. The one obvious difference is that Google will track which episodes have been played so you won’t miss any or have to listen to repeats.

It’s unclear if this new functionality will automatically sync with users’ current Google Play Music libraries, or if it’ll be completely separate from that service. Regardless, it’s good to see some progress being made by Google in terms of podcast consumption.


Podcasts Coming to Google Play Music Tomorrow



Google Play logoIt’s been almost six months since Google announced it would be adding podcasts to its Google Play Music service. Since then, a limited number of podcasts have trickled out thru the platform. It now appears that Google will officially launch the podcasting side of Google Play Music on Monday, April 18th. The launch date was discovered as part of an internal NPR e-mail that was leaked to the public. The date hasn’t been confirmed by Google representatives.

The internal NPR message allegedly contains this statement:

Google will launch podcasts on Android and other platforms next Monday, April 18, inside of Google Play Music, a streaming service similar to Apple Music. Please note: this information is embargoed and should not be shared or promoted externally until Monday. NPR has worked with Google to ensure that public radio is represented in the Google Play environment.

Given NPR’s monolithic presence in the podcast space, it seems logical that the organization would want to be prepared for the launch of a new platform carrying its programs. That gives some legitimacy to the nature of the e-mail. Considering how cagey Google has been about its entrance into podcasting, it’s hard to say what this information will mean for all podcasters.

If you haven’t yet submitted your own podcast to the Google Play Music directory, you can do so here.


Podcasts Officially Coming to Google Play



Google Play logoIt’s the message we’ve been waiting to hear… forever. Google has made an official announcement that the company will add podcasts to its Google Play service. I guess the years of incessant nagging on behalf of the podcasting community, or the undeniable push of the so-called “podcast resurgence” were finally too much for the search engine giant to continue to ignore our happy medium.

Full implementation of podcasting in Google Play is still a few months away. Following the path of another noteworthy service that recently got into podcasting, Google Play is already working with a handful of content providers:

  • 5by5
  • Dan Carlin
  • Dave Ramsey
  • Earwolf
  • Feral Audio
  • Gimlet Media
  • HBO
  • Head Gum
  • HowStuffWorks
  • Loud Speakers Network
  • Nerdist/Legendary
  • Public Radio International
  • Radiotopia/PRX
  • Sideshow Network
  • Slate/Panoply
  • StarTalk Radio
  • This Week in Tech
  • Tim Ferriss

But unlike that other service, Google is accepting submissions from any and all podcasters thru its Podcast Portal. In order to submit a show, you’ll need a working RSS 2.0 feed that also contains valid iTunes tags. (The submission form suggests either <itunes> OR <googleplay> tags for a few specific fields. If your podcast feed was accepted and is working with iTunes now, you should be fine.)

I submitted my podcast feed earlier today and it was accepted without issue. Now the feed awaits approval by the Google gods. Some podcasters have reported errors while submitting feeds. There’s no official support information yet for the submission process so it’s hard to say what’s causing those errors. Regardless, many users have found that waiting a few minutes and trying again has resulted in a successful submission.

 


Google is your Friend



As I approach my 11th anniversary in podcasting I want to share a few secrets that gain me new listeners every single day. Having been podcasting since October of 2004, this strategy has been an integral part of my podcast growth throughout the years. It is so effective that I invest nearly $15,000 dollars a year — for paying writers, attending events and more — building my audience through this strategy.

I was a blogger before I was a podcaster, not a great blogger as I always tell folks, but when I started my podcast I probably had 300 to 1,000 people a day who visited my tech site to read my spin on what was happening in the tech world, and that played a major role in my show growth strategy.

I was one of the very early podcasters and quickly grew an amazing audience. Before I was on my 50th episode, my audience was pushing 50,000 listeners per episode. The numbers continued to climb, but at a certain point the growth stagnated.

Meanwhile, I continued to pump out a lot of articles each week on technology, and even in those early days I noticed that Google was driving me more and more page views every month to those articles. Since my blogs’ beginning, my writing team and I have averaged around a 1,000 regular blog articles a year, plus another 200 to 300 interviews from tradeshows, and of course my 100 or so podcast episodes annually.

Today, Google drives 40,000 to 50,000 page views a day to my site. On each and every page of the 15,000 articles on my website there is a big, fat and juicy iOS and Android Subscribe button, and a portion of those daily visitors subscribe to the show. While not all of them stay subscribed, a portion does. That adds up to a lot of new listeners each and every month.

Let’s do a little math. Let’s use a baseline of 20,000 page views. As we know, daily bloggers can get to 20,000 Google Search views in a couple of years. Twenty-thousand page views x 30 days = 600,000 page views. So let’s say that .0025 percent of those visitors subscribed — that’s 1,500 new subscribers. Let’s assume 50 percent do not stay subscribed — that is still potentially 750 new listeners each month or 9,000 new listeners each year. I will tell you my percentages are better than .0025

I will also tell you I have never been in New and Noteworthy, but what I do have is a sponsor that recently celebrated 10 years of continuous sponsorship of my show. The question people ask all the time is how I did that. With new subscribers coming in each month, they help keep my new customer conversions at record levels.

For those of you not worried about new and noteworthy and/or your show rank in iTunes, you have an exceptional opportunity to grow your audience in the long haul by supplementing your podcast content with a written blog post.

Of course some of you need a blog, a platform and your own domain name to do this. For those of you that have your podcasts hosted on a third-party podcast site that is driving your SEO to the gutter because of the other sites on that service, maybe it is time to reconsider your strategy on building your show.

We all know building audiences is not easy, but the pay off can be big. For the first five years, I grinded out all the articles myself. As my show grew and revenue grew I was able in five years to afford to pay writers who I trusted to write for my site. Ninety-percent of the writers on my site today came from my audience.

I still write a handful of articles each month. The Google traffic value from the 15,000 articles on my website and the ongoing new articles weekly drives an incredible amount of new eyeballs to my very visible podcast subscribe link.

Every article on my site is original, no sponsored post, and/or ghost writers. Google and the rest of the search engines love original content. With more than 2,000 interviews on the site, I also have great page rank from those corporate luminaries I have interviewed who have linked to my site from theirs.

Writing one or two articles a week is probably not going to help you. You need to put up a meaningful blog post every single day, except show days. It’s a grind, but it is one of many strategies I use to build audience. Oh, and for all those folks that say blogging is dead, they can just keep thinking that.

If you want to see that strategy in action visit my personal site @ GeekNewsCentral.com


Apple CarPlay Puts Podcasts Up Front



CarPlayTech website macmixing got the opportunity to do a hands-on comparison between Google’s Android Auto and Apple’s CarPlay during the 2014 Los Angeles Auto Show. Android Auto and CarPlay are the two leading “connected car” technologies that promise to bring the functionality of smartphones to automobile dashboards. Many in the podcasting community believe that the connected car will be the next big growth area for the medium, as it’ll make it more convenient for commuters to consume podcasts while driving.

macmixing produced a video that demonstrates the functionality of both Android Auto and CarPlay:

Both systems support podcasting apps. But because Android has no native podcast support, Android Auto users will have to navigate to a page that contains third-party apps. With CarPlay, Apple’s native Podcasts app appears on screen as soon as CarPlay is selected on the in-dash touchscreen.

This is the first demonstration I’ve seen of these competing technologies and they both look promising for making it easier than ever to listen to podcasts on the road. But once again, Apple has put support for podcasts front and center, while Google still relinquishes podcasting support to third-party developers.

Rob Walch of podcast411 and LibSyn has said many times that, if you’re a podcaster, Google is not your friend. And when it comes to the connected car, that statement is proven correct once more.


Google Kills Another RSS Channel – YouTube User Feeds



YouTube LogoDid you know that YouTube provided RSS feeds for all of the site’s users? It wasn’t a highly promoted feature but it was there. In fact, I used it and found it to be a handy way to follow my channel subscriptions without having to log in to the YouTube dashboard for updates. But YouTube users’ RSS feeds are no more. The Google-owned video giant has shut them down in the latest version of its API.

Of course, YouTube RSS feeds never worked like podcast RSS feeds. You couldn’t actually download media thru them. And while many podcasters use YouTube to supplement their main shows, this RSS issue isn’t likely to affect them directly. If anything, it’ll have the most impact on creators who are only distributing their shows via YouTube. Regardless, I can’t help but wonder, given Google’s unpredictable history when it comes to RSS support, is this another nail in the coffin for FeedBurner?

Like YouTube, FeedBurner is also owned by Google. But unlike YouTube, Google has pretty much abandoned FeedBurner. Yet, many podcasters still rely on FeedBurner to handle the RSS feeds for their shows. And anytime I see that, I worry a little bit for those shows.

On one hand, I understand why podcasters still flock to FeedBurner. At its core, it’s a handy service with some decent features. I even used it myself for some of my early podcasts, back when there weren’t many dedicated podcasting tools to speak of. On the other hand,  it’s not 2005 anymore. I wouldn’t use FeedBurner now and I wouldn’t recommend it to anyone who’s starting a new podcast. It’s risky enough using a third-party service to handle your RSS feed. It seems even riskier to use a service that’s been severely neglected by its owner, especially when that owner hasn’t had a good track record of supporting RSS.

For everyone out there still using the service, I hope it’s meeting your needs and that it continues to do so for a long time to come. But as more time passes, it seems like Google is separating itself from RSS entirely. And that can’t be good for FeedBurner’s future.

Posted by Shawn Thorpe