Google announced that Your News Update is coming to Google Podcasts. This comes after Google launched their smart audio news playlist Your News Update on Google Assistant last fall.
The reason why Google is launching Your News Update is to fix a problem. According to Google, news is the fastest growing category in podcasts. But, it tends to focus on national and broader news topics. It is harder to find on-demand quality journalism at the local-level about things that are personally relevant to listeners.
We want to help bridge that gap with new, intelligent audio news experiences that deliver local stories and more personalized content. We’re bringing Your News Update to Google Podcasts and also making it easier to listen to local news when you ask Google Assistant. Both of these updates will feature new natural sounding text-to-speech voices to make the listening experience more enjoyable.
It sounds like it works rather simply for users. Open the Google Podcast app and navigate to the Explore tab. You can subscribe to Your News Update and listen to a mix of short news stories chosen in that moment based on your interests, location, user history and preferences.
It is an interesting idea, considering how difficult it can be to access local news online. My local newspaper has a paywall that appears to lock off all content to anyone who isn’t paying for a subscription.
Trying to find local news information on social media can be difficult because it can be hard to tell a good news source from one that has a problematic agenda on first glance. Some of the most reliable news sites lock away content behind a paywall, which leaves people with disreputable news sites that spin a news topic in ways that may not be honest or true.
Perhaps the solution to these annoyances is Your News Update. It sounds to me that it can provide to podcast listeners what the local TV news channel used to provide for viewers several decades ago.
Google has announced that Google Play Music will be replaced by YouTube Music. Podcasters who have their shows on Google Play Music should transfer their podcasts to Google Podcasts as soon as possible.
YouTube Music will replace Google Play by December 2020. Users will have the opportunity to transfer their music libraries from Google Play Music in that timeframe. In the coming months, Google Play Music users will not longer be able to stream from or use the Google Play Music App.
Starting in September of 2020 in New Zealand and South Africa – and in October for all other global markets – users will no longer be able to stream from or use the Google Play Music app. But don’t worry, we will be holding onto things like your playlists, uploads, purchases, likes and more until December 2020 to make your transfer to YouTube Music easier.
If your podcast is on Google Play Music – but not on Google Podcasts – you probably should move it over there. Google has instructions on how to do that. Start by going to podcast.google.com/transfer. You must be signed into the same account you use for podcasts on Google Play Podcasts. Follow the rest of the directions from there.
Google says that for users who decide not to transfer their Google Play Music account to YouTube Music, Google will cancel your subscription at the end of your paying cycle so you aren’t paying for a subscription. This may have been intended to sound helpful, but it can also be interpreted as a push to make users anxious about having access to their music after December.
Previously, those who use iOS were unable to explore the offerings of Google Podcasts on their phones. This is changing! Product Manager of Google Podcasts, Zach Reneau-Wedeen, made a post on The Keyword announcing that Google Podcasts is now available on iOS. It will roll out to Android this week.
…We’ve redesigned the Google Podcasts app to make it easier to discover podcasts you’ll love, build your list of go-to podcasts, and customize your listening. To support listeners on more platforms, we’re also bringing Google Podcasts to iOS for the first time and adding support for subscriptions on Google Podcasts for Web. Regardless of the platform you’re using, your listening progress will sync across devices, and you’ll be able to pick up right where you left off.
The new app is designed around three tabs: Home, Explore and Activity. The Home features a feed of new episodes and gives you quick access to your subscribed shows. When you select an episode you want to listen to, you’ll now see topics or people covered in that podcast, and you can easily jump to Google Search to learn more.
In the Explore tab, “For you” displays new shows and episode recommendations related to your interests, and you can browse popular podcasts in categories such as comedy, sports, and news. You’ll be able to control personalized recommendations from the Google Podcasts settings, which are accessible right from the Explore tab.
The Activity tab will display your listen history, queued up episodes, and downloads. For each show in your subscriptions, you can now enable automatic downloading and/or push notifications for when new episodes come out.
Google announced that Google Podcasts is now available on Android. This is something that many podcasters have been wanting. Google published a blog post about it on June 19, 2018.
Today, we’re releasing the Google Podcasts app for Android, available globally in the Play Store. Integrated with the Google Assistant across your devices, and packed with personalized recommendations, Google Podcasts is designed to make it easier than ever for Android users to discover and listen to podcasts. We’re also announcing a partnership with industry experts to improve diversity in podcast creation, and sharing a peek at how AI can help transform podcasting for the better.
With Google Podcasts, you can listen and subscribe to any podcast. Beyond the podcasts you already know, Google Podcasts uses AI to offer recommendations based on your listening habits – such as your interest in sports or true crime, or podcasts from a particular network.
Google Podcast syncs across a variety of Google products, including the Google Assistant. This means that if you listen to a podcast on your phone during your commute home, you can resume it on your Google Home when you arrive.
The blog post includes a section about how podcasters can optimize for Google. To ensure inclusion in the Google Podcasts app, creators should follow Google’s updated developer guidelines. A few new sections have been included in their developer guidelines that cover how to:
- Prompt Google to index new podcasts as quickly as possible
- Generate a direct link to your podcast
- Download the Google Podcasts brand assets for sharing on your website
- Track analytics that come from Google Podcasts