Popular Google App Used By Millions Set to Shut Down in a Few Weeks

In a shocking move that has left podcast enthusiasts reeling, Google has announced that it will be shutting down its popular Google Podcasts app internationally on June 23, 2024.

The app, which has been downloaded over 500 million times since its launch in 2018, will be absorbed into YouTube Music, leaving many users frustrated and searching for alternatives.

Google’s decision to axe the standalone podcast app comes as a surprise to many, especially considering the app’s widespread popularity.

According to a recent Cumulus Report, 84% of surveyed Gen Z monthly podcast listeners in the US have discovered podcasts on YouTube, prompting Google to believe that unifying the podcasting audiences across YouTube and YouTube Music will benefit both content creators and their fans.

However, the transition to YouTube Music has not been smooth for many users. The app is notorious for its cluttered interface, mixing podcasts with music and videos, making it difficult for users to find and organize their favorite shows.

Additionally, YouTube Music lacks key features that podcast listeners have come to expect, such as the ability to mark episodes as played and automated transcripts.

To aid users in the transition, Google is offering a migration tool that allows users to export their podcast show subscriptions as an OPML file, which can be imported into other podcast apps. This tool will be available until July 29, giving users a limited window to make the switch.

The news of Google Podcasts’ demise has sparked outrage among its loyal user base, with many taking to social media to express their disappointment. “Google Podcasts is dying in favour of booting its functionality to YouTube Music. Does anyone else prefer just having a dedicated app for podcasts? Just me? I’m annoyed,” one user wrote on Twitter.

Another user questioned Google’s decision, saying, “What’s the point of killing clean, focused, simple products and adding them to a messy, ad-littered environment?” The sentiment was echoed by many others, who appreciated the simplicity and functionality of the standalone app.

Some users even went as far as offering to acquire the app from Google. “Google. Can I please acquire Google Podcasts from you? If you don’t see value in it, I’m more than happy to take it off your hands,” one user tweeted.

Despite the backlash, Google remains committed to its decision, citing the potential for podcast creators to expand their audiences with both audio and video formats on YouTube Music. The company is currently collating feedback on the migration process to formulate advice and support for users during the months-long phase-out.

Real User Comments:

  1. “I’m still bitter about Google Reader. They had a super dedicated user base and killed it so they could launch their social network which nobody used.”
  2. “Stadia was the wake up call. Stop expecting anything but the worst. We need open source yesterday”
  3. “Google inbox made quality of life for me 30% better. I have tried many other email management systems and none have matched it.”
  4. “I can’t read stories like this without having Reader PTSD. I loved that app/site so much, only to have it ripped away.”
  5. “The day they took away google music was the day I was done with buying anything from google directly. Youtube music still sucks to this day and I begrudgingly use spotify for my music fix when I am on the go.”

As the June 23 shutdown date looms, Google Podcasts users are left with little choice but to adapt to the new reality. While some may find solace in alternative podcast apps, others will begrudgingly make the switch to YouTube Music, hoping that Google will address the app’s shortcomings and provide a better user experience for podcast listeners.

The demise of Google Podcasts serves as a reminder of the inherent risks associated with relying on services provided by tech giants like Google. As the company continues to prioritize its bottom line and streamline its offerings, users are often left to bear the brunt of these decisions, scrambling to find suitable alternatives for the services they’ve grown to love and depend on.

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