It’s been a few months now since Google wandered into Apple’s podcasting playground.
It is still the case that 65% plus downloads are through Apple Podcasts. These are either through Apple Podcasts directly or through apps that scrape Apple’s directory.
What difference has the Google Podcast app had on the sector? To be frank, not much. According to Libsyn and their stat,s Google Podcast app is now responsible for 0.85% of downloads from the Libsyn servers. This was in December 2018 and it was up from 0.76% in November which is an 11% increase but off a low base.
What’s going on? Google had a crack at the podcasting world way back in the day through Google Play Music but only if you were based in the US of A. It was never really supported by the Google organisation. The Google Podcast “launch” was more promising. It doesn’t rely on submissions to a directory as the Apple system does. The Google app relies upon what Google does best, crawling and indexing. So long as you a have a podcast page, on your host or your website or even both with a copy of RSS file in the meta data, Google will find you.
Unlike the Apple Podcast app, Google Podcast app is not “native”. Let me explain. With every Apple iPhone, you get the app whether you know what it is or not. The Google app comes as part of the Android ecosystem but remains hidden until a search result throws up a podcast and the user clicks on that search result. The other way is to just download the app.
The wide number of and varied versions of the Android operating system and its open source nature makes nailing down a “native” app is difficult.
The hoopla around the launch suggested Google was going “all in”on this podcasting lurk. They were looking to expand the number of minority podcaster and so on. They have run scholarships for new podcasters, again, a US thing.
A bit like looking into a magic 8 ball, coming up with how long Google, or Alphabet as the parent company, is going to support this new App is problematic. They really seemed to push Google+ as an alternative to Facebook but that’s had the pins pulled on it. I hope they stand by Google Podcast app as strongly as they have stood behind Gmail. We will see but at present, the app is increasing its reach, from a very low base.
- Google Podcast App appears to be here to stay.
- Its reach is growing from a low base.
- Hopefully Google will continue to support the App.