Podcasting has reached 57 million monthly listeners with one app tied behind its back. That starts to change with yesterday's announcement that Google is finally bringing podcasts to its Google Play Music service in the U.S. and Canada.
Up till now, podcasting has largely been an Apple thing with a native app on every phone. In fact, according to Libsyn, IOS listening has dominated Android by a ratio of 5 to 1. Android listeners had a far more difficult experience listening to podcasts via third-party apps.
The launch doesn't come as a surprise. Google opened a portal for podcasters last October and is developing contextual playlists. “Similar to our contextual playlists for music, you can now listen to podcasts based on what you’re doing, how you’re feeling or what you’re interested in,” the company writes in yesterday's announcement. If you are looking to run Google Play on IOS, you will have to wait, right now the roll out is only for Android.
Adding podcasts will most certainly help the company get more people to try Play Music, and for podcasting it opens up more than half of the smartphone market --- that's 100 million potential new podcast listeners. Let the plays begin.
Steven Goldstein, CEO, Amplifi Media