Google’s Goal is to Double Worldwide Podcast Listening (Where Were They in 2004?)

In the early days of podcasting, listeners (or “podders” as they were called then) would gather ’round the Google machine to listen to static. (Note: There’s no such thing as static.)

Here’s an interesting step along the journey of podcasting. (The 12 regular readers will recall I used to devote lots of words to this topic.) Quote from Variety.com:

Google says it’s making it much easier to find — and listen to — podcasts. The internet giant is now surfacing podcast episodes in search results based on an analysis of the topics in a given show, and will let users play back the podcast right from the results page….Now, when you search for a podcast about a topic on Google (such as “instant pot recipe podcasts”) (Google will) show you playable episodes in search results alongside web pages, news, images and videos.

While I’m not yet seeing podcast episodes integrated into any search results page (even “instant pot recipe podcasts”), I do see this if I click a second time.

 

 

 

Zack Reneau-Wedeen, founder and head of product, Google Podcasts, told Variety that Google’s “goal is to double worldwide podcast listening, to not just make it easy to listen to podcasts on Android but make podcasts a first-class citizen on Google. (…) There’s stuff people want but can’t find it — and that aligns perfectly with Google’s mission to organize the world’s information.”

This makes me recall September 28, 2004 when Doc Searls posted on his blog that the word “podcasts” generated 24 results on Google.

It also makes me recall how Google decided to kill their newsreader in 2013.

Why? I can’t recall. Maybe one day I’ll re-read this blog and see if I can find out.

Here are a few more factoids from the Variety article:

  • The Apple Podcasts app accounted for about 63% of all podcast listening as of February 2019, according to App Annie data. The Google Podcasts app for Android, launched in June 2018, accounted for 0.9%.
  • Apple is enhancing its podcast-search features by transcribing the words and phrases used in episodes — although those will initially be available only to Mac users.
  • Google said it will allow publishers to specify a preferred playback destination, such as a third-party website or app. That will provide for discovery of podcasts that may be exclusively available via purchase or subscription on third-party podcast providers.