Everything You Need to Know About Google Podcasts Shutting Down

by Stefanie Vanderbeek | Mar 18, 2024 | Podcasting

Google Podcasts is shutting down—but there’s no need to worry! If you’re a podcaster, you’ll need to transfer your podcast to YouTube Music (or an alternative) and announce the shift to your listeners. If you’re a podcast listener, you’ll need to find a different platform that still offers your favorite shows. Learn more about the transition and how to best prepare for it below!

What’s Happening to Google Podcasts?

Google Podcasts will be discontinued on April 2nd, 2024. The search engine decided to shut down Google Podcasts and move users to YouTube Music for a few reasons:

  1. User Preference: 23% of podcast listeners preferred YouTube Music, while only 4% reported a preference for Google Podcasts.
  2. Rival Streaming Hubs: Google wants to be a bigger player in the audio streaming market, competing with services like Spotify and Apple Music. By combining music and podcasts in YouTube Music, Google creates a one-stop shop for users.
  3. YouTube’s Reach: Many people already use YouTube to watch videos and listen to content. Integrating podcasts into YouTube Music could potentially attract more listeners.
  4. Streamlined Offerings: Google has a history of shutting down underused services. By consolidating podcasts into YouTube Music, the brand can simplify their operations and focus on larger goals for the future.

With this transition, Google hopes to create a better experience for both podcasters and podcast listeners. But this announcement has caused some frustration for people who prefer the dedicated podcast app. This is what you can do to smooth over your listeners’ concerns.

What Should Podcasters Do Before Google Podcasts Is Discontinued?

The most important action for podcasters to take before Google Podcasts sunsets is to inform your listeners—more than once. That way, they don’t miss the announcement and you don’t entirely lose the listenership you worked hard to build. Jill Thomas, Podcast Services Director at Hurrdat, suggests following these six steps to notify your listeners of the transition.

  1. Communicate Early & Often: Inform your audience about the change and how to continue following your podcast in every episode you record. Giving them at least two weeks’ notice increases the chances of them making the move to another platform with you.
  2. Promote Alternative Platforms: Encourage your audience to follow your podcast on alternative platforms like Apple Podcasts, Spotify, YouTube Music, Amazon Music, and other popular podcast directories.
  3. Update Your Website: Make sure your podcast website links are up-to-date and sending people to the new platform, where listeners can subscribe or follow you long-term.
  4. Use Social Media: Repromote your podcast on your social platforms to attract new listeners, provide live updates to your community, and create how-to guides on signing up and using the new platform where your podcast will be hosted.
  5. Send an Email: Use your email newsletter to notify subscribers about the change and provide more detailed, written instructions on how they can continue following your podcast.
  6. Engage with Your Audience: Engage with your listeners through live Q&As on social media, a new FAQs page on your website, responding to comments on your podcast, and other channels to address any questions or concerns they may have about the migration.

How to Migrate Your Google Podcasts to YouTube Music

Depending on the hosting platform you use, your podcast might already be on YouTube Music. Similarly, if you belong to a podcast network, it’s more than likely that they already submitted your show to all of the top podcast directories, including YouTube Music, for you.

To check if your episodes are on YouTube Music, open the app or web player and use the search bar to look for your podcast by name. If your podcast is available, you should see it appear in the results. If it does not appear, you can contact YouTube Support to confirm before starting the migration process.

After confirming your episodes aren’t on the platform already, follow the steps below to easily submit and publish your podcast to YouTube Music.

How to Submit Your Podcast to YouTube Music

  1. Create an RSS feed for your podcast if you haven’t yet.
  2. Log in to YouTube Studio with your preferred Google account.
  3. Click the “Create” box in the top right, then select “New Podcast” and “Submit RSS Feed.”
  4. Read the RSS Ingestion Tool Terms of Service and select “Accept.”
  5. Read and follow the submission instructions and click “Next.”
  6. Enter the URL for your RSS Feed and click “Next.”
  7. Click “Send Code” to the email address connected to your RSS Feed to verify the submission.
  8. Check your email for the code, paste it into the text box, then click “Verify.”
  9. Choose “Upload all episodes in the RSS feed” to upload all of your podcast episodes.*
  10. Review visibility details, then click “Save.”

*If you have host-read paid promotions in your podcast episodes, you’ll also need to select the box that says, “Most of the episodes from the RSS feed contain paid promotion.” This doesn’t apply to third-party ads, which are not allowed in podcast content on YouTube Music.

How to Publish Your Podcast on YouTube Music

After you’ve submitted your RSS feed, it may take a few days for your episodes to complete uploading. Once this is done, you’ll need to go back into YouTube Studio to publish your podcast before it goes public. Here’s how:

  1. Log in to your YouTube Studio account.
  2. Click “Content,” then “Podcasts.”
  3. Find your RSS feed under “Video count” and click “Publish.”

If you don’t see the “Publish” button, your podcast episodes have not finished uploading and you’ll need to wait until they’re finished.

How to Become a YouTube Music Listener

If you’re wondering how to start listening to podcasts on YouTube Music, the good news is that the process is simple. Here’s a quick rundown for how to get YouTube Music on your preferred device.

  1. Create a Google account if you don’t have one.
  2. Open YouTube Music on desktop or mobile. For mobile, first download the YouTube Music app from the iOS store or Google Play Store.
  3. Sign in to your Google account on YouTube Music.
  4. Search for your podcast using the search bar or click the “Explore” tab and filter by “Podcasts.”

If you don’t want to manually add all of your podcast subscriptions, you can also migrate all your podcast subscriptions at once from Google Podcasts to YouTube Music using your mobile device from now until July 2024.

Alternatives to Google Podcasts & YouTube Music

If YouTube Music isn’t the right fit for you or you’d like to explore other podcast directories with great listening experiences and sharing capabilities, here are some YouTube Music and Google Podcast alternatives to consider.

Amazon Music

  • Supported Platforms: iOS, Android, Web
  • Monthly Listeners: 958,518
  • Cost for Listeners: Free or subscriptions starting at $9.99/month

Amazon Music offers a range of options for podcast listeners, including Amazon Music Free, Amazon Music Prime, and Amazon Music Unlimited. While the free version gives you standard access to podcast episodes with ads, Prime lets you listen ad-free, and Unlimited comes with a larger catalog and offline listening. The monthly Unlimited plan is slightly less expensive than YouTube Music Premium. Regardless of which tier you choose, Amazon Music pairs seamlessly with Amazon Echo voice assistant products, which is a major perk for listeners with Alexa home devices. As an Amazon podcaster, it’s just as easy to submit your RSS feed to this platform as it is to YouTube Music. But if you upload to Amazon Music, your podcast can also be listed on Audible and you have greater promotional tools at your disposal.

Apple Podcasts

  • Supported Platforms: iOS, Web
  • Monthly Listeners: 37,900,125
  • Cost for Listeners: Free or subscriptions starting at $0.49/month

If you want to be on the podcast directory with the highest number of monthly listeners, Apple Podcasts is your best YouTube Music alternative. Listeners love the Apple Podcasts app for its user-friendly interface. Because it’s a standalone product (separate from the Apple Music app), you never have to sift through irrelevant audio. It’s easy to discover new shows through curated channels and searchable podcast transcripts. Your favorites are saved under your Apple Podcasts library for easy reference later, and you can opt in to receive alerts for podcast episode releases. Apple Podcasts is also user-friendly for podcasters, with a variety of easy-to-use podcaster resources like internal marketing and analytics dashboards and the ability to set up premium subscriptions.


  • Supported Platforms: iOS, Android, Web
  • Monthly Listeners: 1,763,458
  • Cost for Listeners: Free or subscriptions starting at $0.99/month

Castbox gives users a lot for a little. Downloading podcast episodes to listen offline is totally free. Uploading audio is free for podcasters, too, and hosts also have unlimited access to the Castbox Creator Studio for extensive analytics without paying a cent. Plus, the Castbox app is the perfect listening platform if direct engagement and connecting more with your podcast community is the goal. Through real-time comments and push notifications, you can leave comments and respond to your podcast listeners directly in the app!

Pocket Casts

  • Supported Platforms: iOS, Android, Web
  • Monthly Listeners: 984,736
  • Cost for Listeners: Free or subscriptions starting at $3.99/month

No-frills Pocket Casts is a straightforward app for podcast listening “without any of the bloat.” Its powerful filtering capabilities allow users to completely customize their listening experience based on genre, unplayed episodes, recent releases, and more. Another feature that listeners appreciate about this podcast streaming platform is the playback queue, which saves your spot on your last-played episode across devices. And much like YouTube Music, podcasters have plenty of resources available to them, including a devoted advice page for stress-free uploads and free podcast advertising services to get discovered by a larger audience.

Podcast Addict

  • Supported Platforms: Android, Web
  • Monthly Listeners: 910,894
  • Cost for Listeners: Free or subscriptions starting at $0.99/month

For Android users in need of a Google Podcasts and YouTube Music alternative, Podcast Addict is a favorite. This podcast app has millions of podcasts, audiobooks, YouTube channels, and live radio. The list of listener features is extensive, with customizable playback speed, chapter support, skip silences, CarConnect and Chromecast pairing, sleep timers, and automatic download capabilities. And podcasters like that the platform supports video podcasting as well as multilingual and month-long ad runs, among other podcast promotion tools.


  • Supported Platforms: iOS, Android, Web
  • Monthly Listeners: 35,623,500
  • Cost for Listeners: Free or subscriptions starting at $10.99/month

Spotify is known as one of the biggest and best cross-platform music streaming services, so it’s no surprise that the company also nails podcasting. Listeners can easily browse and sample content from their homepage before committing to full episodes thanks to Spotify’s podcast preview options. Podcasters have an array of features to make the listening experience more enjoyable for their audience, like time-stamped podcast chapters, auto-generated podcast transcripts, video podcasting, and fan interaction features for episodes—such as Q&As and polls. Spotify is also actively working on AI translation services that would allow podcasters to roll out episodes in multiple languages, all in their own voice (rather than a generic voiceover).

Need help migrating your podcast to another directory before Google Podcasts shuts down? Hurrdat Media offers extensive podcasting services and post-production maintenance to help your podcast grow. Contact us today to join our network!

Monthly listener statistics from Buzzsprout in February 2024.