This week Google announced the Android app of Google Play Music has launched their podcast service. If you aren’t familiar with podcats, they are audio or video programs on just about every topic. They tend to be produced by individuals. Larger networks have sprung up like TWiT, 5by5, Nerdist and Podcast One. Shows consists of a topic they discuss and are produced on a regular schedule.
When podcasts first came out back in the mid 2000’s, Apple embraced the new media. Apple pretty much owned podcasting. When ever you heard a podcast say “Subscribe to our podcast” it was usually followed by iTunes. Flash forward 10 years and Apple is no longer the go to place. More apps have sprung up such as Overcast, Pocket Casts and more. They allow you to stream your show rather than download. Which seems to be the trend for most listeners in podcasting.
One problem with the App model is discovery. It’s not easy to discover new shows. The iTumes Podcast store has led me to find some great podcasts. Pocket Casts has a great discovery tool. I created a podcast with a friend and within a day it came up in the app as a podcast to subscribe too. I don’t know what magic they use but I am in pressed. Google Play and ITunes both must be submitted before it shows up in their directory. From personal experience, the Google Play store experience is easier than Apple’s process.
Why is it a good thing to be on Google Play Podcast?
There are way more Android phones than iPhones in the world. I personally prefer the iPhone, but you will be missing out on a massive potential market. It also seems that Google is embracing podcasts this year. Currently the podcast feature is just available in the US/Canada. I am not sure why they have this restriction. Unlike other forms of content its not hosted through Google. There should not be any licensing restrictions. Most podcasts are open to anyone world wide who wants to download them. This was brought up on one of my favorite podcasts, The Daily Tech News Show, by Patrick Beja. Until it was mentioned I was unaware of this restriction.
This is a new way to distribute your content. The best thing of all is it’s free! The only expense in podcasting is hosting, equipment and software. Any service that wants you to pay for distribution I would not recommend them. Most podcasting distributors are free. This includes ITunes and Google Play Music.
My Experience with the service
The service is not yet on iOS. Its just for the Android market. I would suspect it will be released on iOS shortly. I looked at the service on my Nexus 7 and here is my take on the service. Its very similar to iTunes.
The service is divided up into categories. So you can see the top charts or search for your favorite show.
Subscribing is easy. You can get the device to auto download and send you notifications when a new episode is out.
After you subscribe you see this on “Your Podcast” page. You can download and listen to different episodes.
Note that there are shows not in the Google Play Podcast directory. Adam Savage Still Untitled and Anna Faris Unqualified were not in the store. As things grow I expect to see more shows here.
One thing to make sure is your feed is in order. I checked my two podcasts I listed. One was already accepted, however the Title tag was not showing the title. It took me a while to figure it out. I had to deactivate my plug in and then it showed up in an RSS reader. I’m waiting for it to refresh in Google. It also was missing in iTunes so it was not an issue with Google. Next, the Marketing Elements podcast wasn’t listed due to an image size issue. Make sure you pay attention to the size restrictions. Pictures are getting larger.
How Do you get your podcast on Google Play Music?
It’s a pretty simple process. Visit the Google Podcast Portal. Follow the steps. You will need your RSS Feed for your podcast. If you use a plug in like Blurberry, you can find it pretty easy. You will need access to confirm ownership. This mean’s admin rights to the site. Lastly you can publish. Its a simple process.
Make sure you add your podcasts to Google Play. It could give you more listeners to your podcast!