Rumors began to float around yesterday that Google was preparing to launch podcasts on Google Play Music this month after podcaster Bill Simmons mentioned it in a tweet. Now it looks like there’s more concrete evidence than ever.
“This event was off the charts”
Gary Vaynerchuk was so impressed with TNW Conference 2016 he paused mid-talk to applaud us.
Android Police noticed that some users were starting to see a Podcasts option show up inside the Play Music app via a server change (meaning no app update was required). Once you click on it, the interface looks pretty much identical to other parts of the app, but podcasts are divided into ‘Featured’ and ‘Your Podcasts’ sections.
You can also subscribe or share the individual podcasts, or view a description and episode list. Once you subscribe, the app will automatically prompt you to download the last five episodes, and notify you about any new releases. Meanwhile, the thumbs up and thumbs down buttons are replaced by buttons for skipping 30 seconds backwards or forwards.
It’s a pretty standard set of features for a podcasting app, although one big caveat is that it seems you can search exclusively for podcasts – so you’ll get a ton of similarly-named tracks, artists and albums too.
To be clear, Google had already indicated it was working on podcasts back in October – we simply didn’t have a launch date. At least now we know they’re on the way, though Google has yet to anything officially.