Home Tech Google Podcasts Is Gone. Here’s How to Transfer Your Subscriptions

Google Podcasts Is Gone. Here’s How to Transfer Your Subscriptions

by Elijah
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Google Podcasts Is Gone. Here’s How to Transfer Your Subscriptions

Steve McLendon, a product manager at Google admits he’s sad to see Google Podcasts headed to the software graveyard. He suggests that the app’s simplicity, one of its strengths, led to its downfall: “Podcast experiences can be improved for users in ways that I don’t think Google Podcasts could ever really deliver.”

After launching the app in 2018, the company shut down Google Podcasts on April 2. YouTube Music will serve as Google’s new home for podcast listening. While some users crave the simple experience of an RSS feed catcher for podcasts, McLendon sees a future where algorithmic discovery and video podcast clips are more central to the user experience.

“Google may be infamous for having a lot of different products that do similar things,” he says. “So, what investment have we actually invested in?” While McLendon wants to create a user experience that makes podcast-only listeners feel welcome, he’s also excited about the multimedia capabilities. For example, if someone watches some clips from NBA games on YouTube, their YouTube Music account might suggest some basketball podcasts.

How to migrate from Google Podcasts to YouTube Music

McLendon’s team has launched a tool to help Google Podcasts users transfer their show subscriptions to YouTube Music. The feature is still only intended for users in the United States, but McLendon says the company is eventually planning an international rollout. It’s worth noting that users will need to complete this migration before Google makes the data unavailable in July.

Start by opening the app on your Android or iOS device and going to the Home tab. Since announcing it would be shutting down its Podcasts app, Google has been displaying a notification at the top of the app’s home screen with a quick link to export your subscriptions. Find this notification at the top and select Export subscriptions. (In a browser, the same option should appear below the Discover programs tab.) If you want to transfer everything to YouTube Music, choose the Export knob. Tapping this on your phone will automatically open the YouTube Music app and confirm which account you want to use to complete the change. After you click the Transfer if… button, YouTube Music will double check whether you want to add the RSS feeds for all your podcasts to your library. Then the process begins.

The tool was able to migrate all twelve of my podcast subscriptions in less than a minute. (If you’re a podcast fanatic with hundreds of subscriptions, it might take longer.) Then you can listen to your favorite shows in YouTube Music by clicking Podcasts at the top of the Home or Library tab. If you don’t see the Podcasts option right away, you may need to scroll through the gray buttons on the left. If you’ve used YouTube Music, you know that a premium subscription is required if you want to listen to music while your phone screen is locked. Fortunately, this is not the case for podcasts; you can stream or play downloaded shows while the screen is locked, even if you don’t have a subscription.

Alternative listening options for podcasts

Frustrated by this change and looking for a new minimalist podcast app? For iPhone owners, the Cloudy app is a strong option that reflects the streamlined nature of Google Podcasts. Pocket Casts is another well-designed app that may suit your preferences, and is available on both Android And Apple devices.

Luckily, if you decide not to use YouTube Music and want to leave Google’s podcast ecosystem completely, you can still take your show subscriptions with you. Follow the same steps as mentioned in the section above; When you get to the YouTube Music export option, look for the secondary option labeled Export for another app and press To download. This process saves a OPML file to your device.

In the Overcast app you can upload this subscription list by going to Institutions and scroll down Import OPML. The migration process from Google Podcasts to Pocket Casts is a little more difficult, but still doable. Open the Files app on your smartphone and locate the downloaded OPML data file. Choose to share the file and then send it to Pocket Casts. This will transfer your show subscriptions to the new app.

Update, April 2, 2024, 8 a.m. EDT: This story has been updated to reflect that Google Podcasts is now officially gone.

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