In the latest issue of Hot Pod, Amrita Khalid and Ariel Hauptman cover three major developments in the podcasting industry. First, they discuss Google’s decision to sunset Google Podcasts and focus on making YouTube Music a podcast destination instead. The move makes sense considering YouTube’s popularity among podcast listeners, but the authors note that YouTube Music will need to invest in the product to keep users from simply Googling a podcast and ending up on ad-supported YouTube.
Next, Khalid and Hauptman turn their attention to Apple Podcasts, which is expanding to become an all-in-one destination for premium non-music audio content. With the latest update, the app now allows users to link third-party subscriptions to various lifestyle and news apps, giving listeners access to a wide range of audio content, including podcasts, news briefs, narrated articles, educational courses, guided meditations, and more. The authors speculate that Apple’s goal is for consumers to spend as much time as possible on its app, blurring the line between podcasts and other types of audio content.
Finally, the authors discuss Spotify’s partnership with OpenAI to develop a voice translation feature. Using OpenAI’s Whisper model, Spotify is testing a tool that can translate English-language podcasts into Spanish, French, German, and potentially other languages in the future. While some critics question the use of AI for translation, Spotify is already working with podcasters to translate their episodes and plans to expand the program to include popular shows like The Rewatchables and an upcoming show from Trevor Noah.
Overall, these developments highlight the evolving nature of the podcast industry and the competition among major players like Google, Apple, and Spotify. As more listeners turn to podcasts for entertainment and information, companies are seeking new ways to capture their attention and keep them on their platforms. Whether it’s integrating podcasts into music streaming apps, expanding podcast apps to include other types of audio content, or developing innovative translation features, these companies are pushing the boundaries of what podcasting can be.