Ray Ortega, during the most recent episode of The Podcasters Studio, pointed to a Libsyn interview with Google Play Music Products Manager, Elias Roman announcing that Google is now accepting submissions of podcast feeds for inclusion within Google Play Music. Here’s Ortega’s thoughts about the news:
Google To Include Podcasts In Google Play Music
This is really, really big news for a whole bunch of reasons. Here are six of them.
1) No Central Podcasting Directory For Android
Android users have more hurdles to overcome to listen to podcasts because prior to this announcement, there has been no central location where Android users can find podcasts to follow. There are a handful of podcasts apps for Android users but for the most part, users need to know what podcasts they want to listen to in order to add them.
By accepting podcast feeds into the Google Play Music service, Google will be creating an iTunes-like directory where people can discover podcasts that interest them.
[Tweet “The Podcasting Audience Just Got A LOT Bigger”]
2) Android Users Are A Larger Audience
According to Kantar, Android owns 66.9% of the US smartphone OS market, compared to iOS’ 28.4% share. On September 30, Google CEO Sundar Pichai announced that Android has 1.4 billion users. And in August, Gartner reported that Android covers 82% of the global smartphone market.
That’s a huge new, largely untapped audience podcasters can appeal to.
3) Podcasting + Google Analytics?
Analytics for podcasts have thus far have mainly consisted of very basic metrics such as number of subscribers and downloads by country or device. Podcasters and advertisers want far more insight into podcast audiences, so there’s a huge opening for someone to provide the rich analytics the market needs.
Google just happens to be the major player in that arena, so it would not surprise me at all to eventually see podcasting metrics added to Google Analytics.
4) Search Optimized Podcasts
Given its origins, the Google Music Play Store is tuned to search behavior so at the very least, there will likely be an opportunity to optimize your show’s page within the Google Play Store to be discovered though search within the store.
You’d also think it highly likely that individual podcasts might find their way into Google search results just as YouTube videos are often included in Google searches.
5) Google AdSense For Podcasts
Google launched its AdSense service for publishers so that the company could sell more display ads. The program had the side benefit of giving small publishers a bit of financial return on their efforts without having to sell ad space themselves. AdSense has since expanded to include “TrueView” video ads for YouTube channel owners. The next logical step would be to include audio ads in the AdSense program.
As anyone who has started a podcast can attest, it is by no means a get-rich-quick format. It takes a while to build an audience and only after you’ve built an audience can you sell ads. Outsourcing podcast ad sales to Google would make a lot of sense for podcasters who are really only doing it because of a passion for their topic, which likely accounts for the vast majority of podcasters.
6) Googlemobile Audio
A major reason podcasts are exploding as a form of media is the ultimate portability of the content and that it is the one type of content that actually allows you to multitask.
People are increasingly listening to podcasts during working hours, because they can. I do but I also listen to podcasts during my commute to and from work.
Reuters reports that US commuters spend an average of 42 hours a year stuck in traffic jams. One of the primary things people do with all that time on the road is listen to the radio and, increasingly, podcasts. Google wants a cut of that attention and, eventually, you may be able to get a cut of it, too.
Where To Submit Your Podcast Feed To Google
You can submit your feed right now to Google’s Podcast Portal but you might want to optimize it for Google Play first because there are some Google-specific tags you can take advantage of. Libsyn has the details right here.
The Podcast Audience Statistics
Edison has conducted extensive research on podcast listeners. Their Share Of Ear study has been widely cited:
The company also hosted a webinar that details their findings. Here’s the webinar Vice President of Strategy, Tom Webster, conducted on June 24. Settle in; it’s a 50 minute webinar:
The Podcast Consumer Presentation
This presentation contains a lot of statistics on podcast listeners. You can get a lot more stats from Edison’s site.
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