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Google Podcasts app: an FAQ for podcasters

June 22, 2018 · By James Cridland

What is Google Podcasts?

It's an in-built, simple, podcast player, pre-installed on every Google Play-enabled Android phones. That's essentially all of them.

(It's nothing to do with podcasts on Google Play Music.)

Why is it important?

Android is the most popular mobile phone operating system in the world - it's used by over 80% of smartphone users. The Google Podcasts player is already installed on virtually every one.

Here's a video that shows how it works.

Is Google Podcasts available in my country?

Yes. It is available worldwide.

Where do my listeners download the app?

Your listeners don't actually need to. Just add a direct link on your website to your podcast on Google Podcasts, and they'll be able to listen immediately, without having to download an app. Here's a video showing that.

But I really want to download the app

You can download the Google Podcasts app if you like. It's a tiny, 100k, icon which looks like any other app, and points to the app already installed on your phone.

What is my podcast's direct link for Google Podcasts?

Google has a tool to help you. Visit this page and type in your podcast's RSS feed. If it's listed, you'll get a link which, on an Android phone, takes you directly to your podcast's latest episodes. Here's ours. Your listener does not have to have the app installed - it will still play.

How else can my listeners listen?

They can just search for you in Google, and, on an Android phone, your podcast will appear in the search results, complete with play buttons that take you into the Google Podcasts app. Here's a video showing that.

How do I get a nice "Listen on Google Podcasts" badge or logo?

You can download these straight from Google, here. They're in PNG or SVG format. They should be the same size as the Apple Podcasts button you probably already have.

Should I link to Google Podcasts instead of Google Play?

Yes, you absolutely should. Google Play has never contained podcasts outside of the US and Canada: and requires Google Play to be installed on the Android phone. Google Podcasts works across the world, and does not require any app to be installed.

How do I know how many listens am I getting on Google Podcasts?

Your podcast host can help you here: the regex of the user-agent is \b(GoogleChirp|GSA)\/ - GoogleChirp on Google Assistant, GSA on Android devices. (We list more podcast app user-agents).

How do I know Google has listed my podcast?

Use the direct link generator tool.

How do I submit my podcast to Google Podcasts?

Chances are you're already there - use the direct link generator tool. If you're not listed, Google have a set of guidelines to help you. They're technical, so you'll need to involve your web designer. We've written a simpler guide here.

How do I know I've linked correctly?

Search for your podcast on Podnews: we've built a validator that checks that the links are done correctly. (It also checks for other issues; and can also be used to build listen badges for your site).

Does Google Podcasts do shownotes?

Yes. But it uses the <description> field, rather than <content:encoded>; and it irritatingly strips out all HTML formatting and links.

What's the difference between Google Podcasts and having my podcast on Google Play Music?

It's entirely different. Google Play Music isn't available anywhere outside the US and Canada, and requires a software download. Google has already said it's replacing Google Play Music with YouTube Music in time, so it's likely going to disappear.

Does Google Podcasts cache the audio files?

No. (Google Play did. Google Podcasts does not.)

What else do I get as a podcaster?

The front of the Google Podcasts app shows suggested podcasts based on a listener's previously-enjoyed episodes. Some of them show "Other podcasts by..." and link to every other podcast you've produced. There are trending podcasts based on listening habits and categories. It's designed to make listeners discover more new podcasts. Including yours.

How do the feed URLs technically work?

They're base64url encoded. With PHP, this code will produce a functioning Google Podcasts link from an RSS feed. Note that we presume this'll only work if the podcast is actually listed in Google Podcasts; they don't have a public API to check.

$google_podcasts_link='https://www.google.com/podcasts?feed='.urlencode(base64_encode($_REQUEST['rss']));

I'm a podcaster. What should I do now?

Got more questions?

We appreciate that many podcasters use iPhones. So, if you've any questions, just mail us: updates@podnews.net

Previously...

<< UTA and Cadence13 launch a podcast network of YouTube stars

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