Google Play and Google Podcasts – what's the difference?

Transistor Team

2 min

Confusingly, Google has two platforms for listening to podcasts: Google Play (their music app) and Google Podcasts (which is built-in to Android).

Google Play and Google Podcasts: which one should you use?

In 2016, Google brought podcasts to Google Play Music. They instructed podcasters to submit their shows by going to the Google Play Music podcast portal. Weirdly, only folks in the USA and Canada have been allowed to submit their podcasts to Google Play Music.

Then, in June 2018, Google launched a dedicated podcasting app on Android: Google Podcasts. With the introduction of the standalone app, many expected them to remove podcasts from Google Play Music. But, weirdly, they haven't.

Also frustrating: Google Play Music had a form podcasters could use to submit their podcasts, but the instructions for submitting to Google Podcasts is muddier. Essentially, there’s nowhere to submit your show!

Having two separate platforms for podcasts has created a lot of confusion. A search on Google for "how do I submit my podcast to Google Podcasts?" results in old instructions for submitting to Google Play Music.

How do I submit my podcast to Google Podcasts?

How do I add my podcast to Google Podcasts?

As far as I can tell, the only way to have Google index your show is to include a <link> element that points to your RSS feed on your website. (Websites generated on Transistor do this automatically). Then, you have to wait for Google to index your website, and recognize the link to your podcast's RSS feed. Only then will your podcast appear on the Google Podcast directory (and in search results).

Should I submit my podcast to Google Play Music or Google Podcasts?

Google seems to be primarily focused on Google Podcasts as its primary platform. My guess (and hope!) is that they deprecate podcasts on Google Play Music shortly.

My advice: focus on getting your podcast on Google Podcasts.

I'm hoping that Google makes the submission process to Google Podcasts easier in the future. In the meantime, I've written submission instructions here.

Weird quirks like Google Play vs Google Podcasts make the act of starting a podcast more confusing. At Transistor, we want to guide you through the process of publishing your podcast. 

You can import an existing show, or start a new podcast. Get a 14-day free trial below.