Google’s Participation In The Podcast Medium
Google has finally followed suit this year, and joined Apple in the podcast directory world. Why not? After all it’s even more data collection for their servers. This may even have amazing impacts on shows that didn’t have a way to expand and rise on the iTunes platform like the pro’s. Perhaps we will see new shows finally catch a break, or maybe it will just be another Android app in the Google Play store. Even though it’s been months now, we still have a lot more time to see what this direction does for the podcasting world.
I firmly believe that Google only “goes big, or it goes home” with a small exception which is data collection which is why I think Google + still exists at all. Everything Google does is on a grand scale for one purpose, which is selling advertising. Podcasting has been growing in popularity and has millions of listeners and creators within the ecosystem. It’s still a smaller medium when compared to platforms such as YouTube.
Don’t forget that there is a hierarchy in content. Writing is not as good as images, images aren’t as good as audio, and audio is not as good as video. Many companies would love to master all of them.
Numbers & Reach Matter
Whether it’s too late in the game to make a difference or not won’t change the fact that in the second quarter of 2016, Android had 87.5% of market share in the mobile department. In addition to Android, the Chrome browser had 55.83% of market share in the browser world. Their Chromebooks and library of free apps make each expansion a worthy cause to discuss.
Compared to Apple with iTunes, this makes sense to have podcasts on a platform that is so entrenched in our everyday life. We also need to add in that Google owns YouTube, a well known search engine, Gmail, Trends, Analytics, Adsense & Adwords, Google +, and the list goes on. Almost all of the projects are free and everyone loves free…right? My point is that the more you use Google, the more they probably favor showing your content higher in search results. There is no link or study to prove that claim, but it would make sense.
If you didn’t understand the last paragraph it’s okay. I am just trying to point out that the more Google products you use, the more they might like you in their search results. Why would Google not add your content in search if you use many of their tools? More than likely, this is probably in the 200 or so factors that their algorithm takes into account to show relevant results? I would also imagine that they use all of the data they have about you not just to sell it to advertisers, but also to reward for you handing it to them for free, without a second thought.
The market share Google holds is growing each month and having your show in Google’s app is going to give you a lot more ears. We are still just getting into the directory building and so many have already made it a priority to add their show. Don’t over think it though. Just submit, make the necessary content areas jump out to a potential listener. For example the shows artwork or the description. Focusing on your show, website, or marketing is equally important if not more so.
The Podcast Truth
There is not much money in podcasting, and I’m even surprised that Apple has embraced it to the degree that they have over the years. Even so, it is not Apple’s bread and butter by any means. Apple knows that people will use iTunes and probably bets that having podcasts available will eventually make sales on other items in iTunes. I can’t speak for Apple, but I would imagine that is at least one of the reasonings behind it. It’s good to have podcasts that easily integrate with your apps or hardware too.
The ones making all the money in podcasting are the equipment sellers, the people selling “How to podcast” groups or courses, and the media hosting subscriptions. A podcast directory for any site is a path for more information to present in search and to sell ad space on. Most shows make nothing, and this is why most directories don’t invest as much as they would like to.
The money in podcasting happens by bringing people to your website to buy merch, sell a course, or some other product. It should be the bait for the rest of your offerings. If you have this all set up in your mind or actually have built a place people can go to for more, then Google’s actions just made it a lot more possible. People will find you easier and hopefully you will see a rise in downloads, listens, likes, reviews and all that jazz. If you only have a show and depend on Patreon then I wish you luck, but have no faith that it will amount to much.
It is very important to know why a company like Google is finally opening the doors to podcasts as well as who is the winner in the medium. Play your cards right and that could be you.
Too Early To Throw In the Towel
Think about some of the projects Google has flaunted in the past only to axe them when they weren’t giant successes. They have tried TV, radio, and other types of advertising. They have built and even bought companies to bolster their offerings. They have shut down Google Wave, Feedburner (soon), Buzz and other failures which should be noted. They are just focused on disrupting categories of interest, and collecting data so they can milk the advertising machine for more money. Podcasting is another way for them to try to add another layer in audio.
Perhaps Google is trying to figure out how to advertise on audio. We are going through an age where audio and video have not been completely examined like text has. Maybe a look in how to rank or index audio? Maybe translation possibilities? How will they take this opportunity and learn from it or better yet, exploit it? Google is not a weak competitor. They have several items on the agenda at all times, but I see them going the distance on this.
Don’t count them out anytime soon. Google has learned how to do a lot of things better over the years and I expect this area is going to be a very interesting view into what they can do with it.
My Personal Opinion
With Google’s hat in the ring and a huge audience that can access Google Play, it’s a matter of time before third-party apps slowly leave. If Android continues to include it’s apps in the stock roms, the other third-party apps will have a harder time existing. I don’t necessarily like Google being a monopoly but that’s on us and not really them. We choose to support them by using their apps, platforms, and whatever else they roll out. Sadly, many podcast shows feel that they need iTunes or Google to get heard. The truth is, like anything else, you can be seen and heard by knowing where to find your audience and knowing how to bring them in.
If you have a podcast show please take the 1 or 2 moments that it takes to submit your RSS feed to Google. What I wouldn’t do is beg people to go there to listen to your show. I wouldn’t pump my audience to review or listen to my podcast show anywhere else by on my site, unless they prefer listening through their favorite app. I also try to make my site important in the way of more information and benefits like a forum or something. These directories are not bad, but too many shows come out every episode pleading with their listener to go somewhere and like, bookmark, review and so on. Maybe this is for another post…
Just submit your RSS feeds to where you want, create catchy artwork, and please add a great description that encourages people to tune in. Best wishes and I hope your audience finds you sooner than later.
I am not going to do a how-to on this for a while, if ever. Instead I will send you to a great post that details everything. Click this to learn how to use Google’s podcast section in Google Play.