This week, Google have officially announced that the Google Play Music service will now offer podcasts. Rolling out this week in the U.S. and Canada, you can start downloading podcasts on PC or Android – unfortunately the service is not available on iOS. Google Play Music will allow you to browse a variety of contextual podcast playlists, similar to the playlists currently used on the app for music. If you are not exactly sure what you are looking for Google will suggest podcasts based on how you are feeling or what you are interested in.
In addition to the playlists, you will also be able to subscribe to your favourite shows, automatically download the latest episodes, and get notifications every time a new episode comes out. These are obviously standard features for a podcast manager app to include, but it appears that Google Play Music is banking on its contextual playlists and recommendations to give it an edge over other services.
Google enters a competitive market when it comes to Android podcast apps. There are numerous well made 3rd party applications which Google Play Music will have to match up to. Here are some of the other apps available:
Google Play Music does not yet support podcasts in Europe or the rest of the world. We fully expect it to be launched at some time in the next few months.