Google recently announced a new podcast feature will finally be coming to the Google Play Music service in the U.S. and Canada. This move puts Google Play Music directly in competition with services such as iTunes, who first added podcast support back in 2005 and Spotify, which recently launched its own support for podcast.
Last fall, Google launched a portal for podcasters in the U.S. who wanted to bring their shows to the Google Play Music service, reports Tech Crunch. However, at the time, the company didn't announce when the ability to play podcast in the app would go live for listeners. Then in February, a few Google Play Music users started to see a podcast section appear in their app, which was most likely the company testing out the feature before actually launching it.
The company wrote in the podcast announcement, "Similar to our contextual playlists for music, you can now listen to podcasts based on what you’re doing, how you’re feeling or what you’re interested in." It will also recommend playlists featuring key podcasts based on specific topics. Furthermore, users can search for specific shows and subscribe to it by either downloading new shows automatically or choosing to get notified when a new episode is available.
Google is a little slow with bringing podcast to its user, leaving the tast to third party apps. But as the medium grew in popularity, the company has decided it wants to join in on the growth. By adding a podcast section to its app, Google is likely to bring more users to its Play Music service.
If you happen to be a podcaster with your own show, you can still join Google's program by going here.
Google Play Music's new podcast section is now available on the web and has been rolling out to Android users since yesterday.