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Why Google’s Podcasts Might Not Be The Ideal Platform

Why Google’s Podcasts Might Not Be The Ideal Platform

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Google’s Play Music platform is set to get podcasts next year but details are scant. Here’s a rundown of the pro’s and con’s on potentially putting your podcast on to the Google Play Music Podcast solution

Let’s start out with some positives, after all remember you are dealing with a company that wants to know everything about you with the express intention of selling adverts to you.

The good news is that it will use your existing RSS feed and the platform is very similar to Stitcher.

This isn't a typical Google scraping service, if you have a podcast and you want your show to appear on there then you have to Opt-In and that comes with some caveats.

Google’s podcasting service doesn't do the traditional way of podcasting i.e pulls your RSS feeds, going to your server and serving up the episode for each person who asks for the file like how most podcast players normally do.

When done the traditional the publisher is responsible for all the bandwidth to get the show to you. As a publisher it’s great as you get to know how many people have requested the file, where they are from and you can even drill down to the most popular times of the day along with a whole load more information.

Google’s Adopting the Stitcher Approach

When Stitcher came out with a couple of years ago you as the publisher would have to opt in to the service. Stitcher would then look at your RSS feed and pull the files onto their own platform. This technically sounds great as you can leverage their content delivery networks for faster downloads. Also it was reasonably priced.

However all of this comes as a cost to the publisher / podcaster as you hand over all control and statistics of your show to Stitcher. Reading in the terms and conditions you have to plug “available on Stitcher” but I’d doubt that’s an enforced condition.

You also lose control of the quality of your finished product. Stitcher grabs the file from your server (or if you’ve uploaded directly) then transcodes it down into a lower bit rate to save on space, bandwidth costs, enable it to stream better for people and of course make it sound worse.

Google play music is doing all of those things!

So you as the publisher go and agree to their terms and you submit your feed. so if I was to decide that I didn't want to do this you wouldn't be able to listen to the rampant mumblings podcast via Google music. If a brand-new show all of your favourite shows has opted in your not going to be to play that on Google music at all. As it stands it looks like you cant add a custom URL either.

You’ll be listening to Google's copy of your show hosted on Google's network. At a listener that’s great, providing you find the show as you have the benefits of Google's vast data centres, speed and delivery service.

As a user/client's when you download the show you're listening to Google's copy of the show hosted on their own servers. So that download won't show up on the publisher's own stats system.

Now Google is saying they will offer publishers statistics of which will be available via their own dashboard but most podcasters who care about stats, which is anyone who has adverts in their show, will already have their own systems for that. So this effectively means you have two separate systems with different statistics that you will have to find some way to merge together.

What isn’t know is will Google respect the file or play with it? Will it transcode to different formats, will chatpers be supported, will meta data be kept or not?

And then we get onto the thorny subject of adverts.

Google being in ad company, reserve the right to inject adverts into your podcast.Fortunately this won't happen in the middle of your show but between shows.So for most shows you will get a pre-roll and an advert at the end of the show.

Google reserves the right to show display (image) ads alongside podcast content. Google will not insert any pre-roll ads before podcast content starts or mid-roll ads during a given podcast episode. Google reserves the right to serve post-roll video or audio ads after podcast content. Google Play Music does not provide direct payment or revenue share for podcast content.

Source : Google

As a podcaster you get no revenue from these adverts showing at the start or the end of the podcast.

Once Google has your data, is reading and transcoding your files then it's not too much of a stretch of the imagination to think that Google will probably end up transcribing them and giving the ability to search for text transcripts of any show. If you've ever used Lynda.com this is a neat feature for sure but it might not mean more traffic, just as blogs are depreciated in Google search.

in my opinion because you look like what podcasts are popular and what kind of people listen to podcasts I think it there's a lot of overlap with the kind of people who traditionally listen to public radio and that does tend to skew upscale younger smarter richer more liberal and those are all I think demographics are more likely to have iPhones and android devices also

Source: Marco Arment

How popular podcast’s on Google is going to be is anyones guess, right now it’s not exactly popular with Android users, skewing in favour of iOS. Lbysyn will publish statistics now and again and it's normally in the region of 8 to 1 in favour of iOS being used to listen to podcasts among all shows hosted on the Libsyn posting service.

Right now Google Music Podcasts is a limited to those in the USA and Canada and a release date has yet to be set.

You can always download the Rampant Mumblings on iTunes if you fancy. The show has been submitted and approved on Google so we’re wiating to see what happens.

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