Nearly three months ago, Google had made an official announcement of bringing podcasts into its Play Music app. Ever since the announcement in October, speculations have been rife about the possible launch date of the podcasts feature in its official, Play Music app.
Well, the dates might just have been confirmed through an unexpected tweet sent out by podcaster and former Grantland editor-in-chief Bill Simmons. Simmons, speaking about his own podcast had tweeted that “(His podcast) will be available on Google Play when it launches its podcast platform later this month.”
Realising that he had invariably revealed the undisclosed launch date, Simmons quickly deleted the tweet earlier today. Given that Simmons is a popular podcaster, he might have got an early update on the possible launch date. According to the tweet the launch will be in February, but an exact date is still undetermined.
Google’s official announcement about the feature came in October last year, when the company had announced that it plans to start offering podcasts on Google Play Music, giving podcasters access to millions of new listeners on Android phones and tablets. To that end, the company had then launched a portal for podcasters to start uploading their shows to Google Play Music before we open up the service to listeners.
Along with direct searches and browsing for podcasts, the service will connect new listeners with podcasts based on what they’re doing, how they’re feeling, or what they’re interested in. Similar to Google’s contextual playlists for music, this will give podcast fans and new listeners a way of finding and listening to content that’s unique to Google Play Music.
Even before the launch date, Google has already signed up quite a few podcasts and networks that are currently popular with the listeners, some of these include 5by5, HBO, Nerdist, and StartTalk Radio. Google had also stated that its content will be driven by the user preference that is, the feature will recommend certain podcasts based on the user interest.
Once this new feature is incorporated into the Music app, Google will have all major media platforms on its various services. A few snapshots that give a glimpse of the podcasts user interface has also been revealed before the feature is launched.
As for the UI, Google has kept the podcasts user interface similar to the Play Music app. To seek podcasts on the service, users will have to check the podcasts options accessible on the menu, in the Browse Stations category. Now the podcasts will be available on the home screen, and users can search for more podcasts through browsing. Users can also subscribe to their favourite channels through Google Play. The Play Music app will also notify the users once a new track is added into their favourite channel. The fact that the feature is available on a few devices means that the feature might be in the final testing stage before the final rollout.