Podcasts are back, and they’re big business. As interest in audio-content keeps growing, Google opened up about investing heavily in podcasts and integrating them into their services in an interview with Pacific Content. The goal? To double the amount of podcast listening in the world over the next couple of years (and have A.I. learn from actual language). And they’re not taking half measures.
According to Pacific Content, a Google team lead by Zack Reneau-Wedeen is currently working on getting the amount of podcasts listeners worldwide doubled by doing some interesting stuff. The biggest growth opportunity will be on the Android-side, which is an untapped market due to availability of apps. Therefore, better integration with Android is seems like a logical step. But Zack’s team is not just working on a dedicated Google podcast app, they’re integrating it into Google’s services. That means Google Search and Google Assistant will be optimized for podcasts. And that’s a major one: Podcasts will show up in search results, which could have a huge effect on the amount of people trying a podcast for the first time. There’s no need for users to download, no need to subscribe, no need to search for a particular podcast-show, once podcasts are fully embedded in Google’s search results. As Zack states in the interview, Google wants to be there with audio where you are: “You might be researching Watergate for a school paper and stumble on Slow Burn, or maybe you’re toying with starting a company and you discover Sara Blakely’s amazing story of Spanx. This understanding of content, plus connecting people to it at the right moment, is where our team thinks we could go from helping double the industry to potentially helping multiply it by three or four or ten times.” A huge opportunity for marketers who aren’t doing anything with podcasts yet, as an audio-content strategy makes much more sense now than it ever did.
Don’t think all this development will take years to finally be shown to end users: Google is already showing podcasts result in Google, as can be seen in this screenshot for a “hackable podcast” search on Android:
If you want to know how to get search results like that, you can use Google’s guidelines for Podcast to find out how.
Interesting times for podcasts and audio-content, we’re already planning on focussing on audio-content. Will you? We’ve written a guide on how to start a podcast.