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article imageGoogle Play Music now supports podcasts

By James Walker     Apr 19, 2016 in Technology
Google has released an update for its Play Music streaming service that adds support for subscribing and listening to podcasts. The anticipated and much-requested feature can suggest recommended podcasts based on your interests.
The release of Podcasts in Play Music was announced by Google yesterday. Initially, the service can only be accessed on Android and online in the U.S. and Canada. Google hasn't announced which regions will be the next to see the feature.
The new podcasts section in the Play Music app includes several features to help the discovery process. Play Music aims to expose podcasts you're likely to enjoy, based on your current mood, episodes you've already listened to and your general interests.
Play Music can intelligently recommend playlists of podcasts that focus on a single topic. The "Learn Something New" playlist includes episodes from Stuff You Should Know and How To Do Everything." Getting Lost in a Story" is designed for relaxing at the weekend, featuring podcasts from Radiolab and Reply All.
Playlist support in Play Music works a lot like the app's existing features, designed to connect you with new music and help you discover new things. Play Music can already build you playlists relevant to current context and it can now help you engage with podcasts likely to interest you. When a new episode of a subscribed podcast is available, the app will notify you and optionally download it automatically in the background, keeping you on top of your favourite shows.
Google wants to bring podcasts "to people who had no idea they were looking for podcasts," said Elias Roman, Google Play Music product manager, to WIRED. He added that podcasts fit easily into Play Music's existing collection and that customers have been asking for the feature.
"I think the best feedback we get from customers has nothing to do with music," he said. "It's like, 'you make studying better.' Or 'you make the gym more tolerable.'"
Podcasts can be found in the Google Play Store. Google will curate charts of top podcasts and is working directly with podcasters to increase the available selection. The company has launched a dedicated portal to help content creators get their shows onto Play Music.
Adding podcasts to Google Play will help Google's store to better rival Apple's iTunes. Podcasts have been a key component of iTunes for years, helping users to mix spoken discourse with music within one app. With podcasts in Play Music, Google will have similar functionality of its own, adding another form of media to the Play Store to expand the entertainment options of customers.
More about Google, google play, Google Play Music, Music, Podcasts
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