Podcast player application Pocket Casts was acquired by a public radio group in mid-2018, right around the time Spotify started expanding into the podcast world. The service has had some ups and downs since then, but now it looks like Pocket Casts could have new ownership in the near future.
Google Podcasts has had a long road to walk in order to compete with more fully featured podcast apps, but it's been steadily improving lately, even gaining support for adding custom RSS feeds. Now Google is bringing the web version more in line with the mobile apps by revamping the Subscriptions page to show a list of your latest episodes.
Stitcher, the podcast app fresh off an acquisition by Pandora, is about to roll out an overdue makeover for its Android users with better fine-tuning when it comes to browsing, playing, and tracking the shows you want to listen to.
Google Podcasts may not be superior to many third-party podcast players out there, but it's free and readily available on any device and lets you pick up your listening session on a smart home speaker via voice. That alone might be worth a lot to many people, and it seems that Google Podcasts resonates with at least 50 million users — that's the milestone the app just reached on the Play Store.
Explaining which services Google Assistant supports and in which form isn't an easy feat. While it might be compatible with many music and podcast players on your phone, it only supports a limited list of approved services on speakers and other smart devices. That list was limited to music streamers only (YouTube Music, Spotify, Pandora, Deezer, iHeartRadio,...). Now, podcast services seem to be getting the same treatment.
The podcasting arms race has ratcheted up another notch as satellite radio company SiriusXM has completed its acquisition of podcast production and advertising behemoth Stitcher from E.W. Scripps for $325 million. It's a big deal business-wise, but for listeners, it also means that Sirius's Pandora app is getting a cadre of top podcasts in its catalogue.
Spotify might be the frontrunner when it comes to music streaming, but it's still a new player in the world of podcasting. There are plenty of issues that the company needs to work on to improve the experience, but today podcasts on Spotify are starting to get a little more interactive thanks to a new test that lets podcasters connect to their audiences through polling.
Spotify is pushing nearly all of its chips onto podcast browsing and production as a way to drive its revenues. Amazon may be looking to do the same for its Amazon Music service as it has enabled podcast streaming and is making a splash with what it can call its own shows including "Disgraceland," "That Scene with Dan Patrick," and new shows from Will Smith.