Google has made it easier to stream from Apple Podcasts and others when searching for podcasts in Google Search. After earlier this year winding down a feature that let users play podcasts directly from search results, the company said it would “gradually” shift to a new design that would instead offer information about podcasts and links to listen on other platforms through its search results. Now, that change is rolling out, we’re told.
When people search for podcasts using generic terms like “kids podcasts” or “movie podcasts” via their iPhone or iPad, they’ll see an option to “Listen on Apple Podcasts,” Apple told us.
Currently, the feature is only available to Google Search users in the U.S. (We understand it will roll out to more markets over time, after the initial performance is assessed.)
When testing the changes by searching for “comedy podcasts” (sans quotes), we found a box near the top of the search results that showcased a number of popular titles. In addition to being about to filter for things like “stand-up comedy” or “TV” among others, you could also tap on filter buttons to limit results to those podcasts found on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, or Google Podcasts.
On the iPhone we tested on via Google mobile search, the Google Podcasts filter option was off to the side of the screen — it was not among the first set of filters.
After tapping on an individual show, you’re taken to a detail page where you can read a description and learn more about the program, like how frequently it releases, the average length of an episode, and see a listen of the latest episodes. Here, a “Listen now on Apple Podcasts” option is available and, when tapped, will directly launch the show in the Apple Podcasts app, courtesy of a deep link.
Apple isn’t the only beneficiary here, it seems, as the same functionality is available for Spotify, as well. To see Google Podcasts, you have to click another button — “All Listening Options” which reveals further choices. (No self-preferencing here, apparently!) Spotify said the feature has been live for its app for over a year.
This change may not be new to you, given the phased rollout. Often, that means some users will see changes before others. However, it was only this week being “officially” introduced.
Apple said the update is a recognition of the fact that people don’t want to listen to podcasts in-line — they would rather use the app of their choice.