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Google to start indexing individual podcast episodes in search


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Podcast discoverability is a topic you’ll be hearing plenty about in the coming months: it’s one of the big rallying points for Spotify and Pandora as part of their podcasts push, with their claims that it’s still too hard for new listeners to find shows they’ll like. But Apple is also putting more oomph into discovery at the moment, while Google is also making some very interesting moves regarding podcasts and its core business of search.

“The company will now surface individual podcast episodes in search results, so if someone searches for a show about a niche topic or an interview with a specific person, Google will show them potential podcast episodes that fit their query,” explained The Verge. “The company will also soon allow people to ask Google Assistant to play podcasts about specific topics, and it’ll find episodes to play.”

Also interesting: for podcasts available on public RSS feeds, Google will be automatically creating transcriptions, with more than 2m shows indexed so far. This could all be a big boost for podcasts trying to be discovered – including those focused on music.

While we’re on the subject, a separate piece of news concerns a podcasts startup called Glow Technologies, which has just raised $2.3m of seed funding – including from rapper Nas. Its tech is about helping podcasters make money from fan payments. “The direct relationship between artists and their fans is more important than it’s ever been, and podcasting is the perfect medium to build that relationship,” said Nas in a statement. “Five years from now, people are going to be earning annuities off of podcast content, and Glow is going to help make that happen.”

Stuart Dredge

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