Google Podcasts: How Much Will One Pay to Be a Top Podcast?

February 14, 2020

Podcasts are the talk radio for the mobile thumb adept. Finding podcasts has been a matter of hit and miss. Apple displays some podcasts on topic pages. Then the iPhone outfit provides “see all”, and one gets another subset of available content organized by Apple categories. Just try to locate a Spanish language technology podcast from the US. Interesting exercise. The optimal results are obtained by finding one Spanish podcast and then browsing the other podcasts displayed by the system. My approach is to locate the name of a specific podcast and using Apple’s quite limited “search box” to find the program. Either way, hassle after hassle. Other services offer podcasts. These are variants of the Apple approach. Hassle after hassle.

Now there is an alternative for those who embrace the Google with the intensity of deceased Googler Forrest Timothy Hayes. Late in 2019 Google provided some information about its podcast service which would be available on:

Google Search on all browsers
Google Search App for Android (requires v6.5 or higher of the Google Search App)
Google Podcasts app
Chrome for Android
Google Home
An Action on the Google Assistant
Android Auto

The Google Android podcast app became available in January 2020. Not perfect. One user pointed out that there is no way to search within a podcast episode list and there is no bookmark function. Google responded in a Googley way of course:

We’re always working to improve Google Podcasts, and we’ll take these suggestions into account as we design our upcoming roadmap.

DarkCyber noted a dedicated podcast Web page called Google Podcasts. It looked like this on Thursday, February 13, 2020:


Among our test queries was a search for “cyber law.” The results included a pointer to the Steptoe & Johnson cyber law podcast. After a listing of some random Steptoe & Johnson programs, these suggestions were presented:


Okay, a work in progress as long as the Googlers who worked on this project remain interested or fail to get transferred to a “hot” project within the online ad company. Google’s high school science club management approach does produce some high school science fair type projects. (Observation: There may be more winners at a Santa Clara high school science fair than among the Google “projects.”

Let’s shift gears.

Good, bad, or indifferent, consider this question:

What will a podcaster or a firm funding a podcast play pay to appear on the Google Podcast search splash page?


How much will a podcaster in search of visibility and clicks pay to be in one of the limited “results” displays?


How many ads can Google display when a person uses Google Podcasts search to look for a category like “travel” or “flight”?

For now, Google Podcast search results appear to be without overt advertising. In the future, this may be another monetization play created by segmenting Google’s index.

That’s okay as long as the results are useful. For now, DarkCyber will stick to its old fashioned methods.

Stephen E Arnold, February 14, 2020


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