In the past few days there has been significant attention drawn to a five part series on Google’s new podcast strategy. One of the reasons that these posts have received much attention is because for years there has been an overall sense through the industry that Google has not done a great job of delivering on podcast features. Those features that they have implemented have often been rolled out with little discussion or explanation, such as when they implemented a change to Google search that would start embedding podcasts within search results, or when they started openly displaying indexed podcast RSS feeds. Even over the last 6-12 months there have been many rumors of Google making a priority of podcasts, there has been a lack of data coming forward. However, the recent blog posts are feature rich with information from Google Podcasts Product Manager Zack Reneau-Wedeen.
I am currently writing this blog post in between part two and three of the series, so I admit that there is more information that could come out that could add clarity on what I’m about to discuss, however, even with only two posts in the series released, there seems to be a lot of speculation happening within the podcast industry, some of which does not appear to be correct.
When reading these articles, it’s important to remember that as it currently stands, there still is very limited concrete information provided about where the future of Google’s Podcast division is going. While the five-part series is the best look that we’ve had so far, with a little analysis of these articles, it becomes easy to recognize that relatively speaking, there are limited quotes from Reneau-Wedeen. I’m most definitely not dismissing these articles as there is fantastic information being revealed in these quotes (and they are worth a read); however, I’m cautioning that it is easy to misunderstand information provided in this article as coming from Google directly since the articles cite both new-details as well as commenting on information from the existing Google Podcast related products (for example referencing the existing “official guidelines for podcasts” in part one)”.