Google Podcasts

Google Assistant Will Help You Find Podcasts

Google plans to add podcast episodes to search results on its platform, including Google Assistant, according to a blog post on Thursday. The search giant is rolling out the new functions to desktop searches immediately, with the feature for Google Assistant to follow.

Google Search for Podcasts

People searching on Google for podcast topics or specific people on podcasts will now get a list of suggested episodes to play right from the search page. The search will bring Google’s titanic algorithms to bear on podcasts to find the most relevant option. The blog post didn’t explicitly say that it will hunt through transcripts along with episode titles, but it is heavily implied. Google announced in March this year that it had started transcribing podcasts in an effort to make them more discoverable and the content searchable.

Google didn’t lay out a timeframe for when the new feature will come to Google Assistant, except that it will be later this year. When someone asks the Google Assistant to play a podcast about a topic, the response will be a list of suggested episodes it can play. Google also said it plans to work with podcast publishers to help guide potential listeners to where the podcast might be found, even if they are behind a paywall.

Audio Search Business Shift

Google isn’t alone in this space. Audio content search and analysis startup Audioburst have been expanding its real-time radio and podcast transcription and audio indexing services for years. Last month, it added Android Auto and Samsung Bixby to its list of platforms. The $25 million it has raised since 2015 have helped it build what it refers to as the ‘world’s largest library of audio content’ and it has emphasized the solution’s applicability to voice-first devices, including those with Google Assistant.

Audioburst includes a lot more features than simply finding podcasts. The company offers users the ability to make custom audio playlists, and recently released an audio upload platform designed to be used without code called Audioburst Studio, as well as integration with news aggregator Flipboard. Audiobust also indexes content and parses out snippets called bursts ranging from a few seconds to several minutes that include audio content relevant to a search query.

Google’s new plans suggest that Audioburst and its peers were right to jump into this aspect of the voice tech industry. And, it could even be good news for smaller companies with related products. One thing that inevitably happens when a tech giant rolls out a new feature like this is that a wide array of people become aware of the idea, and plenty may look for an alternative to Google’s version of podcast search.