Google Gives Up On Listen, Feels Users Have Better Options

Every now and then, Google takes a second (or third) look at some of their projects to determine whether or not they’re worth the effort. Some projects are given the okay to continue, while others, well… they’re not so lucky. Google’s latest fatality is its much neglected podcast player, Google Listen.

Google listen was launched back in 2009, to give people a way to discover and listen to podcasts. It was, and has been, a bare boned service that simply did what it did. Nothing fancy, nothing feature rich, just an average run of the mill Google product. It served its purpose for quite a few users, but as the Play Store (formerly the Android Market) grew, so did the number of feature rich podcast players.

With the wealth of podcast options now available, Google feels their efforts would be better used on other projects. I can’t say I agree with them, but it is nice to see Google stepping out of the way for once. In my experience, Google is usually stepping in and crushing services (or buying them) in order to create their own integrated versions. I don’t blame Google, as I myself, am more inclined to use a Google product over a third party alternative, so it’s sort of refreshing to see them letting others have a chance at dominating a specific market.

It could also be the fact that video podcasts have become a much better platform thanks to advances in tech, as well as services such as Google+ Hangouts. I personally prefer watching live video podcasts as they add more character and interaction to the experience, and can’t even remember the last time I listened to an audio only podcast. That’s not to say it’s not a popular format anymore, because is certainly is. Just a possible reason Google could have decided to abandon Listen in favor of formats such as Google+ Hangouts.

Whatever the method to their madness may be, the unfortunate truth remains: Google Listen is no more.

Google has stated:

“people who have already installed the app can still use it, but after November 1, podcast search won’t function. You can access your podcast subscriptions in Google Reader in the “Listen Subscriptions” folder and download them from the Import/Export tab.”

May you rest in peace and purge yourself from podcast purgatory.

If you’d like some suggestion for alternatives, here are a few popular podcast apps worth checking out:


doubleTwist Player

BeyondPod Podcast Manager

Stitcher Radio – News and Talk

Pocket Casts