Google's Podcasts app, with over 500 million downloads, will cease operations for U.S. users on April 2, prompting concerns about data migration. (Google)News 

Despite having 500 million downloads, Google is discontinuing this popular podcast app in the US.

Google’s Podcasts app, which has been downloaded over 500 million times worldwide, will no longer be available to users in the United States starting April 2. Despite its popularity, only a small percentage of U.S. podcast listeners, approximately 4%, use the app. The impending shutdown has raised worries among users who will need to transfer their podcast subscriptions to other platforms. However, this transition may be challenging and could put users at risk of scams and credential theft.

End of the road for US users

Perhaps surprisingly, given its widespread popularity, Google’s Podcasts app is coming to an end for US users. While users around the world can still use the app, users in the US will lose access to the service starting April 2nd. In-app notifications have been reminding US users to listen and transfer their order information before the deadline.

The closure of the service was announced by the YouTube team, who announced that the company is investing more in podcasts on the YouTube Music platform. The goal of this transition is to enhance the podcasting experience with unique features tailored for fans and creators.

How to switch to YouTube Music: Google instructions

To transfer subscription information from Google Podcasts to YouTube Music, Google has provided a how-to guide to facilitate the process. Users can follow simple instructions, including selecting export subscriptions in the Google Podcasts app and transferring data to YouTube Music. However, Google warns that not all podcasts are available on YouTube Music, although users can save them using RSS feed links.

For those who want to transfer data to platforms other than YouTube Music, the process is more complicated and requires downloading the Outline Processor Markup Language file or using Google Takeout. Detailed instructions are available to help users through this process.

Shutting down Google Podcasts creates cybersecurity risks for users and increases the potential for scams and phishing attempts. Cybercriminals can take advantage of the confusion surrounding the shutdown to distribute fake apps or lure users to malicious sites with phishing messages. It is important for users to remain vigilant and trust the official channels provided by Google during the transfer process.

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