Why Android M should have a native podcast app

As mentioned before I am an avid podcast listener, but being an Android user that activity is hard. Why? Contrary to Apple’s iPhone platform, Android not only lacks a native podcast app but also a platform to discover, organize and make listening easier.

iPhones come with a native podcast app called Apple Podcasts app that connects to Apple’s podcast directory with plenty of current and archived shows. In the US, where podcast listening is booming, more than half of podcast consumption happens through that app. The combination of a native app and its directory makes mobile consumption of this form of an-demand audio by new users really easy.

Sure, third-party podcast organizers like AudioBoom, Stitcher, Soundcloud, and others exist, but users are forced to search for, test and select an Android app. Not an easy task. New or potential Android podcast consumers then face an even bigger challenge: finding content. Even in Google Play, podcasting is not a category alongside Games, Movies, TV, Music, Books, and Newsstand. Podcasting as a category is something that Apple started to provide in iTunes nearly a decade ago.

Edison Research has found that an estimated 33% of U.S. adults and teens listen to podcasts, and that their consumption averages six shows per week.

Google aims to be the dominant force in discovery and mobile, but seems to be neglecting this kind of on-demand entertainment. So, shouldn’t a native podcast app and discovery service then be part of Android M?

Image credit: Flickr/francois schnell