Google is giving podcasts another try: The internet giant added support for audio podcasts to its Google Play Music service Monday. Consumers can now find and listen to podcasts through Google Play Music’s website as well as its Android app.
Google’s integration of podcasts into Play Music makes use of the same kinds of recommendations that are already being used to serve up new music on the service: “Google Play Music already gives you the right kind of audio for the right moment—whether you want to have fun at work, prepare for a dance party, or just need to focus—and now, that includes podcasts,” the company wrote in a blog post Monday.
Google’s newfound love for podcasts comes four years after Google shut down Listen, a dedicated podcast app for Android. Back then, the company argued that others simply made better podcast apps. But in light of the recent podcasting boom — which has been fueled by hit shows like Serial — it looks like Google had a change of heart.
Part of the reason for that could be that Google doesn’t want to miss out on the chance to monetize podcasts through advertising. The company doesn’t currently serve up any pre- or midroll ads for podcasts in Google Play Music, and gives publishers the choice to run their own ads against their content.
But it clearly has bigger plans for advertising around podcasts. A help section for publishers mentions that Google may run postroll ads against podcasts, and suggests that it could possibly offer dynamically targeted advertising for podcasts ads at some point.