If you search “BBC” in the Google Podcasts app today, you’ll be disappointed. Most BBC podcasts have been removed from the app and apparently aren’t searchable through Google Assistant either.
Listeners, like myself, are bummed.
The BBC was unhappy that Google had started directing searches for BBC podcasts to Google’s own podcast app, rather than any other podcast service, Kieran Clifton, director of the BBC’s distribution and business development, said Tuesday in a blog post.
Google’s decision “reduces people’s choice — an approach that the BBC is not comfortable with and has consistently expressed strong concerns about,” Clifton said. “As a public service, we want our content and services to be available to as many people as possible and we make these available for free on a range of third-party apps.”
When CNET searched “BBC” in the Google Podcasts app, the BBC Minute news podcast and just a couple of other BBC podcasts appeared. The same search in the Apple Podcasts app listed 38 BBC podcasts.
“We don’t like removing our content from services and certainly don’t do it lightly — but unfortunately until Google changes the way they look at this, for the good of listeners, our podcasts will not be available on some of their services,” Clifton said. “We are in discussions with Google to try and resolve the situation and will continue to work with them to try and come to a solution that’s in the best interests of all listeners.”
Google said it’s working with the BBC to reach an agreement and make its content available.
Originally published March 26, 8:46 a.m. PT.
Update, 12:23 p.m.: Adds response from Google.