Google Home: this podcast consumer’s delight

Australian Christmas shoppers snapped up the latest home entertainment product this summer – a smart speaker.

For consumers of podcasts, it’s a convenient way to listen to their favourite ones without having to stop and fumble through an app.

One in six Americans owns a smart speaker, up 128% from the year before. If the US is any guide – which it often is –  and, as Amazon and Apple offer their latest smart speakers to an Australian market, more Aussies will be flocking to take advantage of smart speakers in the months and years ahead.

According to, the reason 35% of those who bought a smart speaker was to listen to podcasts.

Of those who bought a smart speaker, 71% are listening to more audio. And 23% of those who listen to more audio are listening to podcasts more often.

So, I too took the plunge last Christmas and bought myself a Google Home Mini at JB Hi-Fi for a discounted $49.

With delight I opened the package and synced my iPhone’s Google Home app with the speaker.

Now I was ready to command Google Home to play its first podcast: BE Podcasting.

Google responds to the typical American greeting of “Hey, Google” or “Okay, Google”.

So, here goes:

ME: “Hey, Google. Open BE Podcasting.”

GOOGLE: “Sorry, I don’t understand.”

Apparently, I discovered, you have to say “podcast” at the end of the name of the podcast.

ME: “Hey, Google. Open BE Podcasting podcast”

GOOGLE: “Okay, playing Audacity to Podcast…”

Well, that’s not right, either. I realised the official name of our podcast is BE Podcasting – Engage Your Audience. Aha!

ME: “Hey, Google. Open BE Podcasting Engage Your Audience podcast

GOOGLE: “Okay, playing BE Podcasting Engage Your Audience…


Google Home doesn’t (yet) have the ability to play a specific episode. If you want to listen to a previous episode, you have to keep saying “Google play previous episode” until you get to the episode you want.

Or, you can set up your Google Home with Bluetooth and connect your smartphone with it. Which of course means physically picking up your iPhone and going into your podcast app and play from there. (Although, that kind of defeats the purpose of having a smart speaker!)

Google Home uses music, radio and podcasts from Google Play, Spotify, and TuneIn.

Ensure, like we have with BE Podcasting, that your podcast is on Spotify. Spotify’s influence in audio consumption has increased dramatically in recent years. The Swedish company boasts 140+ million users and 70+ million paid subscribers.

And, if you’re like me – a recent smart speaker convert – you will be accessing more and more of your podcasts through smart speakers. You gotta be where your audience is, and for a lot of people that is on Google Home and its use of Spotify.