Just as the calendar flipped over from 2020 to 2021, Amazon took another proactive step as the heavyweight company forces its way into the podcasting sphere.
Its purchase of Wondery, which was one of the largest independent podcast networks that had not been swept up by the Silicon Valley giants, sits alongside its purchase of the lucrative podcast.com and podcasting.com domain names and the siloing of podcasts inside the subscription-focused Audible platform.
Although the terms of the deal were not announced, reports from The Wall Street Journal suggest that Wondery was valued in the region of $300 million. As part of the announcements press release, Amazon laid out it’s goal with the proposed purchase:
“…we hope to accelerate the growth and evolution of podcasts by bringing creators, hosts, and immersive experiences to even more listeners across the globe, just as we do with music.“
The obvious challenge here is to Spotify. The Swedish-based streaming company has made its own purchases bringing production companies and advertising technology under its roof. Spotify does deliver podcasts from the open ecosystem in its app, but there’s no direct way to access any of Spotify’s exclusive podcasts outside of its proprietary client.
It would not surprise me to see Amazon leverage the podcast community through Audible and Amazon Music – both of which are subscription services – to bring more users into its own cloud with a soft-lock around someone’s favourite podcast, be they old or new.