Amazon is planning to expand its original podcast portfolio with the acquisition of production firm Wondery. The e-commerce giant has announced that Wondery's popular podcast series such as Dirty John, Dr Death, and The Shrink Next Door, would be incorporated into Amazon Music, which is ramping up its efforts to compete with rivals like Spotify and Apple Podcasts. The Amazon Music platform has roughly over 70,000 podcast series, which is far behind what Spotify offers. Notably, the company offers podcasts on its audiobook platform Audible.
At the moment, the terms of the deal remain disclosed, but reports this month said Wondery was seeking $300 million. Last month, Bloomberg News reported that both Apple and Sony Music Entertainment had held talks about acquiring Wondery in the past, as well. Wondery, that has roughly 20 million monthly unique listeners would bring more audience to Amazon's Music app that launched podcasts in September 2020.
"Together with Wondery, 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. This is a pivotal moment to expand the Amazon Music offering beyond music as listener habits evolve. Our commitment to podcasts, our focus on high quality audio with the Amazon Music HD tier, and our recent partnership with Twitch to bring live streaming into the app, make Amazon Music a premiere destination for creators," the company said.
According to Industry tracker Podtrac, Wondery was the fourth-most listened to podcast publisher in the US in November 2020, with slightly more than nine million people tuning in to audio programmes it hosts. The e-commerce giant would hope to rival Spotify which recently onboarded the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle for multi-episodes on its platform.