Amazon is acquiring
podcast startup Wondery to beef up its content on Amazon Music, it announced on Wednesday.
Rookie. Amazon Music started hosting podcasts in September, but it’s a newbie compared to Wondery.
The startup, founded in 2016 by a former Fox exec, is packing all-star stats. It’s the fourth largest
podcast publisher in the world, has 20 million
monthly listeners, and is the name behind major podcasts like “Dirty John
” and “Dr. Death
But the deal is a little weird…
First, Wondery’s podcasts will continue to exist on other platforms, meaning Amazon is feeding quality content to its rivals. Seems counterintuitive, but Bezos is a guru at long-term strategy. Amazon can use its marketing expertise to boost Wondery’s stats and earnings across all platforms, helping Amazon’s bottom line.
Secondly, Amazon owns Audible, which hosts audiobooks and podcasts. It’s interesting that Amazon is ignoring the synergies with Audible and is instead pairing Wondery with Amazon Music.
Pod-domination. Amazon’s waltzing into the pod biz later than everyone else. But taking Wondery under its wing puts the tech giant in a good position: it’s now in the running to jostle with Spotify (the current podcast king) for a sizable market share and has skipped over having to set up its own podcast infrastructure.
Zoom out. Audio is hot right now:
- The deal caps off 2 years of frenetic podcast M&A, with startups like Gumlet, Stitcher, Parcast and Megaphone being snatched up for millions.
- Clubhouse, the invite-only app you probably don’t have access to, is pioneering a new audio-centric social media experience.