Amazon announced its foray into the world of podcasts in September this year, announcing a whole slate of content for its Amazon Music platform by roping in some big names. Less than three months after its debut in a segment dominated by heavyweights like Spotify and Apple, Amazon has today announced that it is acquiring Wondery, a podcast network that was launched in 2016 with backing from 20th Century Fox.
“When the deal closes, nothing will change for listeners, and they’ll continue to be able to access Wondery podcasts through a variety of providers. With Amazon Music, Wondery will be able to provide even more high-quality, innovative content and continue their mission of bringing a world of entertainment and knowledge to their audiences, wherever they listen,” Amazon said in its press release.
Now, Amazon has not revealed financial details of the deal, but as per a Wall Street Journal report that was published earlier this month, the e-commerce giant was in talks to acquire Wondery at a valuation of $300 million. Wondery – touted to be the last independent podcast maker with a healthy revenue stream and sizeable audience under its belt – launched a premium tier of its service earlier this year.
Wondery had a few hits under its belt such as true-crime podcast Dirty John launched in collaboration with the Los Angeles Times, iHeartRadio Podcast Award winner Dr. Death, Webby Award winner Business Wars, and the Lindsay Graham-hosted American History Teller among others. It now remains to be seen how Wondery fits into Amazon’s plans of emerging as the next podcast powerhouse, considering the fact Amazon-owned Audible also dabbles with its own exclusive shows.
With a deep-pocket giant like Amazon now behind the Wondery brand, advertising and reaching a global audience will most likely receive a bigger push. And with podcast wars heating up as Spotify and Apple continue to rope in new talent and properties, it would be interesting to see how Amazon’s arrival disrupts the industry in the foreseeable future.
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