Amazon with the acquisition of Wondery is set to expand its catalog of original audio content. The podcasting company will join Amazon Music, the e-commerce giant’s music streaming business.
In September, Amazon Music added podcasts to its platform. It wants to carve out a share of the increasingly competitive podcasting market. The WSJ called Wondery “the last large, independent podcaster on the market”, citing a source who suggested the podcast company was on course for annual revenues of over $40 million in 2020. Around 75 per cent of that revenue would come from advertising, with the rest coming from other sources including the licensing of Wondery’s properties to TV. Other sources of income at Wondery include licensing its content to subscription audio services, including Amazon’s own Audible, plus money from Wondery’s own premium subscription service which launched this summer.
Amazon Music said it will be able to provide even more high-quality, innovative content and continue the company’s mission of bringing a world of entertainment and knowledge to the listeners. It described Wondery’s acquisition as 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 premium destination for creators,” Amazon said. “Together with Wondery, we wil continue to bring more customers to streaming as we expand selection and ensure we are a destination for our customers to find, discover, and listen to the creators and artists they enjoy.” The online retail giant said when the deal closes, nothing will change for listeners, and they will continue to be able to access Wondery podcasts through a variety of providers.
The deal, according to CNBC, comes at a time when Spotify, Apple and others continue to jockey for dominance in the podcasting market. Amazon, Apple and Spotify have all sought to add podcasts to their streaming services as the medium has become the most popular way to listen to music and it allows them to differentiate their services with original podcasts.
Founded in 2016, Wondery has produced some of the most popular podcasts in recent years, including true crime series like Dirty John, Dr Death, and Over My Dead Body. The podcast producer claims that it has more than 10 million unique listeners each month.