Amazon’s podcast play, explained
The Hustle

Amazon’s podcast play, explained

Amazon’s acquisition of Wondery will help it build a moat around Audible and Amazon Music.

A picture taken on February 8, 2019 in Paris shows a smartphone and its earphones as an audio podcast is being played. (Photo by Thomas SAMSON / AFP) (Photo credit should read THOMAS SAMSON/AFP via Getty Images)

Last summer, Spotify had a very noteworthy job posting on its website: “Head of Audio Books.”

It was a logical step for the streaming giant, which has aggressively expanded from music to podcasts.

Amazon — which owns the current audiobook leader, Audible — must have taken notice, and its $300m deal for podcast studio Wondery (“Dr. Death,” “Dirty John”) is likely in response to the rising Spotify threat.

Amazon is building a moat for Audible and Amazon Music

According to leading podcast analyst Nick Quah, Amazon made 2 notable additions in the fall designed to keep users on its platform:

While Wondery content will initially appear on Amazon Music, the deal can clearly help Audible down the line, too.

Podcast listeners are projected to hit 2B by 2025…

… up from 800m in 2019, per data firm Omdia.

Amazon’s move is the latest in a space that has seen a frenzy of activity:

The land grab is so crazy that The Hustle is mulling a new job posting: Head of WTF is Going On in Podcasts.

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