August 3, 2021

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Amazon Purchases Podcast Network Wondery

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Photo: PHILIPPE HUGUEN / Staff (Getty Images)

One of the last large independent podcast networks in the U.S. will soon become a subsidiary of Amazon.

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On Wednesday, the e-commerce giant announced that it had a acquired Wondery, the podcast publisher best known for successful serialized shows like “Dirty John,” “Dr. Death,” “Business Wars,” and “The Shrink Next Door.”

“Amazon Music launched podcasts in September 2020, and 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,” the company said in the statement. “This is a pivotal moment to expand the Amazon Music offering beyond music as listener habits evolve.”

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Although Amazon did not initially disclose the terms of the long-awaited deal, a report in the Wall Street Journal speculated that Amazon could have netted Wondery for around $300 million — a figure that would far exceed the price Spotify paid when it scooped up Gimlet Media back in 2019.

Another source who spoke to the Journal suggested that Wondery was on track to net an annual revenue of over $40m in 2020, with about 75% of that profit coming from advertising.

The Spotify deal does seem to be the brass ring Amazon is reaching for, especially considering that the former company’s foray into podcasts has been so successful that it’s reportedly already considering launching a subscribers-only tier.

While Amazon did not outline a closing date for the deal, it did note in a blog post that the experience of listening to Wondery’s content would not change for users in the short-term, and that it would use its resources to “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.”

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