As expected, Amazon has agreed to buy one of the few remaining large and independent podcast networks in the US. On Wednesday, the retailer announced that it’s acquiring Wondery, best known for producing shows like Blood Ties and Dying for Sex. Amazon didn’t disclose the terms of the deal. A recent report from The Wall Street Journal suggested the asking price was around $300 million. If that figure is accurate, it means Amazon will pay more to acquire Wondery than Spotify did to pick up Gimlet Media in 2019.
In buying Wondery, it seems clear Amazon hopes to replicate the success Spotify found in focusing on podcasts. The format and the original content that comes with it offers a way for streaming platforms like Amazon Music and Spotify to make money off their subscribers without paying a licensing fee to music labels.
“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. “This is a pivotal moment to expand the Amazon Music offering beyond music as listener habits evolve.”
Amazon didn’t say when it expects the deal to close, but in the near term, it notes the acquisition won’t change anything for Wondery listeners. Even after the deal is complete, you’ll still be able to listen to all of the network’s podcasts through your favorite app. However, with Amazon’s resources at its disposal, the company says Wondery will be able to produce even better content than it already does.