Amazon is in talks to acquire Wondery, according to The Wall Street Journal. The podcast network is best known for shows like Blood Ties and Dying for Sex. The asking price is reportedly is in and around the $300 million mark. For context, Spotify bought Gimlet Media for approximately $230 million last year.
While not as well-known as Gimlet, Wondery is no slouch either. This year, the company is reportedly on track to generate more than $40 million in revenue, and it’s among the most popular podcast networks in the US — two of its shows made it in Apple’s year-end podcast lists. In 2019, the company also launched Wondery+, its own subscription service.
At first glance, it might be something of a head-scratcher to find out Amazon wants to get more involved with podcasting. However, it would be a logical expansion for the company. With Amazon Music Unlimited, it competes against Spotify and other music streaming platforms, and a lot of Spotify’s recent success is tied to its decision to invest heavily in podcasts. A podcast service could also function as a value add for the company’s Echo speakers.
There could also be a defensive rationale to Amazon’s interest in Wondery As the WSJ points out, the startup is one of the last large podcast production companies in the US that’s still independent. In other words, Wondery could be the final chance for a large company like Amazon to strengthen its position in the growing podcasting market through an acquisition.