Amazon picks up the rights to star-studded podcast 'SmartLess'

Jason Bateman, Will Arnett and Sean Hayes host the show, which is less than a year old.

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Actor Will Arnett speaks next to actor Jason Bateman before unveiling Bateman's star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in Los Angeles, California, U.S., July 26, 2017. REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni
Mario Anzuoni / reuters

Amazon and Wondery will air the SmartLess podcast one week before episodes hit other audio platforms, starting on August 1st. Amazon is paying as much as $80 million for the three-year deal, Bloomberg reports.

Actors Jason Bateman, Will Arnett and Sean Hayes created and host SmartLess, in which they chat with another famous person. The gimmick is that one of the hosts invites on a guest whose identity remains a mystery to the others until the conversation starts. Guests so far include Vice President Kamala Harris, George Clooney, Jennifer Aniston, Stacey Abrams, Stephen Colbert, Billie Eilish and Paul McCartney.

SmartLess will initially be available on Amazon Music and Wondery+, and it'll be ad-free on the latter. Wondery will handle ad sales and marketing for the show. The deal also gives Amazon and Wondery the right to partner with future podcasts from the SmartLess team. 

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This is yet another major deal for a single podcast. Earlier this month, Spotify scooped up the rights to Call Her Daddy, reportedly for around $20 million a year. Spotify has shelled out hundreds of millions of dollars on other podcast deals, including ones with Joe Rogan, the Obamas and the Duke and Dutchess of Sussex. Amazon also has exclusive podcasts, such as shows with Will Smith and DJ Khaled. It bought the Wondery podcast network last year.

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