Spotify (SPOT) Stock Heads Lower as Amazon Music Releases Podcasts

Carla Harmon
September 18, 2020

The tech giant announced the initial roll out of its podcasts business on Wednesday to users of Amazon Music in the US, UK, Germany and Japan.

Amazon Music is now providing thousands and thousands of episodes of free podcasts and has set a slate of authentic programming coming to the platform - representing a significant new rival to Spotify and Apple Podcasts. Also, DOUBLE ELVIS PRODUCTIONS' "DISGRACELAND" is moving from iHEARTPODCAST NETWORK to AMAZON MUSIC in an exclusive deal for the show's next season, starting in FEBRUARY.

Amazon Music didn't specify how large its total podcast catalog was at launch, but an Amazon spokesperson told us it's 70,000.


All of the content will be available via Amazon Music apps for iOS and Android as well as on all Amazon Echo smart speakers. The Wall Street Journal reports that Amazon will be selling ads for its shows, although it's unclear if that means DJ Khaled and other hosts will be reading ads and if paid subscribers will hear these ads, similarly to Spotify. Amazon Music has made a decision to jump on the Podcasts bandwagon too.

There are other exclusives coming too, including a new podcast from DJ Khaled, called "The First One".

Amazon's podcasts launch was nearly derailed by controversy when the company was revealed to have a non-disparagement clause included in contracts.


On the originals entrance, Amazon Music has teamed with DJ Khaled for "The First One", developed by Amazon Music and LeBron James' Springhill Firm, during which he'll interview his all-time favourite artists. "In quarantine, with so much time to consider the world around us, it felt like the flawless opportunity to open a new line of communication and pay it forward, and I'm so thankful that AMAZON MUSIC and GEMA approached me with the opportunity to create this podcast".

Jada Pinkett Smith and Will Smith's Westbrook Audio is creating a co-production with Audible, though no details about the project have been released. That mentioned, Amazon Music is reportedly growing at a faster clip than Spotify, so it'll be fascinating to see if Amazon's podcasting play will help it shut the hole. Show pages will feature trailers, if available, and podcasts can be streamed across Alexa devices, including Echo Auto.

"Amazon claims that the app will have "millions" of episodes from cult classic titles to offer to their listeners, with the likes of "What a day", "Radiolab", Revisionist History", "Planet Money", "Why won't you date me? hosted by Nicole Byers", "Crime Junkie" being few of the names that are already available for their users to tune in to. Amazon Prime customers also get access to more than 2 million songs ad-free as part of their $119-per-year membership.


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