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Amazon Music adds podcasts, will roll out exclusive shows

As previously rumored, starting on Wednesday, September 16, Amazon Music is adding the ability to listen to podcasts in the U.S., U.K., Germany, and Japan across all tiers of its service.

It is also creating new, original, and exclusive content with celebrities and artists such as DJ Khaled, Becky G, Jada Pinkett Smith, and Will Smith.

At the same time, in a move that echoes Spotify’s acquisition of the Joe Rogan Experience, Amazon Music has said it will become the exclusive home of Disgraceland, a popular music industry-based true-crime podcast, starting in February 2021.

All of the content will be available via Amazon Music apps for iOS and Android as well as on all Amazon Echo smart speakers.

Amazon Echo users have been able to listen to podcasts before today’s announcement, however, it required the use of a third-party skill like the Apple Podcasts app.

As expected, Amazon Music won’t simply give its listeners the ability to subscribe to any podcast directly. Instead, in order for a podcast to be available on the Amazon Music platform, it must be submitted to Amazon Music via this page.

Amazon Music says it won’t interfere with a podcast’s existing advertising or embed its own ads, but it does require that the ads adhere to Amazon’s content policies, which can be quite restrictive. Content that is banned within ads includes coupon sites, fertility clinics and research, free non-Kindle eBooks, and online pharmacies, to name a select few.

Because the submission process includes a partnership agreement with various Amazon entities, it gives Amazon a tremendous amount of control over whether or not a podcast remains available to its audience of more than 55 million listeners.

Shows such as Crime Junkie, What A Day, Radiolab, Revisionist History, Planet Money, Ear Hustle, Why Won’t You Date Me? with Nicole Byer, and Stuff You Should Know are available now on Amazon Music.

DJ Khaled’s exclusive Amazon Music show, The First One, will arrive on the platform “soon” and will feature interviews with Khaled’s favorite artists about the hits that made them iconic and eventually legendary, according to Amazon’s press release.

“I’m recording my podcast with the greatest musicians of all time, and with some of my best friends who also happen to be the most iconic artists on the planet,” said DJ Khaled. “We’ll talk about fame, fortune, life, and success. These stories are here to motivate you because everybody starts from somewhere, from the ordinary to extraordinary.”

Becky G’s exclusive weekly show, called En la Sala, will focus on the Latinx community, with interviews that cover themes such as Latinx pride, women empowerment, LGBTQ+ rights, relationships, politics, and sports.

Dan Patrick and IMDb are also creating a new Amazon Music-only show featuring exclusive interviews with top Hollywood stars. Called “That Scene with Dan Patrick,” the podcast will dissect memorable scenes from some of the biggest films and television series.

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.

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Simon Cohen
Contributing Editor, A/V
Simon Cohen covers a variety of consumer technologies, but has a special interest in audio and video products, like…
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