The email, which was reportedly sent to select podcast show producers on August 10, details some of Amazon’s podcast plans, including its intention to add podcasts as a feature to its Amazon Music and Audible services.
Digital Trends has reached out to Amazon Music representatives for comment on this report, but as of publication, we haven’t heard back. We will update this story when Amazon Music responds.
Interestingly, Amazon appears to be taking a cautious approach in its podcast preparations, warning prospective producers that their shows will only be included in Amazon Music’s platform if the content doesn’t disparage or isn’t “directed against” Amazon or its services.
However, Rogan’s show and the more recently announced The Michele Obama Podcast can’t really be considered podcasts in the true sense of the word, as they are both exclusive to Spotify and cannot be subscribed to or streamed from any other platform.
If Amazon has similar plans for its podcast strategy, it hasn’t indicated such a move yet.
Instead, it’s likely that, for now, Amazon plans to use podcasts in two ways. First, Amazon hasn’t historically offered native support for podcasts on its hugely popular line of Echo smart speakers. Podcast listening on the devices has been possible, but only through third-party apps and skills. Making podcast listening as easy as saying, “Alexa, resume This American Life,” would be a big enhancement for podcast fans.
Second, Amazon is aggressively growing its music services to compete with Apple Music and Spotify. Apple is the leading company for podcast listening, and Spotify has been making ongoing investments in the format for several years. Clearly, Amazon needs podcasts so that its Music services have parity with these big players.
The addition of podcasts could definitely supercharge Amazon Music’s growth, which was noted as being the fastest in the industry in July 2019 and had reached a milestone of 55 million users by January 2020. In addition to a free tier of service and a limited catalog of ad-free music for its Prime subscribers, Amazon also offers a premium streaming service called Amazon Music HD.
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