Podcast company

Amazon Music buys podcast company Wondery, fights Spotify

Spotify has started the trend for music streaming platforms to acquire podcast companies over the past two years, spending a total of over $ 800 million to grab Gimlet, Parcast, The Ringer, Anchor FM and Megaphone.

Now another music streaming heavyweight has moved into this territory, with a takeover that hit the headlines.

Amazon Music has today (December 30) announcement that he signed a deal to acquire Los Angeles-based Wondery, which manufactures and produces well-known podcasts, including Dirty John, Dr Death, Business Wars, and The narrowing next door.

The announcement confirms a rumor published in the Wall Street Journal earlier this month, which suggested that Amazon was on the verge of acquire Wondery at a valuation for the over $ 300 million podcast company.

The WSJ called Wondery “the last great independent podcaster to hit the market,” citing a source who suggested the podcast company is on track for more than $ 40 million in annual revenues in 2020.

About 75% of that revenue would come from advertising, said the WSJ, the remainder from other sources, including the licensing of Wondery Properties on TV. (Dirty Jean, for example, launched as a popular scripted drama series on Bravo in the US in 2018, and Netflix globally in 2019.)

Wondery’s other sources of revenue include licensing its content to subscription audio services, including Amazon’s own Audible, as well as money from Wondery’s own premium subscription service which launched this summer.

Wondery was started in 2016 by its CEO (and former Fox executive) Hernan Lopez, and raised $ 15 million in investment capital through two fundraising events in 2018 and 2019.

“This is a pivotal time to expand Amazon Music’s offering beyond music as listeners’ habits evolve. “

Amazon Music Announcement

An important note for the music industry: In April last year, Wondery and Universal Music Group signed an agreement that allowed Wondery to use UMG’s music catalog and develop podcasts based on it. history of UMG artists.

The Amazon acquisition is yet to be completed – it will have to clear the usual regulatory hurdles – but, with Wondery in its ranks, Amazon Music says it “will be able to deliver even more high-quality, innovative content and to continue [our] mission to bring a world of entertainment and knowledge to their audience, wherever they listen ”.

Amazon Music, which launched podcasts on its platform in September, called its acquisition of Wondery “a pivotal moment in expanding Amazon Music’s offering beyond music as listeners’ habits evolve.” .

He added, “Our commitment to podcasts, our focus on high quality audio with Amazon Music HD level, and our recent partnership with Twitch to integrate live streaming into the app, make Amazon Music a first. [sic] destination of creators.

“Together with Wondery, we will continue to attract more customers to streaming as we expand the selection and ensure that we are a destination for our customers to find, discover and listen to the creators and artists they love. . “

Amazon further clarified, “When the deal goes through, nothing will change for listeners, and they will continue to be able to access Wondery podcasts through a variety of providers. “

MBW confirmed that Liontree was an advisor to Wondery when selling to Amazon Music.

Meanwhile, a Spotify user survey in November suggested that Daniel Ek’s company is considering the idea of ​​launching a podcast-only subscription level.

The survey asked SPOT users to respond to the prospect of four potential premium podcast tiers, each with a monthly price ranging from $ 2.99 to $ 7.99.Music trade around the world

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