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Amazon Asks Podcasters To Stream On Its Platforms, But Content Shouldn't 'Disparage' The E-commerce Giant

Amazon Asks Podcasters To Stream On Its Platforms, But Content Shouldn't 'Disparage' The E-commerce Giant, Inc (NASDAQ: AMZN) is adding third-party podcasts to its Amazon Music and Audible services, the e-commercy company reportedly said in a mass email to content creators and journalists. 

What Happened

The purportedly "confidential" email, sent Monday, revealed that subscribers of Amazon’s music and e-book services would be able to access free podcasts, as reported earlier by journalist Matthew Keys and GeekWire.

The e-commerce giant’s foray into podcasts will pitch it against rivals Apple Inc (NASDAQ: AAPL), Alphabet Inc’s (NASDAQ: GOOGL) (NASDAQ: GOOG) unit Google, and Spotify Technology SA (NYSE: SPOT). There is no clarity on when Amazon might launch the podcasts, Keys noted.

The Jeff Bezos-led company reportedly reached out to podcasters asking them to submit their samples and required them to agree to its terms and conditions surrounding content.

One particular condition requiring that the shows could not contain material that disparages Amazon drew criticism from content creators on social media.

“I'm a freaking entertainment podcast and I can't consent to that,” Corey Quinn, the host of “AWS Morning Brief” and  “Screaming in the Cloud” podcasts said in a tweet. 

Why It Matters

Amazon devices, such as Echo speakers and Fire TV, currently rely on third-party apps for podcasts. The company's attempt to natively launch content in this form comes at a time when podcasts are seeing a rise in interest.

Podcasting revenues in the United States have touched $678.7 million and are expected to reach $1 billion by 2021, according to the Wall Street Journal. 

Last month, the New York Times Company (NYSE: NYT) announced it was acquiring the producer of the “Serial” podcast. In March, it had acquired Audm, a service to convert articles to narrated audio. 

Earlier in July, Sirius XM Holdings Inc (NASDAQ: SIRI) was reported to be buying Stitcher Inc, a unit of  E.W. Scripps Co (NASDAQ: SSP), for $300 million to bolster its presence in podcasting segment

Price Action 

Amazon shares closed nearly 0.6% lower at $3,148.16 on Monday and declined another 0.26% in the after-hours session.


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