Skip to main content

Amazon buys Wondery, setting itself up to compete against Spotify for podcast domination

Amazon buys Wondery, setting itself up to compete against Spotify for podcast domination

/

Wondery is now part of Amazon Music

Share this story

Amazon

Wondery, one of the last major independent podcast networks, might soon be owned by Amazon. The companies announced an acquisition deal today, ending speculation about who might eventually buy the network, which is most well-known for true crime podcasts like Dirty John. (Apple and Sony were also reported to have at least discussed a possible purchase.)

Amazon didn’t disclose the acquisition price, although earlier reports from Bloomberg and The Wall Street Journal suggested Wondery’s value was at least $300 million. Wondery would technically be part of Amazon Music, which launched podcast support in September this year. Wondery CEO Hernan Lopez will step down and leave the company when the deal closes, and COO Jen Sargent will take over, according to Wall Street Journal reporter Ben Mullin.

The acquisition is a notable one, if only because it sets Amazon up to better compete against Spotify, which has been acquiring networks and exclusive talent for over a year. Amazon says this Wondery deal doesn’t change existing shows — they’ll still be available through “a variety of providers.” But Amazon says it hopes buying Wondery will “accelerate the growth and evolution of podcasts by bringing creators, hosts, and immersive experiences to even more listeners across the globe.”

Of course, Amazon Music would likely promote Wondery shows over other programs and possibly put even more marketing spend behind them, especially globally. Interestingly, Audible isn’t mentioned in the news release, even though the Amazon-owned company creates its own exclusive podcasts, as well as publicly available ones, and recently launched a cheaper price tier specifically for people who might want to hear Audible exclusives.

Correction 12/30, 1:29 PM ET: This story previously stated that Wondery is now owned by Amazon, but the deal has not yet closed.

Update 12/30, 3:13 PM ET: Updated to reflect that Hernan Lopez will leave Wondery when the deal closes.

Today’s Storystream

Feed refreshed Sep 24 Striking out

E
External Link
Emma RothSep 24
California Governor Gavin Newsom vetoes the state’s “BitLicense” law.

The bill, called the Digital Financial Assets Law, would establish a regulatory framework for companies that transact with cryptocurrency in the state, similar to New York’s BitLicense system. In a statement, Newsom says it’s “premature to lock a licensing structure” and that implementing such a program is a “costly undertaking:”

A more flexible approach is needed to ensure regulatory oversight can keep up with rapidly evolving technology and use cases, and is tailored with the proper tools to address trends and mitigate consumer harm.


A
Youtube
Andrew WebsterSep 24
Look at this Thing.

At its Tudum event today, Netflix showed off a new clip from the Tim Burton series Wednesday, which focused on a very important character: the sentient hand known as Thing. The full series starts streaming on November 23rd.


A
The Verge
Andrew WebsterSep 24
Get ready for some Netflix news.

At 1PM ET today Netflix is streaming its second annual Tudum event, where you can expect to hear news about and see trailers from its biggest franchises, including The Witcher and Bridgerton. I’ll be covering the event live alongside my colleague Charles Pulliam-Moore, and you can also watch along at the link below. There will be lots of expected names during the stream, but I have my fingers crossed for a new season of Hemlock Grove.


A
Andrew WebsterSep 24
Looking for something to do this weekend?

Why not hang out on the couch playing video games and watching TV. It’s a good time for it, with intriguing recent releases like Return to Monkey Island, Session: Skate Sim, and the Star Wars spinoff Andor. Or you could check out some of the new anime on Netflix, including Thermae Romae Novae (pictured below), which is my personal favorite time-traveling story about bathing.


A screenshot from the Netflix anime Thermae Romae Novae.
Thermae Romae Novae.
Image: Netflix
J
Twitter
Jay PetersSep 23
Twitch’s creators SVP is leaving the company.

Constance Knight, Twitch’s senior vice president of global creators, is leaving for a new opportunity, according to Bloomberg’s Cecilia D’Anastasio. Knight shared her departure with staff on the same day Twitch announced impending cuts to how much its biggest streamers will earn from subscriptions.


T
Twitter
Tom WarrenSep 23
Has the Windows 11 2022 Update made your gaming PC stutter?

Nvidia GPU owners have been complaining of stuttering and poor frame rates with the latest Windows 11 update, but thankfully there’s a fix. Nvidia has identified an issue with its GeForce Experience overlay and the Windows 11 2022 Update (22H2). A fix is available in beta from Nvidia’s website.


A
External Link
If you’re using crash detection on the iPhone 14, invest in a really good phone mount.

Motorcycle owner Douglas Sonders has a cautionary tale in Jalopnik today about the iPhone 14’s new crash detection feature. He was riding his LiveWire One motorcycle down the West Side Highway at about 60 mph when he hit a bump, causing his iPhone 14 Pro Max to fly off its handlebar mount. Soon after, his girlfriend and parents received text messages that he had been in a horrible accident, causing several hours of panic. The phone even called the police, all because it fell off the handlebars. All thanks to crash detection.

Riding a motorcycle is very dangerous, and the last thing anyone needs is to think their loved one was in a horrible crash when they weren’t. This is obviously an edge case, but it makes me wonder what other sort of false positives we see as more phones adopt this technology.


A
External Link
Ford is running out of its own Blue Oval badges.

Running out of semiconductors is one thing, but running out of your own iconic nameplates is just downright brutal. The Wall Street Journal reports badge and nameplate shortages are impacting the automaker's popular F-series pickup lineup, delaying deliveries and causing general chaos.

Some executives are even proposing a 3D printing workaround, but they didn’t feel like the substitutes would clear the bar. All in all, it's been a dreadful summer of supply chain setbacks for Ford, leading the company to reorganize its org chart to bring some sort of relief.