Amazon Music’s podcast offering goes live with 70,000 titles

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Following in the footsteps of fellow major DSPs, Amazon Music has launched its podcast offering, with an update bringing over 70,000 shows to its new library.

Amazon’s move into podcast hosting was first touted in August when content creators received an email inviting them to add their RSS feed to the platform.

Podcasts can be accessed via the Amazon Music app once a new update is downloaded, as well as on Amazon’s website and Amazon Echo devices.

The Echo smart speakers will search a user’s Amazon Music library and play a podcast where the listener last left off.

The feature is first being rolled out in US, UK, Germany and Japan.

Among major titles including Serial and Pod Save, Amazon Music also has an exclusive deal to publish DJ Khaled’s The First One, which sees him interview artists and chat about their breakthrough hits.

More original podcasts will be hosted by Will Smith, Dan Patrick, Becky G and more.

iHeartMedia’s Disgraceland will also be available exclusively on Amazon from February 2021.

Amazon Music UK director Paul Firth believes it will allow Amazon to introduce all-new demographics to the podcasting world.

“We know because we see it in our numbers, and we hear this from labels, that we’ve introduced many new people to music streaming, people who perhaps would not have been a music streamer before, who never would have had a subscription streaming service,” he told Music Week.

Amazon’s new podcast offering also includes voice connectivity, curated recommendations and a new interface.

“The app is smart enough to figure out where to orient the customer,” Amazon Music director of podcasts Kintan Brahmbhatt said.

“We know only a third of the population is listening to podcasts right now, so that means the two thirds are going to be new to it. And we will make sure that the app is making it super-easy for them to get there.”

It remains to be seen whether the service will emerge as a serious competitor to Spotify, which has been pushing hard on the podcast front for over a year now.

The move also leaves Apple Music as the last major DSP not to integrate podcasts into its main platform, keeping Apple Podcasts separate for the time being.

According to the Wall Street Journal, Amazon is already selling ads for its shows.

Its unclear at this stage whether Amazon hosts like DJ Khaled will be reading the ads and if paid subscribers will hear the ads, like on Spotify.

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