Technology

Amazon wants to go beyond podcasts to tackle Spotify

Amazon is considering integrating Alexa, its voice assistant, in the discovery of personalized content for users

Amazon Music app in a smartphone
Through Amazon Music and Audible, media says that the company's investing to have podcasts. Photo: Shutterstock
  • Audible is offering anywhere from a few hundred thousand dollars to a few million dollars per show for its ‘Audible Originals’;
  • Amazon is using its venture arm tied to voice innovation, the Alexa Fund.

The e-commerce giant Amazon is expanding its areas and now intents to look for podcasts (and beyond that) to tackle Spotify through Amazon Music and Audible, the platform focused on e-books. According to Bloomberg, in recent months Audible in the U.S has been meeting with talent agencies and producers to discuss acquiring potential new podcast projects.

The media outlet reports that Audible is offering anywhere from a few hundred thousand dollars to a few million dollars per show for its ‘Audible Originals’, according to people familiar with the matter, more than every competitor except Spotify Technology SA.

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So far, Audible has already purchased shows from documentary producer John Battsek, as well as from comedians Kevin Hart and Tiffany Haddish. Also, Amazon is considering integrating Alexa, its voice assistant, in the discovery of personalized content for users.

According to exclusive information from Axios, the company is looking to invest in localized podcast content, like news and sports. Sources told Axios that the company is using its venture arm tied to voice innovation, the Alexa Fund, to invest in local podcast companies.

According to Bloomberg, Audible has been funding original series for years now, but after starting with programs from well-known authors, the company is now prioritizing celebrity hosts and shows that can help broaden its audience beyond the avid audiobook listener. A source familiar to Amazon’s plans told Axios that the company has evaluated investing in localized sports podcast companies like Blue Wire.

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Bloomberg also reports that Audible is considering changes to its business model. Under the current system, each month subscribers pay $14.95 and receive credits for one book and two original shows. Now the company is debating selling original shows individually so that customers don’t need to be subscribers to listen, said people familiar to the matter to the media outlet.

Bloomberg found that Audible has also explored the possibility of rolling out a lower-priced plan that would offer access to originals but not books. None of these plans have been set, and the company declined to comment for this story. Amazon also didn’t comment Axios reports that the giant tech wants to explore short-form audio content that can be surfaced when users ask Alexa for information about topics like news and sports.