Wednesday 16 September 2020 2:25 pm

Amazon Music launches podcasts as it puts Spotify in its sights

Amazon Music today said it will add podcasts to its streaming service at no additional cost, as the ecommerce giant looks to muscle in on the booming on-demand audio market.

Amazon said it will launch podcasting in the US, UK, Germany and Japan on all tiers of its subscription service.

Read more: Audioboom shares jump as its ramps up podcast production

The offering will include existing podcast favourites, as well as new original shows hosted by top stars.

“Our customers’ listening habits are constantly evolving, and we know they’re looking to us to provide them with a rich experience rooted in music and entertainment,” said Steve Boom, vice president of Amazon Music. 

“With this launch, we’re bringing customers even more forms of entertainment to enjoy, while enabling creators to reach new audiences globally, just as we’ve done with music streaming. 

“Podcasts, paired with our recent partnership with Twitch to bring live streaming into the app, makes Amazon Music a premiere destination for creators.”

Amazon said it has partnered with producer DJ Khaled for a new interview series dubbed The First One.

Singer-songwriter Becky G and actor Will Smith are also among the big names to sign deals with the US tech giant.

The move follows hefty investment by Spotify into podcasting amid surging demand for the audio format.

In May the Swedish streaming giant snapped up Joe Rogan’s podcast in an exclusive deal thought to be worth $100m (£82m).

Read more: Rising demand boosts Spotify to 138m paid users

“We’re thrilled to offer customers a convenient podcast listening experience that fits their lifestyle,” said Kintan Brahmbhatt, director of podcasts for Amazon Music. 

“Our customers will be able to utilise the voice functionality they know and love with music, to now enjoy a superior podcast experience and uncover a brand-new selection of favourites.”