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Amazon and Spotify square off in podcasting arena

Podcasts represent one of the few high growth areas in media
Amazon and Spotify square off in podcasting arena
  • Giants home in on podcasting market 
  • New field to compete for dominance in audio streaming

Podcasts were once a niche market, crowded by ex-radio hosts and chatty gossip shows. The name itself is a mash-up of Apple’s (US:AAPL) iPod and ‘broadcast’. But now around 104m Americans listen to podcasts at least once a month, an audience that has almost doubled since 2016. It was arguably only a matter of time before a space growing so fast attracted the attention of the likes of Amazon (US:AMZN). 

The tech titan is reportedly in talks to buy Wondery for more than $300m (£223m), one of the largest independent podcast publishers left standing in the market. Its not the only company on the hunt for podcast technology; music streamer Spotify (US:SPOT) has been hoovering up podcasters over the past few years, including start-ups Gimelt Media, Anchor and Parcast. In February last year, chief executive Daniel Ek set aside around half a billion dollars to get acquisitive in the market – and this November the company, which already leads in paid music streaming, bought podcast publisher Megaphone for around $235m. 

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