Amazon Podcasts & Why They Matter
Whilst we live in a podcast world dominated by Apple, and with significant investment being put in by the likes of Spotify, why should we care about Amazon's recently announced foray into podcasting?
If there is one thing that lockdown demonstrated, it was that smart speakers came to the forefront of our digital listening. Those half-thought-out Christmas presents were suddenly being used by homeworkers, homeschoolers and quarantiners alike; with radio services announcing an almost immediate uptick in smart speaker listening - and the benefits of audiobooks, podcasts and streaming audio becoming hard to ignore.
Podcasts in Amazon Music are truly cross-platform. Amazon Music is the ideal app for mobile Android devices, Amazon's web presence is incredibly strong and far-reaching AND with Amazon Music the default for Echo devices, is doubtless a good choice for podcast streaming on different devices. Add to that the part that Amazon plays in audiobooks with Audible, and you get to see why their particular smart speaker is potentially the 'silver bullet' for speech-on-demand listeners.
And whilst the service so far has only been made available in a handful of countries, Amazon Music subscribers worldwide are in the millions. There's a lot of space to grow.
Plus, it's clearly an area that Amazon are looking to invest heavily in. They, like Spotify, have brought out the chequebook to create exclusive podcast content - but what sets them apart from the likes of Spotify are their interests in complementary technology (the Echo, the Firestick, the Kindle), and the wider multimedia offerings of Amazon Prime.
There's opportunity to be had for the podcaster here. Potentially, in time, it could be non-advertising revenue as content providers start benefitting from subscription models. But right now, it's another great opportunity to grab ears that weren't available this time last year - and those ears are increasingly using smart speakers.