Amazon will incorporate free podcasts into its Amazon Music and Audible products, according to a confidential email distributed to some show producers on Monday.
The email, a copy of which was obtained by The Desk, said Amazon would soon allow users of Amazon Music and Audible to subscribe, download and stream free podcasts using each service. Podcasts will be available to customers of Amazon Music’s free tier as well as its premium service.
Amazon reached out to top podcast producers with an offer to submit their show’s feed before the feature becomes available to its 55 million users across Amazon Music and Audible. After submitting a feed for consideration, Amazon required podcast producers to agree to certain terms, including one that said shows could not include comments that disparage Amazon or its products (Update: Amazon quietly dropped the anti-disparagement clause on Tuesday).
By incorporating podcasts into Amazon Music and Audible, the company might finally offer users of its smart speakers and other platforms a native way to stream on-demand shows. Currently, Amazon’s line of Echo speakers and Fire TV devices stream podcasts through a handful of third-party “skills” and apps.
Amazon did not say when podcasts will roll out to Amazon Music and Audible users. The full email sent to podcast producers is available below:
Amazon’s move continues a trend of on-demand audio companies incorporating free podcasts into their streaming services as a way to lure and retain subscribers. Spotify, TuneIn, iHeart Radio, Entercom’s Radio.com and SiriusXM’s Pandora are among the companies to incorporate podcasts into their products over the last few years.