Amazon acquires podcast hosting, monetization company Art19

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Amazon has announced that it is acquiring a major podcast hosting and monetization platform Art19, the latest hint that the company is planning an expansion of its podcast footprint.

The company didn't disclose the price of the deal, but it did say the acquisition will allow Amazon to "expand our offerings and even better serve your podcasting needs."

In addition to hosting podcasts, Art19 also operates an ad marketplace that allows for companies to target and place ads within shows. The acquisition could allow Amazon to host podcasts and sell ads against them.

The move hints that Amazon is getting more serious about bringing podcasts to its platforms. It first offered podcasts on Amazon Music in September 2020. Later that year, the company announced that it had acquired Wondery, a startup behind many popular podcasts, such as "The Shrink Next Door" and "Dirty John."

Amazon appears to be on a similar trajectory as competitors like Apple and Spotify. Back in 2019, Spotify acquired podcast production studios Gimlet and podcasting tool platform Anchor. In 2020, Spotify acquired Megaphone, an Art19 competitor.

Apple was once a clear market leader in the podcasting industry, but has since lost ground to Spotify and other rivals. Market forecasts suggest that Spotify's podcast offerings could overtake Apple Podcasts by the end of 2021.

However, the Cupertino tech giant in 2021 launched a premium podcast subscription service allowing listeners to directly support content creators. Spotify eventually followed suit with its own podcast subscription platform.

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