Amazon Music Punches Into Podcasts With Millions of Free Episodes, Original Shows From DJ Khaled, Becky G, Will Smith and More

Amazon Music Podcasts
Courtesy of Amazon

Amazon Music is now offering millions of episodes of free podcasts and has set a slate of original programming coming to the platform — representing a major new rival to Spotify and Apple Podcasts.

The free podcasts are available on all tiers of Amazon Music for no additional cost and have first launched for customers in the U.S., U.K., Germany and Japan. Original shows being produced exclusively for Amazon Music include podcasts from DJ Khaled, Becky G, Will Smith, Dan Patrick and more.

Amazon Music currently offers about 70,000 podcast shows and plans to continue adding more. Available on a non-exclusive basis on Amazon Music are popular podcasts such as “Serial,” “Dr. Death,” “WTF with Marc Maron,” “Crime Junkie,” “What a Day,” “This American Life,” “Radiolab,” “Revisionist History,” “Planet Money,” “Ear Hustle,” “Why Won’t You Date Me?” with Nicole Byer” and “Stuff You Should Know.”

On the originals front, Amazon Music has teamed with DJ Khaled for “The First One,” developed by Amazon Music and LeBron James’ Springhill Company, in which he will interview his all-time favorite artists. Others include a multimedia podcast hosted and curated by pop artist Becky G, “En la Sala,” featuring audio and corresponding video broadcast on Amazon Music’s Twitch channel, and “That Scene with Dan Patrick” produced with Amazon’s IMDb, in which the sportscaster will interview Hollywood stars. An untitled podcast project from Jada Pinkett Smith and Will Smith’s Westbrook Audio, a co-production with Audible, will be coming soon to Amazon Music and Audible.

In addition, Amazon Music starting in February 2021 will be the exclusive home of music-meets-true-crime podcast “Disgraceland,” which explores the criminal antics and connections of some of the world’s favorite musicians, from the Rolling Stones to Tupac.

“Partnering with Amazon Music allows me to really give my listeners what they’ve always asked for: more ‘Disgraceland’ content,” said host Jake Brennan, co-founder at Double Elvis Productions. “Through this partnership with Amazon Music, we’re enhancing the future of the show for fans, expanding our output of content by moving to an ‘always on’ weekly schedule, which will translate to more episodes for listeners on a more consistent basis.”

Amazon also is encouraging podcasters to distribute their podcasts on Amazon Music (and Audible) to reach the over 55 million customers who listen to Amazon Music. The podcasts will stream directly from a creator’s hosting provider “so all your metrics will be unaffected and if you are running advertising through a dynamic ad insertion system, things will work the same as on other podcasting services,” Amazon says.

“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,” Steve Boom, VP of Amazon Music, said in announcing the podcast launch. “Podcasts, paired with our recent partnership with Twitch to bring live streaming into the app, makes Amazon Music a premiere destination for creators.”

Amazon Music’s podcast programming is led by director of podcasts Kintan Brahmbhatt, an 11-year veteran of the company.

Podcasts are now available on Amazon Music across on Amazon Echo, web, and in the Amazon Music mobile app. More info is at amazon.com/podcasts.