Amazon is reportedly considering buying Wondery in a deal that could value the podcast startup at $300 million

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Amazon is reportedly considering buying Wondery in a deal that could value the podcast startup at $300 million
Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos in 2019.MARK RALSTON/AFP via Getty Images
  • Amazon is considering buying Wondery, the world's largest independent podcast publisher, the Wall Street Journal reported.
  • Sources say the talks value Wondery at $300 million, which would make for the podcast industry's largest deal if the negotiations go through.
  • Apple and Sony were reported to be among four companies that were holding preliminary talks in November to buy Wondery, which was seeking between $300 million and $400 million.
  • News of Amazon's potential acquisition of Wondery comes as the podcast market continues to heat up, with Spotify acquiring Gimlet Media in 2019 and landing an exclusive deal with Kim Kardashian West in June.

Amazon is considering buying the podcast startup Wondery, the Wall Street Journal reported Wednesday.

Sources told the outlet that the early talks are exclusive and would signal the tech company's deeper foray into the consumer audio market. Wondery is the world's largest independent podcast producer, with more than 100 current podcasts — including its popular "Dirty John" show — and a total of 58 million streams or downloads, according to data analytics firm Podtrac. It's the sixth-largest podcast publisher in the US, with 8 million unique listeners as of October.

Sources told the WSJ that the company's talks with Amazon value it at over $300 million. People familiar with the talks said the preliminary discussions are still being held, and any potential deal could still fall through, according to the report.

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An Amazon spokesperson told Business Insider that the company does not comment on speculation.

Bloomberg reported in early November that Apple and Sony were among four companies holding talks to potentially buy Wondery, which was founded in 2016. The podcast startup was seeking $300 million to $400 million which, if met, would mark the podcast industry's largest deal ever.

News of Amazon's potential acquisition of Wondery comes as the podcast arena continues to burgeon. Spotify acquired Gimlet Media and Anchor for $340 million in 2019 and in May signed a multi-year licensing deal with Joe Rogan, giving the platform exclusive rights to host full episodes of his popular podcast, "The Joe Rogan Experience."

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It also struck a deal with Kim Kardashian West in June for an exclusive podcast that will feature her work with the Innocence Project. Spotify is reportedly considering a podcast-only subscription plan.

Read more: The podcast market is booming. Here are 5 audio firms that could be acquired next and who might buy them.

Amazon reportedly told multiple podcasters in an email in August that the company was considering launching podcasts on its Amazon Music and Audible services. However, the company told the producers that it would only give them a platform if they don't speak badly about Amazon, according to the report. Both Apple and Google offer podcasts as part of their streaming services.

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