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Amazon in talks to purchase podcast startup Wondery: WSJ

Amazon in talks to purchase podcast startup Wondery: WSJ
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Amazon is reportedly in negotiations to buy podcast startup Wondery, The Wall Street Journal reported Wednesday, citing people familiar with the matter.

The exclusive talks put the podcast startup’s value at more than $300 million, about three times its worth in a June 2019 funding round. Thanks to a combination of advertising and licensing to TV and subscription services, Wondery is poised to hit revenues of more than $40 million in 2020, according to the newspaper.

After a wave of consolidation, Wondery is the last large independent podcast startup in the current market.

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Spotify bought the narrative podcast producer Gimlet Media in 2019, while The New York Times announced in July that it would buy Serial Productions, which produced the eponymous hit podcast. Spotify also signed a lucrative deal with Joe Rogan, whose show “The Joe Rogan Experience” typically draws several million listeners per episode.

With true crime among the most popular podcast genres, Wondery is the home of many of the biggest hits within the genre, including “Doctor Death” and “Dirty John.” It was the sixth most-listened publisher domestically in September according to the newspaper, citing audio analytics firm Podtrac.

Its more successful competitors are mostly those affiliated with major media outlets, such as NPR, The New York Times and iHeartMedia.

The Journal noted that talks are ongoing and could still collapse. Several venture capital firms, such as Greycroft Partners and Advancit Capital, currently have investments in Wondery.

Amazon declined to comment for this story.