- Spotify shares fell 1.2% on Monday after Amazon announced it's launching podcasts in its music streaming service.
- Amazon Music will allow users in the U.S., U.K., Germany and Japan to listen to podcasts for free, whether they're using a paid or ad-supported version of the service.
- By launching podcasts, Amazon is joining a crowded market, dominated by the likes of Spotify and Apple.
Users in the U.S., U.K., Germany and Japan will be able to stream podcasts for free across all tiers of Amazon Music, the company said. Amazon Music offers users a range of paid and free, ad-supported options to access the service. Amazon Prime customers also get access to more than 2 million songs ad-free as part of their $119-per-year membership.
Amazon is launching podcasts at a time when the industry has become increasingly competitive. Spotify has invested heavily in producing original podcasts and has acquired four companies to expand its library, including The Ringer, Gimlet Media, Anchor and Parcast. Meanwhile, Apple's Podcasts app hosts a range of content for free and is installed on iPhones by default.
Amazon will offer listeners original and curated content. The music streaming service will feature well-known podcasts such as "Radiolab," "Planet Money" and "Crime Junkie," as well as original shows produced exclusively for the service that are hosted by celebrities such as producer DJ Khaled, actor Will Smith, sportscaster Dan Patrick and musician Becky G. Beginning in February, Amazon will become the exclusive home of "Disgraceland," a popular "music-meets-true-crime" podcast.
The multimedia podcast hosted by Becky G will show off a new integration between Amazon Music and Twitch, announced earlier this month. The feature lets musicians link their profiles on the Amazon-owned video site to the streaming service, enabling users to watch live Twitch content in the Music app.
Amazon's voice-activated Echo devices will pull content from the Amazon Music library when users ask their device to play podcasts, Amazon said.