Amazon said in the email that it would soon allow Amazon Music and Audible users to subscribe, download, and stream free podcasts on the services. Podcasts will also be available to customers of Amazon Music’s ad-supported free tier, in addition to its premium paid service. The launch date of podcasts in Amazon Music and Audible was not stated in the email.
The email was reportedly sent to some podcast producers on Monday, with the offer to submit a podcast feed before the feature becomes publicly accessible. This is needed to allow the new podcasts feature to launch with popular shows already available.
During submission of a podcast feed, producers are required to agree to terms and conditions. Strikingly, one term in particular stated that podcasts on the platforms could not include comments that disparage Amazon or its products.
Podcast features would allow users of Echo smart speakers and Fire TV devices to stream podcasts through Amazon’s default apps, rather than via third party apps. Amazon Music had 55 million subscribers as of January, just five million less than Apple Music‘s 60 million.
Earlier this year, it was reported that Apple is working on original podcasts that will be exclusive to its Podcasts app. Podcasts are increasingly becoming an area of competition between major tech companies, with Apple, Spotify, Google, and now Amazon heavily investing in the sector.