Taking a similar path that Spotify did when it shifted into the podcasting market, Amazon announced it has acquired podcast hosting and ad sales company Art19.

According to Amazon, the deal will expand its offerings to creators and “better serve” their needs. Art19 deals with podcast hosting and monetization — meaning Amazon now has the means to host podcasts and start an ad program. The acquisition is a serious step forward for Amazon in the podcasting space. Amazon first stepped into the space last September when the platform started featuring podcasts on Amazon Music. Now, Amazon has the capabilities to host and monetize its own (and third party’s) podcasts.

Art19 positions Amazon as a leader in the podcast space

Entrepreneur Sean Carr and podcast producer Matt Belknap founded Art19 back in 2015. Since its launch, the platform has been at the forefront of the industry, handling hundreds of millions of downloads monthly. It’s a tool for podcast hosting, distribution and monetization that provides listening metrics and ad serving tech for publishers and advertisers.

According to Amazon, it will work with Art19 to bring more tools to its podcast creators. Amazon mentioned tools that’ll enable creators to manage, distribute, analyze and monetize their work on the platform. This acquisition gives Amazon a better shot at carving out a large portion of the podcasting market and challenging other platforms such as Spotify. 

Following close behind Spotify and Apple Podcasts

The Verge compared Amazon’s trajectory to Spotify, which recently ramped up its efforts in the podcasting space also. Spotify’s early steps into the podcast market solely based around content acquisitions. But, the platform later acquired Megaphone (a company similar to Art19). We’ll likely see Amazon take a similar approach and start bringing in more advertising tools for podcasters — positioning it as a formidable foe against Spotify and Apple Podcasts.

According to Amazon, nothing will change on the Art19 platform — at least for now. So we’ll have to wait and see what Amazon and Art19 end up bringing to podcasters.