Apple Held Acquisition Talks With Podcast Network Wondery

Apple has held talks with podcast network Wondery about a potential acquisition, reports Bloomberg. Wondery is responsible for popular podcasts that include "Dirty John" and "Dr. Death," among others.

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Wondery is looking for $300 to $400 million and has also held talks with Sony Music Entertainment and other companies, though Spotify is said to be "out of the running." At that price point, Bloomberg says that it would mark one of the largest deals in the podcasting market.

A deal is expected to be established in the coming months, but it's not yet clear if Apple will go through with the purchase as things are still in the discussion stage. Wondery has a monthly audience of more than eight million people, which would be a major score for Apple as it aims to ramp up its podcasting efforts.

A Wondery purchase would provide Apple with a library of original content along with a source for ideas that could eventually be turned into television shows. Wondery is already working on TV shows based on podcasts, including a WeWork series that's going to premiere on Apple TV+.

Rumors this year have suggested Apple is looking to buy exclusive original podcasts to better compete with Spotify's podcast offerings. Apple has specifically been seeking podcasts that could eventually be adapted into future TV+ content, and it plans to create podcasts that will augment its TV shows.

Apple competitor Spotify has been focusing heavily on podcasts and has purchased Gimlet Media, known for podcasts like "Reply All" and "Homecoming." Apple has long been a leader in the podcasting sphere thanks to the Podcasts app, which it has been improving in recent years, but Spotify has been making inroads in podcasting.

Apple has already purchased a couple of podcasting companies. In 2017, it bought Pop Up Archive to improve search, and in early 2020, it bought podcasting service Scout FM, designed to turn podcast shows into radio-style stations.

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Top Rated Comments

xxray Avatar
47 months ago
Is this the one time that competition isn’t good for the consumer? Podcasts were supposed to be free, cross-platform, easily accessible. Now, I’m going to have to keep switching apps depending on which app the podcast is located due to Apple and Spotify competing for ownership.

Sigh, I wish Spotify never started this.
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)
alayal Avatar
47 months ago
I think Apple can do this because of the big pockets but the main focus should be on hardware, software and R&D which is are their core values.
It really bugs me they quit the Airport lineup while they expend billions in media content.
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)
mattriff Avatar
47 months ago
Wondery makes great true-crime podcasts. I actually pay for Wondery+ to support them. I'd much rather see them with Apple than Spotify or SiriusXM (who has also been buying stuff up). I fear the Netflix-ization of podcasting, but models where you can listen for free with ads or as part of a subscription without aren't bad.
Score: 1 Votes (Like | Disagree)
q64ceo Avatar
47 months ago
Please, no. Wondery has excellent podcasts. I don't want to see them having to edit their future content to make it more Apple corporate friendly.
Score: 1 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Apple_Robert Avatar
47 months ago

I used to listen to the Business Wars podcast by Wondery. Each set of 4-5 episodes would focus on the history/dynamic of two competing companies in any given space. Marvel vs. DC, Nike vs. Adidas, Apple vs. Microsoft, McDonald's vs. Burger King, etc.

I really appreciated the more produced and polished format over podcasting's usual 2-5 dudes talking. I LOVE when podcasting does something different than that. More radio dramas and scripted shows and tightly produced radio documentaries please!

I also think that Apple's radio stations (AppleMusic 1, AppleMusic Hits, and AppleMusic Country) could use the addition of AppleTalk where they stream the best talk radio (podcasts) around the clock.
That is a good idea about AppleTalk. I like good talk radio.
Score: 1 Votes (Like | Disagree)
iDento Avatar
47 months ago
So, if audiobooks are movies, this Wondery thing is the TV shows for the ears?
Score: 1 Votes (Like | Disagree)