Amazon.com has acquired the exclusive rights to the podcast SmartLess hosted by Jason Bateman and Will Arnett. This multi-million-dollar deal will increase the popularity of the content produced at its Wondrey podcast station, which the company acquired last year.
Bloomberg News estimates that the SmartLess three-year deal will cost between $60 million and $80 million. Spotify reportedly paid $60 million to Spotify earlier this month for the rights of comedian Alexandra Cooper’s Call Her Daddy podcast. This fee will be in place for three years. Additionally, Spotify has signed a $100 million deal for comedian Joe Rogan’s Joe Rogan Experience.
Hayes, Arnett, Bateman launched SmartLess in July 2020. About 50 episodes have been produced with Vice President Kamala Harris and Jennifer Aniston, Adam Sandler (with Ricky Gervais), Bryan Cranston, Paul McCartney and Tina Fey. Wondery also produces true crime dramas Dirty John and Dr Death and The Mysterious Mr Epstein.
“HT0_ SmartLess is a show that has provided us with some of the most engaging conversations from today’s top celebrities and public figures. We’re delighted to bring this show back to Wondery,” Jen Sargents, Wondrey CEO, said Deadline.com. Wondery and Amazon Music are proud to present this show because of its unique approach to authentic storytelling.
Deadline.com reports that new episodes of SmartLess will be available on Amazon Music and Wondery+ a week before being released on other podcast platforms. Future podcasts by the SmartLessmakers are also included in the agreement. Bloomberg News reports that the podcast ranks among the top listened-to shows, which is a distinction dominated by older programs for at least five years.
Podcast listening has increased in popularity over the past few years.
Edison Research estimates there are more than 2,000,000 podcasts at the moment, up from 550,000 in 2018. In that time, 48 million episodes were added.
The U.S. Podcast Advertising Revenue Study by IAB shows that podcast advertising revenues rose to $842 million in 2020 from $708 million in 2019, up from $708 million in 2019. According to the forecast, they will reach $1 billion by 2021 and $2 billion by 2023.
Bloomberg states that while the show’s advertising revenue is not enough to cover the costs of some of its stars, distributors like Amazon, Spotify and Apple Inc. view the programs as a way to attract customers to their other products and services.
Amazon did not respond to our request for comment on this story.