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Amazon on Tuesday acquired the exclusive rights to release new episodes of Jason Bateman, Will Arnett and Sean Hayes’ SmartLess podcast a week early on Amazon Music and on the subscription tier of Wondery, the podcast studio acquired by Amazon last year.
The early releases will begin on August 1. Amazon will also have the rights to partner on future podcasts created by the SmartLess team, while Wondery will retain the exclusive ad-sales rights, the companies said. Terms of the deal were not disclosed, but Bloomberg reported that the total value of the deal is between $60 million to $80 million.
“Since its launch last year, SmartLess has brought us some of the most entertaining conversations from today’s top celebrities and public figures infused with much-needed laughter, and we’re thrilled to bring this show to Wondery,” Jen Sargent, the CEO of Wondery, said in a statement. “The hosts’ unique approach to authentic storytelling make it the perfect addition to our offering, and Wondery, along with Amazon Music, is honored to bring this show to new audiences.”
The deal comes as Amazon has been amping up its investments into the podcast industry in recent years to compete against rivals like Spotify and Apple. In addition to its Wondery acquisition, Amazon last week acquired the podcast hosting and monetization platform Art19.
The SmartLess deal was brokered by CAA and Wondery’s UnJu Paik, Vishal Panchal and Jenn Cron, as well as by Sam Fischer and Jamey Cohen at Ziffren Brittenham; Tom Hoberman, Adam Kaller and Ryan Pastorek at Hansen, Jacobson, Teller, Hoberman, Newman, Warren, Richman, Rush, Kaller & Gellman; and Robert Offer and Shelby Weiser at Sloane, Offer, Weber and Dern.
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