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NPR’s How I Built This podcast, hosted by Guy Raz, has struck an exclusive three-year licensing and ad deal with Amazon Music and Wondery, marking the first deal of this type Amazon and Wondery have made with an NPR podcast.
New episodes of the show will drop one week early for Amazon Music, Amazon Prime and Wondery+ subscribers before releasing wide on all major podcast platforms. NPR will continue to air radio versions of the show’s episodes after their exclusive run on Amazon and Wondery.
As part of the deal, which was brokered by UTA, Wondery will have the exclusive commercial ad sales rights to How I Built This, as well as the YouTube distribution rights for video simulcasts of the show. NPR will still retain radio distribution and underwriting.
Terms of the deal were not disclosed.
Speaking with The Hollywood Reporter, Raz said the partnership with Amazon and Wondery will allow How I Built This to grow its team of eight to around 13 people and increase the show’s output to two episodes a week. The second episode, which will drop sometime during the week after the weekly Monday episodes, will be called HIBT Lab and feature Raz checking back in with past entrepreneurs interviewed on the show or speaking with lesser experienced guests about their businesses.
“Nothing is going to change for the listener. In fact, it will only get better because How I Built This will now have the resources and the marketing muscle from Amazon Music and Wondery to expand the show,” Raz said.
Raz previously has partnered with Amazon and Wondery for his children’s podcast company Tinkercast, which he co-founded with Meredith Halpern-Ranzer and Mindy Thomas. The company struck a similar exclusive licensing deal with Amazon and Wondery last August.
NPR first launched the podcast in 2016 and brought it to NPR’s radio waves in 2017. The show is currently carried by more than 354 public radio stations and most recently won the best business and finance podcast prize at this year’s iHeartRadio Podcast Awards.
In 2018, the podcast was adapted into a live event, called the How I Built This Summit, to bring together entrepreneurs for panel discussions and other networking opportunities. The 2021 version of the summit, which was held virtually, also included a pitch competition for a grand prize of $50,000.
“I’m just super excited. I love the Wondery folks,” Raz said of the partnership. “It is just such a great fit for How I Built This and we can’t wait to be able to double what we do.”
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