Amazon has finally made its podcasts library available to Canadians.
The online retailer started offering podcasts for free inside its Amazon Music app last September in the U.S. Now, five months later, Canadians can get in on the action.
This adds another big player to the podcast market since many people use Alexa-enabled devices to play podcasts. While you can set Spotify or other podcasting platforms as the default service on the company’s smart speakers, many people often use the setups their devices come with. This now means that a lot more Canadians might start using Amazon’s podcasting platform without noticing.
This service is free for users through the Amazon Music app or on Echo devices.
It makes sense for Amazon to bring its podcasting platform to Canada. Still, I wonder if it feels silly to invest in this platform after Spotify has revealed its investments in podcasts haven’t led to many new subscribers.
While podcasts are popular, they don’t seem to motivate people to switch podcasting platforms as much as music does. This is likely because you can find most podcasts for free on many apps. People also probably don’t really care if their podcasts and music are in the same apps.
That said, if you already use Amazon Music and it hosts the podcasts that you enjoy, this announcement is likely going to please you because you can drop your existing podcasting app from your phone.
For some, the podcasting interface is going to feel lacklustre given its barebones layout and tools. For example, there’s only a sleep timer, a speed toggle, a play/pause button and buttons for skipping forward 30-seconds or skipping back 15-seconds.
The one annoyance of this app is that you need to browse around the Amazon Music home screen to find podcasts. This means you need to wade through a ton of music before you can find the podcasts. While this is annoying either way, it’s especially aggravating if you don’t subscribe to Amazon Music and can’t play any of its albums. You can click on podcasts in the search area to get transported to a more defined podcasts area, but I wish Amazon made this section a little more apparent for users.
When it comes down to it, this is a pretty standard podcasting app, and I’m not sure Amazon is willing to make enough of a splash to convince people to move away from their existing apps.