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Amazon Backpedals, Will Allow Podcasters on Its New Service to Criticize Amazon

By Rich Duprey – Updated Aug 13, 2020 at 9:58AM

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The more restrictive terms of service the tech giant originally planned likely would have kept many podcasters from signing up.

Amazon (AMZN 4.50%) is looking to allow podcasters to host their own shows on Amazon Music and Audible, its audio entertainment, information, and programming service. The service will reportedly be available for both free and premium listeners.

And while the original terms of service for those podcasters included a non-disparagement clause of Amazon, once that clause became widely publicized, it was hastily removed. The company replaced it with one that says producers must abide by Amazon's content code for advertisers and others.

Microphone with On Air sign

Image source: Getty Images.

Now hear this

Media-news-focused website The Desk first reported that Amazon began reaching out to podcasters on Monday via email, asking them to submit their shows' feeds for consideration to be included in the new service before it went live.

To be included, though, creators would have to agree to restrictions, among them that their content not contain "advertising or messages that disparage or are directed against Amazon or any Service." When that blew up and became the story, though, the tech giant quietly rescinded the condition and replaced it with its Creative Acceptance Policies instead.

Podcasting continues to grow in popularity and Amazon's fellow tech titans Apple and Google both stream such content. However, it may have been the decision by popular podcaster Joe Rogan to take The Joe Rogan Experience off the increasingly censored YouTube platform and make it available exclusively on Spotify (SPOT 6.33%) that spurred Amazon to action. 

Podcasts have been available through other third-party services on Amazon, but the ability to tap into the massive base of households with Alexa-enable speakers and Amazon Music's 55 million customers would obviously be a big draw for podcasters. So long as they don't have to give up their creative integrity to do so.

John Mackey, CEO of Whole Foods Market, an Amazon subsidiary, is a member of The Motley Fool's board of directors. Rich Duprey has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool owns shares of and recommends Amazon, Apple, and Spotify Technology and recommends the following options: short January 2022 $1940 calls on Amazon and long January 2022 $1920 calls on Amazon. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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