Amazon announced the acquisition of podcasts distribution and monetization company Art19 and Wickr — a secret messaging app — for an undisclosed amount. The terms of both of the deals weren't disclosed, although Wickr raised $73M to date, while Art19 has raised $7.5M.
- Wickr is a free app, offering users the ability to send encrypted messages and files without a trace. The receiver encrypts the messages, and Wickr does not have the decryption keys. Its encryption technology can be integrated into other vendors' communications platforms.
- Wickr's technology fully complies with the National Security Agency's security requirements, and its paid services support military communications.
- The app's base includes corporations and government agencies, reaching hundreds of thousands of downloads in over 113 countries.
- Amazon Web Services (AWS) is reportedly seeking more business with the government. Secure communications services, like the Wickr app, allow agencies to switch to a hybrid work environment empowered by AWS.
- Art19 provides tools for hosting, distribution, and monetization of podcasts, as well as listening metrics tracking and ad serving technologies through its ad marketplace.
- The acquisition will allow Amazon to expand its podcasting business offering.
- Last year, Amazon Music acquired Wondery, an independent podcast network. As reported by Inside Podcasting in an analysis of this deal, Podnews® predicted that podcast host ART19 could be Amazon's next purchase.