Amazon Music first put podcasts on its platform last year, and now it’s launching its first feature built around them. The service plans to roll out auto-generated and synced transcripts to iOS and Android in the US starting today, which means the transcripts will match the audio you hear, and you can switch between them to pass. to specific parts of the audio. The transcriptions are interactive and can be viewed full screen or over the album art in the app.
For now, transcripts are only available for certain Amazon Music and Wondery shows, as well as for partner programs that have worked with Amazon on the feature, like This American life and Addicted to crime. (Third party launch partners include American Public Media, Audiochuck, Cadence13, The New York Times, Stitcher and TED.) Other partner shows will receive transcripts in the future, said Kintan Brahmbhatt, director of podcasts at Amazon Music. The reason the team is so active with its partners is that Amazon wants to be “one of the most user-friendly services for creators and podcasters,” he says.
Ads will not be transcribed – the transcript will simply say “audio not transcribed” during these pauses. Overall, Brahmbhatt says the main thing he and the team wanted to accomplish with this launch was to be able to navigate a podcast based on the written version, the same way someone can browse a video.
“You listen to an interview and say, ‘Oh yeah, they made a really good point. I could have bookmarked it, but I just want to come back to this section again, ‘- or revisit a show or revisit an aspect of the show; it really helps customers go back and forth and use it as a navigation tool more than just reading, ”he says.
Amazon Music is now both a music app and a podcast app, and it remains separate from Audible, which works with a different payment model but also offers podcasts. Amazon Music has entered into various exclusive show deals including, most importantly, a deal with SmartLess for would have between $ 60 million and $ 80 million, which gave the service a week-long window of exclusivity. Amazon also acquired the hosting and monetization service Art19 and the Wondery podcast network, which operates its own subscription podcast app called Wondery Plus.
As for Amazon’s competitors, Spotify has yet to roll out transcripts widely and keeps them focused on a selection of originals and exclusives. Bill Simmons podcast, for example, offers automatically generated transcriptions, while The Joe Rogan Experience does not. Spotify transcriptions can be browsed in chunks, so you can’t press any word or phrase like you can in Amazon Music’s solution. Apple Podcasts does not natively offer full transcripts, but show creators can transcribe shows themselves and include the written version in their broadcast notes.