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Amazon Music Introduces Its First True Podcasting Feature — Synced Transcripts

Photo credit: Stan Amazon Music | Parody | Twitter: @SMAmazon

Last year, Amazon Music added podcasts to its platform, and now it’s launching its first feature dedicated to them. Starting today, the service will roll out automatically generated, synchronized transcripts on iOS and Android in the US.

This means that the transcripts will match the audio you’re listening to, and you’ll be able to toggle around them to jump to specific parts of the audio. The transcripts within the app are interactive and can be viewed full-screen or on top of the album art.

For the time being, the transcripts are only available for select Amazon Music and Wondery shows, as well as partner programs such as This American Life and Crime Junkie that have collaborated with Amazon on the feature.

According to Kintan Brahmbhatt, director of podcasts at Amazon Music, more partners’ shows will receive transcripts in the future. Amazon wants to be “one of the most creator-friendly, most podcaster-friendly services out there,” he says, which is why the team is being so hands-on with partners.

Advertisements will not be transcribed; instead, the transcription will say “audio not transcribed” over those breaks. In general, Brahmbhatt says the main goal for this launch was for people to be able to navigate a podcast based on the written version, similar to how they can scrub through a video.

Amazon Music has evolved into a music and podcast app that is distinct from Audible, which has a different payment model but also offers podcasts. Amazon Music has been pursuing a number of exclusive show deals, the most notable of which was a deal with SmartLess for reportedly $60 to $80 million that gave the service a weeklong exclusivity window. Amazon also purchased Art19, a hosting and monetization service, as well as Wondery, a podcast network with its own subscription podcast app, Wondery Plus.

In comparison to Amazon’s competitors, Spotify has yet to widely deploy transcripts, limiting them to a few originals and exclusives. Automatically generated transcripts are available on The Bill Simmons Podcast, but not on The Joe Rogan Experience.

You can’t tap on a word or phrase like you can with Amazon Music’s solution because Spotify’s transcripts are navigated in chunks. Although full transcripts aren’t available natively on Apple Podcasts, show creators can transcribe their shows and include the written version in their show notes.

Get six months of Amazon Music Unlimited for free

With the purchase of an Echo device, Amazon is giving customers six months of Amazon Music Unlimited for free.

For new subscribers and Prime members, the offer is valid until January 10th.

The following are the Echo devices that come with the deal:

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