Amazon is following in the footsteps of some of its biggest competitors: it will soon add podcasts to its Amazon Music product, enabling its users to stream these audio shows without turning to third-party apps. The initial unveiling of this plan came with a ridiculous requirement for shows, however, one that aimed to force podcasters to avoid ‘disparaging’ the company. It has since removed that requirement.
News of the plan to add podcasts to Amazon Music surfaced from various podcasters who received emails from the Internet retailer. The Desk reported yesterday that the podcasts will be coming to the Amazon Music and Audible platforms, but that the shows would have to follow terms that included one heavily criticized rule: neither the podcasts nor their advertisers could ‘disparage’ Amazon or any of its products.
Put simply, it seems that in order to get onto the company’s platform, podcasters would have had to shape their content around the company’s desire to avoid criticism. In the leaked Terms of Service from the emails, the first rule listed under ‘Content Restrictions’ stated that:
Your Content may not include advertising or messages that disparage or are directed against Amazon or any Service.
Not surprisingly, a number of podcast hosts and producers took to social media, particularly Twitter, to comment on — mostly criticize — the content restriction. Only a day later, Amazon quietly scrubbed the restriction from the terms, according to the report, while leaving the remainder of the restrictions.
As for the addition of podcasts, the leaked Amazon email states that the audio shows will be available to free users. Select podcasters were invited to add their shows to the platforms before the change goes live for users, though there’s no mention of when that will take place.