“Very early on, when I started the company, we knew at some point we wanted to have our own place where listeners could listen to the Wondery shows,” CEO Hernan Lopez told Variety. “But we also knew we had to wait until we had enough shows, and the Wondery brand had enough breadth for people to go through the trouble of downloading an app and use it on a daily basis.”
The Wondery app has about 50 podcasts, about half of which it points out have reached number one on Apple Podcasts. And while those shows will now have another outlet, Wondery is maintaining its distribution with other podcast apps. “What the Wondery app won’t include is podcasts not produced by the company. “There are so many great podcast players with millions of podcasts — the Wondery App is the best place to listen to Wondery content,” said Lopez.
The bigger play is getting some of the 20 million people who listen to Wondery-produced podcasts to open their wallets for the $5 per month Wondery Plus service. It offers users early access to new episodes of select series, ad-free listening, exclusive episodes, and a user interface designed specifically for users accustomed to popular streaming platforms like Netflix or Hulu. “We want a subset of those listeners who want to pay extra to have an exclusive place to binge and access our podcasts on their phone at their convenience,” Lopez told Variety, adding the subscription service will become “an increasingly important part” of Wondery’s revenue.
The Apple version of the app was released on Tuesday, with an Android version expected shortly.