|Type||Podcast network (subsidiary)|
|Owner||Amazon Music (Amazon)|
Wondery is an American podcast network launched by Hernan Lopez with backing from 20th Century Fox and now owned by Amazon Music.
Wondery was launched in 2016 by Hernan Lopez, the exiting Fox International Channels CEO with backing from 20th Century Fox. The stated goal of the network is to curate and create audio shows with a focus on mobile users and audio-on-demand. The company teamed up with ART19 on distribution infrastructure and cross podcast dynamic insertion of ads. Lopez was joined by Jeffrey Glaser, previously head of current programming at 20th Century Fox Television, where he oversaw series including 24, American Dad!, Arrested Development, Bones, Empire, Family Guy, Glee, How I Met Your Mother, Modern Family and The X-Files. Glaser was appointed president of content.
Within three years, Wondery became a top five podcast publisher with 40 million downloads in December 2018 alone. There were six 2019 iHeartRadio Podcast Award nominations for four of the publisher's show with one win: Dr. Death for Most Bingeable Podcast.
The company's series A funding round in March 2018 brought in $5 million from investors including Greycroft, Lerer Hippeau Ventures, and Shari Redstone’s Advancit Capital venture-capital firms. In June 2019, Wondery had a funding round of $10 million which indicates a value of over $100 million. This series B funding was led by Waverley Capital. With the closing of the round, Former National Geographic Partners Chief Executive Declan Moore became Wondery's international programming head.
The Walt Disney Company inherited Fox's stake in Wondery after Disney acquired 21st Century Fox's assets on March 20, 2019.
Universal Music Group agreed in April 2019 to allow Wondery a license to use UMG music catalog and develop UMG artists' story podcasts, which then may be adapted into TV or film projects. Wondery would work with all UMG labels and with its Polygram Entertainment film and TV production unit.
In early May 2019, Wondery and Cumulus Media announced a strategic alliance for new advertising opportunities and growing podcast listeners. The first item from the alliance is a Business Wars podcast franchise expansion, Sports Wars, would start airing on 40 Cumulus radio stations the first weekend in May and syndicated by Westwood One, a Cumulus subsidiary.
In April 2020, Hernan Lopez CEO of Wondery was charged with wire fraud and money laundering in relation to attempts to win broadcast rights for Fox Broadcasting Company for the 2018 and 2022 FIFA World Cups.
On April 28, 2020, Wondery announced a partnership with Al Jazeera Media Network to launch Business Wars and other flagship podcasts in Arabic via Al Jazeera Podcasts.
On May 16, 2020, Wondery was accused of negotiating with the Call Her Daddy podcast hosts while they were still under contract with their parent company, Barstool Sports.
On December 30, 2020, Amazon announced that they were acquiring Wondery under their Amazon Music division.
Under the banner of Wondery, the network currently offers several shows, most notably:
And the following "partner" shows: