Spotify’s adding another big name to its list of exclusive podcasts: Dax Shepard and his show Armchair Expert, which is one of the most popular podcasts running.
All past and future episodes will be available exclusively on Spotify starting July 1st. Along with the exclusive distribution rights to Armchair Expert, Spotify is also signing a first look deal with Armchair Umbrella Network, meaning it gets first dibs on any other shows the network creates. The show will be exclusively licensed to the company for an undisclosed number of years. The terms of the deal were not shared, but the program will move over to Megaphone, a Spotify company, for hosting, and Spotify will handle ad sales in-house
The deal harkens back to Spotify’s Joe Rogan partnership. Similarly, Rogan’s show, The Joe Rogan Experience, went exclusive to Spotify in September last year, although clips continue to live on YouTube. Armchair Expert is widely considered one of the world’s most popular shows, and Forbes estimated in 2019 that it had a monthly audience of 20 million people, putting Shepard near the top of its list of highest-earning podcasts. Also on that list are Rogan and Bill Simmons, who sold his company The Ringer to Spotify in 2020.
Clearly, Spotify has centered its podcasting strategy on bringing the biggest names to its platform exclusively. That seems to be working, given that the company said last month that it grew its premium subscribers by 21 percent year over year and that people were listening to podcasts for longer periods of time. It also added that The Joe Rogan Experience performed “above expectations.”
A key component of Spotify’s podcasting moves is that it makes shows available to both free and paying users, and also includes ads for both of them. This means that Spotify makes ad money on every podcast listen. With Armchair Expert, the company can bring more people to Spotify, offer another popular show exclusively, and sell more ads, all in a quest to become the dominant place people consume audio.