Spotify adds another big name to its list of exclusive podcasts: Dax Shepard and his show Armchair specialist, which is one of the most popular podcasts running.
All previous and future episodes will be available exclusively on Spotify from July 1. Along with the exclusive distribution rights to Armchair specialist, Spotify is also signing a ‘first look’ deal with Armchair Umbrella Network, meaning it will get its first time on all of the other shows the network makes. The show is exclusively licensed to the company for an undisclosed number of years. The terms of the deal were not shared, but the program will transfer to Megaphone, a Spotify company, for hosting, and Spotify will handle ad sales internally
The deal harkens back to Spotify’s Joe Rogan partnership. Likewise, Rogan’s show, The Joe Rogan Experience, went exclusively to Spotify in September last year, although clips can still be seen on YouTube. Armchair specialist is widely regarded as one of the world’s most popular shows, and Forbes estimated in 2019, it had a monthly audience of 20 million people, putting Shepard at the top of the top-earning podcast list. Also on that list are Rogan and Bill Simmons, who sold his company The Ringer to Spotify in 2020.
Clearly, Spotify has focused its podcasting strategy on bringing the biggest names to its platform exclusively. That seems to be working, as the company said last month that it grew its premium subscribers by 21 percent year over year and that people listened to podcasts for longer periods of time. It added that too The Joe Rogan Experience performed ‘above expectations’.
An important part of Spotify’s podcasting moves is that it makes shows available to both free and paid users, and it also includes ads for both. This means that Spotify earns advertising money with every podcast listen. With Armchair specialistthe company can bring more people to Spotify, exclusively offer another popular show, and sell more ads, all in a quest to become the dominant place where people consume audio.