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Jemele Hill seeks new home for ‘Unbothered’ podcast as Spotify exclusive deal expiring


Jemele Hill is looking for a new home for her podcast, Jemele Hill is undisturbed, as she prepares to end her Spotify contract later this summer, according to people familiar with the matter.

Hill was an early fixture in Spotify’s podcasting strategy, having hosted Jemele Hill is undisturbed exclusively on Spotify since 2019. The former ESPN sports reporter and journalist is still under contract to release more episodes with Spotify in the summer as she returns to the fourth season of Carefree, but both Spotify and Hill have no plans to renew the host’s current deal for her podcast, the people said.

There is an opportunity for Hill to terminate her contract early, but those talks are still ongoing, people said. Bloomberg first reported Hill’s departure from Spotify.

The deal talks come as Hill’s other deal with Spotify for The Unbothered Network, a podcast network focused on uplifting black women, ended earlier this year, the people said. Hill and Spotify had initially signed a two-year deal to develop the network with an additional two years for Spotify to choose, but the two parties both walked out in March after failing to agree on terms.

With Spotify, The Unbothered Network released two shows: sanctified And The bravura of the black girlwith co-hosts Deborah Joy Winans and Lyvonne Briggs and Germani Manning and Brittany Lackey, respectively. The bravura of the black girl is licensed exclusively to Spotify, while sanctified is considered a Spotify Original and released the last episode of the season on April 19.

A Spotify spokesperson declined to comment.

In leaving Spotify, Hill follows other high-profile podcasters who have not renewed their contracts with the audio giant, including Brené Brown, Esther Perel and the Obama’s Higher Ground.

Spotify’s podcasting teams have also undergone major personnel changes in recent months, most notably with the departure of former chief content and ad business officer Dawn Ostroff in January and former head of talk creator content and partnerships Max Cutler in May.

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