Spotify stealth launched a hit show with this controversial duo
Spotify has a brand new original at the top of its podcast chart, but it would probably be preferable if you didn’t know.
Last week, Spotify launched a new pop culture show, breaking breadon Spotify Live. breaking bread‘s recordings are now at number 11 on Spotify’s Top Podcast Chart after spending most of the week at number two, just behind Joe Rogan. The show’s popularity — and the reason the company may be keeping quiet about its new hit — is thanks to its two hosts: Jackie Oshry Weinreb and Claudia Oshry (aka. Instagram’s girlwithnojob), which come with a huge built-in audience. While the sisters have delivered their huge fan base to the app, they have a controversial history that could prove problematic for Spotify at a time when the company is being extra cautious.
The sisters had a short-lived show on Oath, Verizon’s now-defunct media brand, in 2018, which was canceled after The everyday beast reported that their mother is a notorious conspiracy theorist and anti-Muslim activist Pamela Geller and that the sisters had both previously posted racist and anti-Muslim statements on social media. The sisters apologized, deleted their Twitter accounts and started again The morning toast as an independent podcast. Some fans were uncomfortable with their reluctance to deny their mother’s activities, but their audience is undeniable. The Oshry sisters have over 3.5 million Instagram followers combined, their flagship podcast is currently in the top 100 on Apple Podcasts and Spotify, and they maintain what appears to be a robust Patreon foundation (stats are now private , but from 2019 , they had over 9,000 subscribers† The Oshry sisters have not responded to a request for comment.
But if the Oshry sisters are controversial, you wouldn’t know about their show. The morning toast is mostly regular pop culture, and breaking bread is much of the same: Kim Kardashian’s Marilyn Monroe dress, Hailey Bieber’s skincare line, Britney Spears’ wedding. The Spotify Live platform also allows fans to join the show and ask for advice on light topics such as puppy training and bachelor issues.
Modeled on other Spotify Live shows like After Hours with Alex Cooper and Dating Harry Jowsey, the original show takes place on the Live app and is later posted to Spotify as a podcast. Unlike those shows, breaking bread did not receive a promotion from Spotify. The company has not issued a press release about the show and has not pushed it on any of its social channels. The only promotion seems to have come from the Oshrys themselves on their social accounts and podcast†
That may have something to do with the backlash Spotify has received for its nine-figure deal with controversy machine Joe Rogan. Rogan has the undisputed largest podcast in the world, and as Spotify expands its podcasting power, the company needs him. But Spotify’s unwavering support for Rogan has caused reputational, if not financial, damage. Spotify declined to comment on why they chose to partner with the Oshry sisters or whether their past has anything to do with the show’s lack of promotion, but the way the company has approached the show. breaking breadit seems to go for the substantial fanbase of the Oshrys without the baggage.
Even if breaking bread itself is innocent, it debuts at a time when Spotify is particularly cautious. Last week, the company announced a Safety Advisory Council to assist with content moderation policy (a move Geller called “a government-sponsored internal coup d’état”) and struck a new deal with Integral Ad Science to improve its brand safety analytics for advertisers.
But the company is also trying to boost its social audio app Spotify Live (formerly Spotify Greenroom) at the same time when social audio stuttersand breaking bread arguably the biggest hit ever. If the Oshrys continue to deliver numbers, the company will be hard to ignore.