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Dax Shepard Follows The Joe Rogan Model And Takes ‘Armchair Expert’ Exclusively To Spotify


Following in the footsteps of Joe Rogan, Dax Shepard has inked a multi-year licensing deal with Spotify that likely means a sizable payday for the podcast superstar and makes for another big win for the mega-streamer’s bid to dethrone Apple as the world’s dominant podcast platform.

Shepard’s Armchair Expert, which he cohosts with producer Monica Padman, is one of the biggest podcasts on the market. With an estimated monthly audience of more than 20 million, Shepard and Padman have hosted guests of the likes of Hillary Clinton and Bill Gates, helping Shepard earn $9 million in 2019 to take the No. 4 spot on Forbes’ list of highest-earning podcasters. 

Armchair Expert has continued that momentum, becoming the ninth-most-listened to show on Apple Podcasts in 2020, up from the 17th spot in 2019. Starting July 1, the show will be exclusive to Spotify.

While Apple was long the de facto platform for podcasts, Spotify has aggressively pursued top talent and tech in the industry with acquisitions of companies like Anchor and Bill Simmons’s The Ringer and licensing deals for stars like Rogan and Shepard. Since Forbes revealed the five highest-earning podcasters last year, Spotify has cut deals with three of them (Rogan, Simmons and, now, Shepard).

“We made it no secret that we wanted to bring some of the world’s most respected podcasts and dynamic creators to Spotify exclusively, and we are very excited to add Armchair Expert, alongside it’s hugely loyal global following of dedicated fans, to our diverse catalogue of phenomenal podcasts,” Dawn Ostroff, chief content and advertising business officer, said in a statement.

The strategy appears to be working: Spotify is set to surpass Apple in listenership this year and achieve a 30% edge over Apple by 2023, according to a study by eMarketer. Last year, Apple snagged more podcast listeners than Spotify by a margin of 39%. The two giants are battling for supremacy in a business that is already exploding — and expected to more than double in ad sales to $2 billion by 2023, according to projections by PricewaterhouseCoopers and the Interactive Advertising Bureau.

Spotify did not disclose the financial terms of the agreement with Shepard, but if Rogan’s blockbuster licensing deal worth north of $100 million is any indication, the contract could easily be in the $50 million range. 

“Moving to Spotify is a huge opportunity for us,” Shepard said in a statement. “We are all bathing in the excitement of knowing we will get to do what we love most for the coming years,”



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