Spotify signs another exclusive podcast deal, this time with Dax Shepard show

Actor Dax Shepard and "Armchair Expert" podcast co-host Monica Padman
Actor Dax Shepard and “Armchair Expert” podcast co-host Monica Padman in their recording studio in 2019.
( Jay L. Clendenin / Los Angeles Times)

Spotify said on Wednesday that it reached an exclusive multiyear licensing deal with popular podcast “Armchair Expert,” adding to the streaming service’s growing repertoire of audio programs.

“Armchair Expert,” launched in 2018, is cohosted by comedian Dax Shepard and Emmy-nominated producer Monica Padman. The weekly program has interviews with thought leaders, authors, celebrities and artists. It was the most downloaded new podcast on iTunes in 2018 and one of the most popular podcasts on Spotify.

“Dax and Monica’s kindred way of engaging their listeners with conversations so honest, authentic and poignant are why listeners come back to them every week,” said Dawn Ostroff, Spotify’s chief content and advertising business officer in a statement. “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 its hugely loyal global following of dedicated fans, to our diverse catalogue of phenomenal podcasts.”


Dax Shepard, a tired dad who hates waking up in the middle of the night to pee, was floating an idea.

May 16, 2019

Spotify has been investing heavily in podcasts, acquiring companies to strengthen its investment in producing audio programs and inking exclusive licensing deals with the most popular podcasters.

Podcasts exclusive to Spotify include “The Michelle Obama Podcast” and “The Joe Rogan Experience.” The Swedish streaming giant also has inked a multiyear partnership with Archewell, with Prince Harry and Meghan producing podcasts.

For podcast creators, making such deals with Spotify can be lucrative and provide access to the streamer’s 356 million monthly active users worldwide.

“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.”

Spotify declined to disclose the financial terms of “Armchair Expert’s” licensing deal, which also gives Spotify a first look with Armchair Umbrella Network. “Armchair Expert” will be free and available exclusively on Spotify starting July 1.


Dawn Ostroff, Spotify’s chief content officer, says she plans on making hundreds of original podcast series next year as part of a strategy to expand the streaming platform’s podcast offerings. The company aims to have 20% of the listening on its service be non-music.

Sept. 9, 2019

“With this Spotify partnership, Dax Shepard will continue to maintain editorial oversight and creative control of all Armchair productions,” Spotify said in a statement.

As Spotify expands into podcasts, the content of the programs has been closely watched. Spotify has received criticism from some listeners on “The Joe Rogan Experience” for spreading misinformation.

Rogan has addressed the concerns about the comments he makes on his show, most recently responding to criticism on his views questioning whether young people need to get the coronavirus vaccine.

“I’m not a doctor, I’m a f— moron,” Rogan said on his podcast, according to Axios. “I’m not a respected source of information, even for me. ... But I at least try to be honest about what I’m saying.”