Podcast deals turn off exclusivity

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The Future. Podcasting is taking a page from film and TV streaming and shifting to a licensing model where shows can live anywhere — an acknowledgement that there’s more money to be made from advertisers than chasing more subscribers. If audiences and advertisers are willing to follow these shows wherever they go, expect some big names to go back to being fully independent.

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2024 is finally the year when we can listen to shows “wherever you get your podcasts.”

  • Just this past week, Call Her Daddy, The Joe Rogan Experience, and SmartLess not only struck rich renewal deals but also became available on every platform without exclusivity.
  • As part of the deals, Spotify (Call Her Daddy, Joe Rogan) and SiriusXM (SmartLess) will have the right to sell ads and distribute across any platform, allowing them to extract big licensing fees.
  • That also lets the companies negotiate lower upfront fees with talent and focus more on revenue sharing to, well, share the risk — i.e. “if we succeed, you succeed.”

The deals come as the podcast market has plateaued, and even the biggest shows have seen a substantial drop in listenership. That initial burst of activity right around the start of the pandemic put a lot of wind in Spotify’s sails (and some major debt), but everyone’s shifting their model to something more sustainable now that subscribership has peaked.

David Vendrell

Born and raised a stone’s-throw away from the Everglades, David left the Florida swamp for the California desert. Over-caffeinated, he stares at his computer too long either writing the TFP newsletter or screenplays. He is repped by Anonymous Content.


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