Yesterday, reports suggested that Spotify was close to becoming the exclusive home of the Call Her Daddy podcast. Now, the Stockholm-based streaming platform has officially signed the Alex Cooper-hosted program to a more than $20 million deal.
Spotify announced this morning that the three-year-old Call Her Daddy had joined its roster of exclusive podcasts, now including programs from Joe Rogan, Bruce Springsteen and Barack Obama, Michelle Obama, TikTok celebrity Addison Rae, and many other high-profile figures. The music-streaming giant and Alex Cooper haven’t publicly addressed the agreement’s financial specifics, but The Wall Street Journal reported that the deal was worth north of $20 million.
Since that point, Variety has pegged the deal value at $60 million-plus overall, which is quite a difference.
“All new and existing episodes” of Call Her Daddy will become available solely via Spotify beginning on Wednesday, July 21st, per the release – a much shorter window than that which preceded The Joe Rogan Experience’s on-platform exclusivity. Higher-ups unveiled the latter agreement in May of 2020, but new JRE installments began releasing only through Spotify in December of the same year.
“Call Her Daddy was the first podcast of its kind and has created a sex-positive space where women control the conversation,” Spotify’s announcement message proceeds, before reiterating that the show boasted the fifth-highest stream count of any podcast on Spotify in 2020. Additionally, Call Her Daddy was the second-most-popular female-created podcast on Spotify as of March of 2021, behind Crime Junkie.
For Spotify, the transaction represents the latest in a long line of substantial podcasting investments. Aside from the aforementioned exclusive shows – the deal for JRE alone reportedly cost over $100 million – Spotify reportedly dropped about a quarter of a billion dollars to acquire Bill Simmons’ The Ringer last year, following a reportedly $230 million buyout of Gimlet Media in 2019 and preceding a reportedly $235 million purchase of Megaphone in November of 2020.
Despite these and other significant plays, however, Spotify has to this point been unable to materially increase the portion of monthly active users (MAUs) that engage with – not necessarily listen to from beginning to end – podcasts. In 2021’s first quarter, Spotify’s podcast library swelled from 2.2 million to 2.6 million shows, but “the percentage of MAUs that engaged with podcast content on our platform was consistent with Q4 levels,” which came in at 25 percent.
Moving forward, it’ll be worth monitoring exclusive podcasts’ impact on listenership stats – and, in turn, the company’s ability to generate revenue from non-music audio entertainment. Spotify stock (SPOT) was down about 2.5 percent at the time of this piece’s publishing, and the entity in April finalized an “innovative podcast development deal” with Warner Music Group.