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Spotify signs exclusive podcast deal with Joe Budden

More than Amy Schumer and Dissect, this is likely the shape of Spotify's podcast strategy.

… and they get a shiny New York Times profile out of it, titled “How Joe Budden Became the Howard Stern of Hip-Hop.”

Budden’s story is super interesting, but of course, I’m more drawn to how this highlights Spotify’s continuing adventures in podcasting under the leadership of former Disney executive Courtney Holt. Over the past few months, the streaming platform brought in the preexisting music podcast Dissect (which remains quite good), struck a $1 million+ podcast deal with Amy Schumer (which produced a show that isn’t very good), and now strikes this deal that deepens its nexus linking together music and podcast-style programming, an overlap that’s desired but under-exploited by many in the podcast ecosystem and that Spotify is uniquely positioned to do something with, given the complex legal universe surrounding the whole thing.

Now, some things to note about that Times piece. It doesn’t disclose the size of the deal. (I’m guessing it’s smaller than Schumer’s.) It doesn’t provide any numbers to outline the size of Budden’s specific podcast performance. (The write-up vaguely gestures towards “millions,” and you can easily spot hefty YouTube view volumes and social media followers.) And you probably should pay attention to this chunk in the profile:

Mr. Budden is now banking on a new partnership with Spotify to expand on his success. Starting this fall, his podcast will stream exclusively on the platform. (He plans on still uploading videos of the show on YouTube.) The goal, according to Courtney Holt, head of studios and video at Spotify, is to “develop out not just this show, but other shows in the future.”

Moreso than Schumer and Dissect, I think this is probably the thrust of what Spotify’s podcast strategy is going to look like moving forward.

And if you’re curious: only future audio episodes of The Joe Budden Podcast will be exclusive to Spotify’s platform. The backlog will still be kept widely available, and in classic one-man podcast personality form (a la Joe Rogan), videos of the podcast recordings will continue to be posted on YouTube