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Photo: Michael Frieberg

Spotify has signed an exclusive, multi-year deal to distribute "Armchair Expert," the popular podcast that's co-hosted by actor and comedian Dax Shepard and Emmy-nominated producer and personality Monica Padman. 

Why it matters: It's the latest in a long line of exclusive podcast deals that Spotify has inked in the past year to bolster its podcast ambitions.

Details: The deal gives Spotify exclusive access not just to the "Armchair Expert" podcast, but also all existing and new episodes of the show.

  • "Armchair Expert" features interviews with celebrities, artists, authors and thought leaders. It's currently ranked number 13 on Apple's top podcasts in its U.S. chart.
  • Spotify also gets a first-look at all podcasts coming from the broader Armchair Umbrella Network production company.
  • "Dax Shepard will continue to maintain editorial oversight and creative control of all Armchair productions," the company noted in a statement.
  • The podcasts will remain free on the platform and will be available exclusively on Spotify starting July 1.

What they're saying: “Moving to Spotify is a huge opportunity for us. I am especially grateful for the work Monica and Rob have done to get us to this point. We are all bathing in the excitement of knowing we will get to do what we love most for the coming years,” per Shepard.

  • "Armchair Expert will remain the same show it has always been, but with added opportunities that only Spotify can offer us. We look forward to continuing to bring our human driven content and doorless bathroom to our audience through this exclusive platform,” Padman said.
  • “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." said Dawn Ostroff, chief content & advertising business officer at Spotify.

The big picture: Podcasting is a massive growth area for Spotify. In February, Spotify CEO Daniel Ek told investors that it is "highly correlated to user attention and growth" overall.

  • Spotify says it had 2.6 million podcasts on its platform at the end of March, up from more than 2.2 million at the end of last December.

What's next: Shepard will discuss the deal on this week’s episode "Armchair Expert" podcast airing Thursday, May 13.

Go deeper:

Go deeper

The startup that wants to disrupt big internet providers

Maura Losch/Axios

A new startup backed by funding from AOL founder Steve Case and Laurene Powell Jobs wants to break up broadband monopolies across the country.

Why it matters: Internet access has been crucial during the pandemic, but it's not ubiquitous, and it can be both slow and unaffordable in swaths of the country.

1 hour ago - World

Top general: China's hypersonic missile test "very close" to a "Sputnik moment"

Gen. Mark Milley. Photo: Rod Lamkey-Pool/Getty Images

Gen. Mark Milley, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, warned Wednesday that China's test of a hypersonic missile is "very concerning" and "very close" to the kind of "Sputnik moment" that triggered the Space Race during the Cold War.

Why it matters: The comments by America's top uniformed general underscore the depths of U.S. concerns about China's rapid military expansion and development of advanced weaponry.

Climate reckoning for oil and gas CEOs

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Top executives from ExxonMobil, BP, Chevron and Shell will face a reckoning on Capitol Hill Thursday, as they're grilled on evidence that their companies knew for years that their products were driving climate change but chose to downplay or deny it.

Why it matters: The hearing before the House Oversight Committee will be the first time these executives have been brought together to provide sworn testimony regarding what they knew about the ties between their company's products and climate change, and when they knew it.

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