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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

28 U.S. citizens depart Afghanistan on Qatar Airways flight

Passengers board a Qatar Airways aircraft bound to Qatar at the airport in Kabul on September 10, 2021. Photo: Aamir Qureshi/AFP via Getty Images

The State Department on Saturday confirmed that a Qatar Airways charter flight left Kabul on Friday with 28 U.S. citizens and seven lawful permanent residents on board.

The big picture: Friday's flight is the third such airlift by Qatar Airways since the Taliban takeover of Afghanistan, AP reports.

Updated 3 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Smaller than expected "Justice for J6" rally met with large police presence

Police officers watch as demonstrators gather for the "Justice for J6" rally in Washington, D.C., on Sept. 18, 2021. Photo: Andrew Caballero-Reynolds/AFP via Getty Images

A few hundred demonstrators were met by a heavy law enforcement presence on Saturday at the "Justice for J6" rally outside the fenced-off U.S. Capitol, AP reports.

The latest: Four people were arrested at the rally, including one person with a gun, one with a knife and two with outstanding warrants, per the U.S. Capitol Police.

DHS to increase deportation flights to Haiti from Del Rio

Migrants walk across the Rio Grande River carrying supplies back to a makeshift encampment under the international bridge between Del Rio, Texas, and Acuña, Mexico. Officials are struggling to provide food, water, shelter and sanitation, forcing migrants to cross the Rio Grande several times per day for basic necessities. Photo: Jordan Vonderhaar via Getty Images

The Department of Homeland Security on Saturday announced plans to ramp up deportation flights to Haiti out of the small Texas border town Del Rio, starting as soon as Sunday.

Why it matters: Reports have emerged of more than 10,000 migrants, primarily from Haiti, crowded in a temporary camp under the international bridge in Del Rio. Hoping to find refuge in the United States, they've had to bear with filthy conditions and the scorching sun for days, per an NBC News affiliate.

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