Dax Shepard Inks $80 Million Exclusive Podcast Pact With Amazon’s Wondery, Which Encompasses New Shows, Merchandise and More

Amazon’s Wondery podcast division landed an exclusive distribution and ad-sales deal with Dax Shepard for his popular “Armchair Expert” podcast — which also covers new shows, merchandise and more.

Wondery’s deal with the comedian-podcaster is valued at about $80 million, according to sources (as first reported by the Wall Street Journal). As part of the deal, Wondery, Shepard and the team at “Armchair Expert” will codevelop and produce two new podcasts for fans and one livestream per year. Wondery also has a first-look option for any additional new podcasts created by Shepard.

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“I could not be more excited about making Wondery our home,” Shepard said in a statement. Wondery CEO Jen Sargent and her team “have created a brand that imbues quality, daring and creativity,” he continued. “The Wondery logo actually means something. They are the HBO of the podcast space. We are extremely excited to join forces and bring fresh new content to listeners around the world.”

Wondery’s deal with Shepard and “Armchair Expert” comes after the end of the podcast’s exclusive distribution deal with Spotify, originally struck in 2021. Spotify has pivoted away from acquiring exclusive platform rights and instead has adopted a strategy of widely distributing shows to maximize audience reach, such as under its renewal with Joe Rogan earlier this year.

Under its pact for “Armchair Expert,” Wondery has rights to the podcast’s full back catalog starting Sept. 1, distribution rights to RSS feed, the ability to launch video episodes for the first time, as well as rights to create translated versions of the podcast for a global audience. In addition, new episodes of “Armchair Expert” will be available one week early (and without ads) on the Wondery+ subscription service prior to going wide. Wondery also has exclusive rights to develop, manufacture and sell all “Armchair Expert” merchandise.

The weekly “Armchair Expert” podcast, which Shepard debuted in 2018, to date has featured more than 600 interviews with celebrities, artists, authors, scientists and global thought leaders. Under the Armchair Umbrella Network Shepard and co-host and producer Monica Padman have three weekly shows, with celebrities on Monday, experts on Thursday, and an interactive call-in show for “Armcherry” listeners and fans each Friday.

Guests on the podcast have included former President Barack Obama, Prince Harry, Hillary Clinton, Trevor Noah, Stacey Abrams, Bill Gates, Dr. Sanjay Gupta and Jason Bateman — along with frequent guest Kristen Bell (who is Shepard’s wife).

“’Armchair Expert’ consistently delivers relatable, thought-provoking and entertaining social commentary based on shared human experiences and interests from the most recognizable entertainment and cultural figures in the world,” Wondery’s Sargent said. “This incredible show is a natural fit for the Wondery roster built to entertain, engage and delight podcast fans globally.”

WME negotiated the deal on behalf of “Armchair Expert” and the Armchair Umbrella Network with Wondery. Shepard and Padman are both repped by WME.

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