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Author and podcast host Brené Brown has released the final episodes of her Spotify-exclusive podcasts Unlocking Us and Dare to Lead as her deal with the audio giant has come to an end.
The last episode of Unlocking Us with Spotify was released Wednesday, while Dare to Lead concluded Dec. 26. In announcing the end of her Spotify pact, Brown said on the penultimate episode of Unlocking Us that she planned on taking a break from podcasting. “I don’t have a plan for a future podcast. I don’t know what’s going to happen. I’m taking a little break, at least for the first quarter of 2023, but this is the end of a season, end of a chapter,” Brown said.
Brown moved her podcast Unlocking Us exclusively over to Spotify in Jan. 2021 as part of a two-year deal with Spotify’s Parcast studio. The deal was first announced in 2020 and followed other major exclusive partnerships that Spotify entered into with talent like Joe Rogan, Esther Perel and the Obamas’ Higher Ground — the latter of which moved to Audible last June for a first-look deal. Brown’s partnership also included the launch of a new show, Dare to Lead, based on her book of the same name.
With Brown’s initial contract coming to an end, Spotify did not pick up the option for series, according to a company spokesperson. “Spotify is incredibly proud of the series that we made with Brené Brown. We wish her all the best and look forward to everything that she’s going to create next,” the Spotify spokesperson said.
Existing episodes of Unlocking Us and Dare to Lead will remain on Spotify, and future episodes of her shows — whenever Brown and her team return from a hiatus — are also expected to be available on Spotify and other major platforms moving forward.
Though Brown’s podcasts have performed well while exclusive to Spotify, with Unlocking Us regularly appearing on Spotify’s top podcast list, Brown has spoken out about Rogan’s platforming of COVID misinformation on his Spotify-exclusive show and described Rogan’s comments targeting the trans community and about race as “dehumanizing” and “often degrading.”
As major musicians like Neil Young pulled their music from Spotify in protest of Rogan last February, Brown temporarily paused the release of new podcast episodes to learn more about the audio giant’s misinformation policy and its application across the service; she later resumed posting episodes due to her contract with Spotify, though she described “sharing the table with Rogan” as putting her in a “tremendous values conflict with very few options.”
In her final episode of Unlocking Us this week, Brown told listeners that they could receive updates via social and her newsletter “on what’s happening and if we decide to do some podcasts again, which I can imagine will be in the future.”
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