Jemele Hill Seeks New Home for ‘Unbothered’ Podcast As Spotify Exclusive Deal Set to End

Jemele Hill denies that an alleged demand for Joe Rogan-level money from Spotify is the reason for her exit from the audio giant.

via: The Hollywood Reporter

Jemele Hill is looking for a new home for her podcast, Jemele Hill Is Unbothered, as she prepares for her Spotify contract to end later this summer, according to people familiar with the matter.

Hill has been an early fixture in Spotify’s podcasting strategy, having hosted Jemele Hill is Unbothered exclusively on Spotify since 2019. The former ESPN sportscaster and journalist is still contracted to release more episodes with Spotify through the summer as she concludes the fourth season of Unbothered, but both Spotify and Hill are not planning on extending the host’s current deal for her podcast, the people said.

There is the potential for Hill to exit her contract early, but those conversations are still ongoing, the people said. Bloomberg first reported Hill’s exit from Spotify.

The deal discussions come as Hill’s other deal with Spotify for The Unbothered Network, a podcast network focused on elevating Black women, ended earlier this year, the people said. Hill and Spotify had initially struck a two-year deal to develop the network with two additional years that Spotify could option, but the two parties both walked away in March after failing to reach an agreement on terms.

With Spotify, The Unbothered Network released two shows: Sanctified and The Black Girl Bravado, with co-hosts Deborah Joy Winans and Lyvonne Briggs and Germani Manning and Brittany Lackey, respectively. The Black Girl Bravado is exclusively licensed to Spotify, while Sanctified is considered a Spotify Original and released its last episode for the season on April 19.

A spokesperson for Spotify declined to comment.

In leaving Spotify, Hill will follow other high-profile podcasters who have not renewed their contracts with the audio giant, including Brené Brown, Esther Perel and the Obamas’ Higher Ground.

Spotify’s podcasting teams have also undergone major staffing changes in recent months, most notably with the exit of former chief content and ad business officer Dawn Ostroff in January and former head of talk creator content and partnerships Max Cutler in May.

Jemele took to Twitter to set the record straight on what’s what.

Jemele says, “People: A lot of what’s been reported just isn’t true. My podcast hasn’t been cancelled. I never asked Spotify for $100M. This s*** is truly comical.”

She goes on to say her podcast, for now, will continue — adding … “Next week’s guest is: Sabrina Elba. In the coming weeks: Blair Underwood, Kasi Lemmons, JR Smith, Kenny Latimore and more.” Finally, she says … “When I have something to say, I’ll say it.”

Jemele also clarified further in a back-and-forth on Twitter with someone who was pointing out the quote to her, to which she responded … “You should probably comprehend better, or maybe read the original piece — which was about me wanting to see Spotify make that investment in prominent Black podcasters. I never told Spotify or the NYT, that I deserved $100M. My deal at Spotify is pretty fair. This was about investment and growth.”

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