Louis Theroux announces new Spotify exclusive podcast

Iconic broadcaster becomes the latest tentpole audio deal for embattled streaming giant

Spotify has announced the signing of a new deal with journalist and broadcaster Louis Theroux, who will be launching an exclusive new interview podcast on the streaming service this year. 

The Louis Theroux Podcast will be launching at an unspecified date later this spring, with “guests spanning the entertainment spectrum”, according to the company.

"With all of the amazing work he's produced over the years, it's close to impossible to not be a huge fan of Louis,” said Chris Baughen, head of Studios at Spotify UK and Ireland. “We're obviously no exception, so it's a huge privilege to welcome him to our roster of Spotify Exclusives."

Theroux has made a name for himself with his unique, conversational interview style and his focus on unexplored niche subcultures, and has garnered a large cult following.

The new podcast will be produced by Theroux’s own company, Mindhouse Productions, and follows Grounded with Louis Theroux – another interview podcast produced for BBC Radio 4 during the UK’s COVID lockdown, which won gold at the British Podcast Awards 2021. 

“I am thrilled to be back hosting podcasts. Long-form conversation is a dream format for me,” explained Theroux. “When I started doing them a few years ago, I couldn’t believe how much response I was getting.”

While the terms of the deal have not been disclosed, the announcement of another high profile podcast deal for Spotify contradicts speculation that the departure of content boss Dawn Ostroff – who spearheaded many of the company’s recent celebrity podcast projects, including Meghan Markle’s Archetypes podcast – would see a decline in the company’s investments in celebrity podcasts. 

Ostroff was one casualty of a recent round of layoffs at the company, which saw an estimated 600 employees being made redundant. Spotify’s Q4 financial results were also released this week, and showed an operating loss of €224m (£198m), which the company attributed primarily to heavy investment in the podcast sector, with content exclusivity deals highlighted as a key component. 

However, CEO Daniel Ek has stated that he doesn’t regret the investment, and “would do it again”, indicating that more high-profile podcast partnerships may be to come.