Parenting Hell accidentally publishes episode on all platforms

Fans left confused as podcast has been exclusive to Spotify since November 2022

Parenting Hell, the chart-topping comedy podcast hosted by Rob Beckett and Josh Widdicombe, has accidentally published its latest episode across all platforms for the first time since it became exclusive to Spotify in November 2022. 

This morning, Season 6, Episode 17 of the show could be downloaded on podcast platforms besides Spotify, including Amazon Music, Global Player, PocketCasts, and Podcast Addict. Fans of the show took to Twitter to share their confusion, with some speculating that the pair may have decided to leave their Spotify exclusivity contract. One user tweeted, “Either you have stuck it to the corporation or [podcast producer] michael f*cked up”. 

However, the episode has now been removed from third-party platforms, and a Spotify source has confirmed to PodPod that the episode was uploaded to wider RSS feeds by accident, and that the show remains exclusive to its platform.

Spotify’s exclusivity contract with Parenting Hell was announced at the end of last year after the podcast's parent production company Keep It Light Media joined Spotify’s hosting platform Megaphone. Although the rest of Keep It Light Media’s portfolio has also joined the audio giant, the rest of the shows continued to be distributed across other podcast platforms while only Parenting Hell became exclusive to Spotify.

The announcement was initially met with criticism from fans, many of whom said that they would refuse to download Spotify just to listen to the podcast, despite Beckett’s assurances that the show would remain free to listen to and be released on the same schedule. 

Numerous podcast creators have decided to opt out of renewing their exclusivity deals with Spotify over the past year, including the Obamas’ Higher Ground audio and media company which ended its contract in October 2022 and has since moved to Audible in order to be more accessible to a wider audience. 

Additionally, podcast host Brené Brown also announced that she would not be renewing her Spotify-exclusive podcasts Unlocking Us and Dare To Lead after her shows completed in January 2023, as she decided to take a longer break from creating any future projects. 

Spotify’s senior partnerships executive and Parcast founder, Max Cutler, whose responsibilities included overseeing exclusive Spotify deals with the platform’s top creators like Joe Rogan and Emma Chamberlain, recently announced that he will be quitting his role to pursue his own start-up venture. The announcement came one month after Spotify announced that it will be cutting costs by laying off 6% of its staff and changes to executive roles including appointing chief R&D officer Gustav Söderström to chief product officer and Alex Norström as chief business officer.