Spotify’s The Ringer to launch podcast with reality TV couple Heidi and Spencer Pratt

Podcast will be non-exclusive to Spotify and available on all major platforms

Spotify’s The Ringer Podcast Network is launching a new podcast with MTV’s The Hills reality TV couple Heidi and Spencer Pratt, the company announced. 

The weekly podcast titled Speidi’s 16th Minute will premiere on 2 August and explore the secrets behind reality TV and fame, as well as feature guests such as anonymous gossip blogger DeuxMoi. 

“Heidi and I have always wanted to do a master class on being famous, but since their people never call us back, we’re taking it to this podcast which will be both educational and free for you to listen to,” said S. Pratt in a statement to PEOPLE. “A win for everyone! We can’t wait to share this with you!”

According to Variety, the Pratts will also be restricted from talking about their time on The Hills under the SAG-AFTRA strike rules which bars members and non-members from talking or promoting struck work, both old and new. This includes TV rewatch podcasts, which led to ones like the newly released Full House Rewind podcast under PodCo to pause episodes until the strike is resolved. 

Audio episodes of the podcast will be available on all major podcast platforms while video will be exclusive to Spotify’s platform. This follows Spotify’s continued non-exclusive approach to new podcasts such as its upcoming original with former Daily Show host Trevor Noah. 

Spotify started to relinquish exclusivity over selected podcasts on its platform in April 2023 in order to grow its ad sales and broaden its audience to bounce back from the €224 million (£198m) in operating loss that the company revealed in its Q4 2022 financial report. This included selected Gimlet shows like Science Vs. and Reply All.

The company has since announced that it was combining podcast studios Gimlet and Parcast, both of which the platform acquired in 2019, into its pre-existing Spotify Studios organisation in June as part of the next phase of its podcast strategy. This meant that more shows from both studios will be distributed more widely as part of the new integration, a Spotify spokesperson confirmed to PodPod at the time. 

Other shows that Spotify has dropped exclusivity over include Anything Goes with Emma Chamberlain which became available on all podcast platforms in June this year, seven months after the content creator signed an exclusive multi-year licensing agreement with the platform. Video episodes of the podcast, however, remain exclusive to Spotify’s platform. 

The audio giant released its Q2 2023 financial report last week, which revealed that its operating loss was up by 58% since Q1 (€247 million), partially as a result of €53 million (£45 million) in total going towards employee severance charges, content asset write-offs and contract termination costs related to podcast operations.

This includes cost reductions made to improve efficiency such as ending its multi-year exclusive contract with Meghan Markle and Prince Harry and downsizing its podcast division with a round of layoffs affecting 2% of its global workforce in June. The projected operating loss income for Q3 2023, however, is expected to significantly decrease to €45 million (£39 million).