Spotify Studios’ Heavyweight podcast returns for season 8 this week

Podcast will no longer be exclusive to the Spotify platform

Award-winning podcast Heavyweight is set to return for its eighth season this Thursday, the audio giant announced, and will now be available across all podcast platforms.

The podcast is hosted and executive produced by author and humorist Jonathan Goldstein who revisits moments that took place in the past and the effects that they had, both from his own experiences and from fans who submit their stories to the show.

Topics that will be covered this season will include Goldstein reconnecting with his childhood best friend Lenny after discovering that he is dying. The show has received critical acclaim from numerous publications including The New Yorker and The Financial Times, and won the 2017 Third Coast Award for the episode titled ‘Gregor’. 

Originally created by Gimlet Media prior to its acquisition by Spotify, Heavyweight is one of Spotify Studios’ longest-running shows. The podcast became exclusive to Spotify in 2021, five years after it launched. However, the new season will be available to listen to across all major podcast platforms as Spotify continues to shift its podcast strategy.

In April this year, Spotify announced that it would be relinquishing exclusivity over some of its podcast productions in order to grow the company’s audiences and ad sales. This has since included a number of originals under Spotify Studios - the company’s production arm which includes the combined Gimlet and Parcast teams - including Science Vs. and Heavyweight as well as talent-driven hits like fiction podcast Case 63, Emma Chamberlain’s Anything Goes podcast, Armchair Expert with Dax Shephard, and others.

A spokesperson from Spotify previously told PodPod that the platform is now pursuing broad distribution for some of its originals and licensed podcasts on a case-by-case basis as part of its new strategy. For the most part, video podcasts are still exclusive to the Spotify platform. 

"Given our position as the leading global podcast platform, we expanded our windowing strategies to increase the audiences and ad sales potential of our shows,” said the spokesperson. 

The platform also recently announced that it is testing the use of artificial intelligence technology to translate podcasts into multiple languages using the host’s voice, and launched its pilot-run of English podcasts that have been translated into Spanish, with a video including snippets from hit shows like Diary of A CEO with Steven Bartlett and the Lex Fridman Podcast.