With Spotify Podcast, Jemele Hill Is Ready to 'Lean Into' Difficult Sports Issues

March 26, 2019

By Spencer Feingold

Since its founding in 2008, Spotify has grown to become the world’s largest music streaming service with over 200 million users in nearly 80 countries.

Today, the company is accelerating its “audio-first” strategy and making huge inroads into the world of podcasts. On Monday, Spotify ($SPOT) announced it was acquiring Parcast, a storytelling-driven podcast studio launched in 2016.

The acquisition will bring popular Parcast podcasts, such as Serial Killers, Unsolved Murders, and Cults, to the global platform.

Spotify is also partnering with newsmakers and journalists to create digital audio shows that cover current events and hot topics.

In January, the company announced a new show, “Jemele Hill is Unbothered,” hosted by the former ESPN journalist, Jemele Hill.

“Since commentary has always been my lane, this is a perfect home and hub for me to give my opinion on various issues,” Hill told Cheddar on Tuesday.

Hill’s show will feature prominent guests and focus on the intersection of sports, politics, music, identity, and culture.

“Jemele is an important voice,” Courtney Holt, head of Spotify studios, said in a statement. “She will bring her unique point of view to our platform with Unbothered, which is sure to be a favorite of listeners with diverse interests and viewpoints.”

Hill said her podcast will have a “hanging out kind of atmosphere” and facilitate important conversations on topics ranging from NFL players taking a knee to the U.S. women’s soccer team suing for equal pay.

“It is important that we lean into those intersections, and those issues, because we would be irresponsible as journalists if we didn’t,” Hill said.

Spotify’s push into podcasts began earlier this year with the major acquisition of Gimlet Media Inc. and Anchor FM Inc. The company made the purchase for a staggering $340 million.