It’s been well over a year since Spotify launched its major foray into podcasting. But the streaming giant had been missing one of the most popular radio shows in the U.S. — “This American Life” — until now.
The show is now streaming on Spotify, although only the 10 most recent episodes are currently available. “This American Life,” hosted by Ira Glass, is among the most successful audio series to date. In March 2020, it ranked as the No. 5 podcast in the U.S. by audience size, according to measurement firm Podtrac.
Previously, Pandora had secured exclusive streaming rights to “This American Life,” which explained its absence on Spotify. “With the Pandora deal lapsing, and Spotify seeing a growth in podcast listenership, it was a perfect time for ‘This American Life’ to come to the platform,” a Spotify rep said.
“This American Life” is produced in collaboration with WBEZ Chicago and distributed by PRX (Public Radio Exchange). Note that Pandora also negotiated exclusive streaming rights to “Serial” (also produced with WBEZ) — which is not currently on Spotify. However, Serial Productions’ hit podcast “S-Town” is available on Spotify.
First aired back in 1995, “This American Life” has produced more than 700 episodes. More than 2.2 million listeners tune in each week across 500 public radio stations in the U.S, and another 3.1 million people download each episode.
On Spotify, “This American Life” joins a lineup of other shows that were featured on or inspired by the original program, including NPR’s “Planet Money,” “Heavyweight” and “Where Should We Begin? With Esther Perel.” Incidentally, podcast upstart Gimlet Media, which Spotify acquired in 2019, was co-founded by Alex Blumberg, an alum of “This American Life.”