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Alex Cooper moved her widely popular podcast, Call Her Daddy, from Barstool Sports to Spotify last month in a deal worth $60 million over the next three years.
In a Wall Street Journal feature, Cooper opened up about the move, noting she met with several other distributors and turned down an offer significantly larger than Spotify’s.
“I felt [Spotify’s] initiative to maximize user experience is second to none,” Cooper says. “At that point, money was money. I was like, these are both insane offers.”
It’s not clear which company had made a higher offer to Cooper than Spotify. Interestingly, aside from SiriusXM’s contract extensions with Howard Stern, Spotify has spent more on audio than its competitors. By a lot.
Cooper and Sofia Franklyn started Call Her Daddy in 2018, growing the podcasts from 12,000 to two million downloads in two months. Now solely hosted by Cooper, the Call Her Daddy podcast brand trails only a few. Though known as a sex-talk podcast, Call Her Daddy has expanded into more serious topics over the past year.
With Spotify, Cooper will increase her output and subsequent reach. Cooper says there will now be 48 episodes of Call Her Daddy a year, plus 26 bimonthly mini-episodes. Moreover, Cooper will launch a second podcast focused on crime.
“I’m a competitive psycho. I’ve recognized that in the [podcasting] space right now, crime is huge. Everyone wants crime,” she goes on.
At this point, Cooper’s audience follows her for who she is, not the topics she covers. So whether it’s sex-talk, dating, mental health, life, or crime — Cooper’s supporters will follow, listen, subscribe, rate, and share.
In a column earlier this year, I discussed that while podcasts are surging in quantity, distributors have struggled to monetize more than a select few. Call Her Daddy is one of the few that generates revenue akin to a hit radio program. In addition, the show’s pivot from sex-talk to more serious topics will open its brand up to another echelon of advertisers.
“I want to be the biggest podcast in the world,” Cooper says.
Well, it’s already one of the biggest podcasts in the world. At Barstool, Call Her Daddy frequently ranks among the four most downloaded podcasts in the industry, according to Podtrac’s monthly ratings, behind only the daily podcasts that air more than five times per week. Though CHD’s numbers will decline under Spotify’s exclusivity because it will lose the Apple subscribers, Cooper’s responsive audience will offset the loss of raw subscribers.
CHD‘s audience is already in a target demographic of the podcast industry.
“In negotiations, I own the audience they all want,” Cooper says. “In the beginning stages, how salacious I was, even if it was pissing people off, people were clicking on that.”
According to the report, Cooper’s representatives describe her core audience as women ages 18–33. Aside from ad rates, women aged 18–33 are more likely to buy branded products and merchandise than other demographics.
In 2021, the name of a media company one works for is secondary. Instead, the industry is now tailor-made for singular personalities who created or own their brands. Joe Rogan, Ben Shapiro, and Dave Portnoy highlight this group. And at just 26-years-old, Alex Cooper is on a trajectory to expand that list.