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Brené Brown Joins Vox Media In Podcast Partnership That Returns Her Shows To Wide Distribution.

After one year on the podcast sidelines after her split with Spotify, author and podcast host Brené Brown is returning to the medium. She is reviving her Unlocking Us and Dare to Lead podcasts under a strategic partnership with Vox Media. In what is described as a “wide-ranging” partnership, Vox will lead sales, marketing, and distribution for the podcasts that will now be widely available across all listening apps. It will also re-release the back catalog of episodes of the two podcasts.

“Vox Media is the perfect creative podcast partner for the relaunch of Unlocking Us and Dare to Lead,” Brown says in a statement. “I’ve missed the learning, the unlearning, and the laughter – I think we need more of all three right now!”

Vox says a new season of Unlocking Us will debut on Feb 28. The show features Brown in conversations with guests discussing the need for connection, and what it means to be human. Dare to Lead, which says it features conversations with change-catalysts, culture-shifters, and troublemakers, will return with a new season beginning March 20. Brown is also scheduled to host a live recording on Sunday, March 10 as part of the company’s official podcast stage at SXSW, The Vox Media Podcast Stage. 

"Brené has a transcendent voice. She has helped so many of us live wholehearted lives through courage, connection, vulnerability, and authenticity," says Ray Chao, Vox Media's Senior VP and General Manager for Audio and Digital Video. "We're so proud to bring Brené to the Vox Media Podcast Network and be the new audio home for her research, insights, and powerful storytelling."

Brown, a research professor at the University of Houston, was an early embracer of podcasting. She self-published a podcast series a dozen years ago. Then in 2020 she inked a deal to become a Spotify exclusive. But the relationship turned rocky, and Brown briefly stopped releasing episodes in protest of vaccine comments made on The Joe Rogan Experience and her belief that management was not doing enough to stop the spread of misinformation about COVID vaccines. In January 2023, the final episodes of the two podcasts were released after Spotify said it opted not to renew her earlier three-year deal.

Brown’s TED talk on the Power of Vulnerability is one of the five most viewed TED Talks in the world with over 60 million views. She has also written six bestsellers and produced a Netflix special, and in March 2022, she launched a new show on HBO Max that focuses on her latest book, “Atlas of the Heart.”

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