Spotify lands exclusive DC Universe podcasts
Spotify on Thursday said it would be expanding its exclusive podcast library to include stories from the DC Universe.
The narrative scripted podcasts are part of a multiyear partnership between Spotify, Warner Bros. and DC.
“The partnership — the first to involve the intellectual property of the entire DC Universe — will leverage iconic characters in new Spotify shows,” Spotify said in a blog post Thursday.
Spotify did not reveal which DC characters would be getting podcasts, how many shows would be on its slate or when the programs will come onto its platform. DC Universe characters include Batman, Wonder Woman, Superman and the Joker.
The scripted audio programs will be based on existing characters and franchises from Warner Bros. and DC, and new programming will also be created based on original intellectual property, Spotify said. The Swedish streaming company declined to discuss financial terms of the agreement.
“Warner Bros. has been synonymous with compelling and unforgettable storytelling for nearly a century, and we’re continuing to expand that legacy across all types of media platforms for our fans,” said Robert Steele and Peter Girardi, who will manage the partnership on the Warner Bros. side. “Spotify’s deep engagement with its consumers and its commitment to prioritizing their podcast vertical makes them an ideal partner in this endeavor.”
Dawn Ostroff, Spotify’s chief content officer, says she plans on making hundreds of original podcast series next year as part of a strategy to expand the streaming platform’s podcast offerings. The company aims to have 20% of the listening on its service be non-music.
The announcement is part of Spotify’s larger push into podcasting. The company, once known mainly as a music streaming service, has seen an upswing in podcasts on its platform. Spotify recently landed an exclusive deal with the popular podcast “The Joe Rogan Experience” and bought podcast-related companies including New York’s Gimlet Media and L.A.'s The Ringer.
The company also has an exclusive podcast deal for a criminal justice podcast co-produced by influencer Kim Kardashian West and producer Lori Rothschild Ansaldi, according to a person familiar with the matter who was not authorized to comment and requested anonymity. The podcast will look at the case of Kevin Keith, who was convicted of murdering three people and wounding others. The podcast deal was first reported by the Wall Street Journal.
Kardashian West tweeted last year that she believes that “so much evidence has been uncovered proving Kevin’s innocence.”
But two victims of the shooting disagree, with one telling the Mansfield News Journal last year that she has no doubt that Keith shot her and her family.
Spotify has more than 286 million users on its platform, with 130 million subscribers. The company offers a free version with ads, as well as a $9.99-a-month version for people who want to listen to music without ads.
Spotify is expanding its staff in Southern California, with a downtown L.A. office that will have podcast studios. Some of the podcasts in Thursday’s announcement are expected to be produced at Spotify’s studios in L.A., following safety protocols and guidelines surrounding COVID-19.
“L.A., it is the center of gravity for Spotify’s podcast business,” Courtney Holt, Spotify’s global head of studios and video, said this year.
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