Swedish audio streaming platform Spotify has announced a partnership with American mass media company Warner Bros and comic book publisher DC to produce and distribute an original slate of narrative scripted podcasts. The collaboration will help Spotify tap into the two companies’ popular franchises, such as those based on superheroes like Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman and titles including Joker, Harry Potter, Doctor Sleep and so on.
However, these podcasts, both dramatic and comedic will include new shows based on the vast universe of iconic DC characters, which means they won’t be tied to plotlines of existing shows or movies.
In addition to producing narratives based on existing characters and established franchises from across Warner Bros. and DC, the companies will also collaborate to create new programming from original intellectual property, a statement from them said.
“As we continue to see explosive growth in podcasting around the world, we are thrilled to partner with Warner Bros. to build this slate of programming drawn from the worlds of DC and WB," Dawn Ostroff, chief content and advertising business officer, Spotify, said in a statement. “We could not be more excited to be working with the entire Warner Bros. and DC teams to deliver new exclusive stories to the more than 286 million Spotify users."
On the Warner Bros. side, the partnership will be managed through a cross-divisional effort led by the Peter Girardi, executive vice-president of WBTV’s Blue Ribbon Content digital studio and of alternative programming at Warner Bros Animation and Robert Steele, senior vice-president of business strategy and operations for Warner Bros. Digital Networks. The duo will co-develop and produce the programming in collaboration with Spotify, which will be responsible for marketing, advertising, and distribution of the shows exclusively on its platform. Girardi will serve as the creative lead and Steele is overseeing business aspects of the partnership.
“Spotify’s deep engagement with its consumers and commitment to prioritizing their podcast vertical makes them an ideal partner in this endeavour. We’re excited to bring beloved characters and franchises from DC and Warner Bros. into this new world and to use our storytelling prowess to redefine what’s possible in the scripted audio space," Steele and Girardi said in a joint statement.
In India, movie-goers and pop culture enthusiasts are pretty familiar with the Warner and DC universe, with films like Joker (Rs. 67.95 crore), Aquaman (Rs. 54.60 crore), and Wonder Woman (Rs. 16.50 crore) having set the cash registers ringing.
Launched in India in February 2019, Spotify has notched up two million monthly active users in the country at last count. According to a report by data measurement firm Nielsen, it commands 15% of the audio streaming market in the country, which is dominated by Gaana (30%) and JioSaavn (24%).