Spotify has inked a multi-year podcast deal with Warner Bros. and its subsidiary DC Entertainment, home of iconic comic book franchises like Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman.
The deal will see a slate of scripted original podcasts, centered on the DC universe, produced by Warner Bros. and advertised, marketed and distributed by Spotify.
Spotify says that the partnership will “leverage iconic characters in new Spotify shows”.
According to Axios, the podcasts, which will be exclusive to Spotify, “will feel similar to that of a DC Entertainment film, with an exclusive web of complex characters and plot lines”.
Additionally, Spotify says it will draw upon “Warner Bros. Studio’s broader collection of timeless titles as stand-alone podcast series”.
It adds: “This collaborative and innovative effort will further increase the diverse array of premium storytelling content for Spotify listeners around the world.”
Record labels and music publishers may not be quite so enthused with the idea of Spotify’s audience eating up listening hours by consuming scripted epic stories out of the DC Universe.
The way in which podcasts affect music royalty payments was thought to be a sticking point in Spotify’s long-awaited (and recently inked) new global multi-year deal with Warner Music Group.
Today’s news marks the second major podcast related headline from Spotify over the past 24 hours.
Yesterday (June 17), the Wall Street Journal broke the news that Spotify has signed an exclusive podcast deal with Kim Kardashian West.
Citing people familiar with the deal, the WSJ reports that the criminal-justice-focused series will be co-hosted with television producer Lori Rothschild Ansaldi.
Both new deals also follow last month’s news that that hugely popular podcast The Joe Rogan Experience will be launching exclusively on Spotify via a multi-year licensing deal, which the WSJ suggested will cost Spotify over $100m.
The JRE will debut on Spotify on September 1, 2020, and become exclusively available on the platform later this year.
In addition to the high-profile exclusive deals signed in the past month, Spotify’s increasingly aggressive podcasting strategy includes paying $250m for Bill Simmons-founded sports media outlet, the Ringer.
Spotfify also spent $375m in cash on buying podcast companies last year – across three deals with a total value of $404m.
Those other companies are:
New York-based Anchor FM Inc, an online platform which enables users to both create and distribute podcast content, which SPOT bought on February 14 for a total consideration of €136m ($154m).
Next came podcast producer Gimlet Media, for a total deal price of $195m. Spotify acquired the firm on February 15 for a total consideration of €172m ($195m), consisting of €170m ($193m) in cash. The remainder of this purchase price (€2m) was “related to the fair value of partially vested share-based payment awards replaced”.
After Gimlet and Anchor came Parcast, which Spotify acquired in April 2019.Music Business Worldwide