Warner Music Group and Spotify strike podcast development deal

Warner Music Group (WMG) and Spotify have entered into a new partnership that will see the two companies develop a series of original podcasts built around WMG’s artists’ and songwriters’ catalogs.

According to WMG, the deal will see podcasts made that tell stories “behind some of the biggest hit songs and get an inside look at the work of their favorite artists and songwriters”.

The new agreement comes a year after Spotify and Warner Music Group agreed a new global licensing deal and also marks the first time the music streaming company has announced a podcast deal like this one with a major.

Universal Music Group signed a podcast development partnership in April 2019 with podcast publisher Wondery, which has since been acquired by Amazon Music.

WMG currently produces various podcasts from across its network including Duran Duran’s WHOOOSH! curated and hosted by Simon Le Bon and the Prince official podcast in collaboration with his estate.

It also produces Robert Plant’s Digging Deep; the Good Ol Grateful Deadcast hosted by musician Rich Mahan and Relix contributing editor Jesse Jarnow; The Rhino Podcasts, telling stories of legends like Aretha Franklin, Todd Rundgren, and John Densmore of The Doors;.

Other WMG podcasts include Warner Chappell Music’s Final Sessions, a series chronicling the narrative behind the release of Losst and Founnd – the album of final recordings from the late singer/songwriter Harry Nilsson; Grandson’s XXWhy show interviewing other artists and activists; as well as cultural hit show Uproxx’s People’s Party hosted by Talib Kweli.\

WMG also recently launched the BLK In America podcast by Topsify, which sees influential Black artists – including Rico Nasty, Chaka Khan, and Keedron Bryant – discussing what it means to be Black in America.

Spotify says that it is now home to more than 2 million podcasts.

In November, the company’s podcast-related acquisition spend over the prior two years topped $800m after buying podcast ad platform Megaphone for $235m.

Also in November, Spotify was reported to be exploring a podcast-only $7.99-per-month subscription prospect.

In July 2020, the music streaming company officially launched creator-made video podcasts globally.

“Podcasts provide an opportunity to unlock value for artists and songwriters by delivering fresh and unique stories to music to fans across the globe.”

Oana Ruxandra, Warner Music Group

Oana Ruxandra, EVP, Business Development and Chief Digital Officer, Warner Music Group, said: “We’re excited to take this step forward with Spotify as we strengthen and deepen our existing partnership.

“Podcasts provide an opportunity to unlock value for artists and songwriters by delivering fresh and unique stories to music to fans across the globe.

“We look forward to working with Spotify to experiment and drive growth in podcasting.”

“In partnership with Warner Music Group, we look to develop stories leveraging their unique artists and catalog.

Courtney Holt, Spotify

Courtney Holt, VP Global Studios & Business, Spotify, added: “The most impactful podcasts share with music the key component of storytelling and personal experience.

“In partnership with Warner Music Group, we look to develop stories leveraging their unique artists and catalog.

“We look forward to helping them leverage the power of podcasting to forge a deeper connection with fans.”

 Music Business Worldwide