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Spotify To Woo Audio Enthusiasts With Paid Podcasts

Spotify is looking to dip its toes into the world of podcasts in a bid to bolster its original content line-up and distinguish itself from rivals.

The streaming service will be releasing a trio of premium original audio series in the coming weeks.


Hosted by Naomi Zeichner, Showstopper “brings together two of the most culturally relevant topics of our time: TV shows and music. Through interviews with music supervisors, this biweekly podcast provides a pop culture analysis of our favorite music moments in TV. Season 1 will feature Girls, OC, Scrubs, Stranger Things, Being Mary Jane and more.”

The first episode of Showstopper will premiere on February 23rd.

Unpacked, arriving a month later on March 14, will see “Co-hosts Matt FX, music supervisor for Comedy Central’s Broad City, and Michele Santucci of Spotify Studios, travel to festivals around the country for daily interviews with musicmakers, filmmakers, app-makers, food-makers and all manner of creative folks gathering together.  Can’t roadtrip to all the cultural festivals? Don’t worry they’ve got you covered, starting in Austin, Texas at the annual South by Southwest conference and festival in March.”

Finally, The Chris Lighty Story “chronicles how music industry exec extraordinaire, Chris Lighty shaped the careers of some of hip hop’s most beloved artists like 50 Cent, LL Cool J, Missy Elliott, Foxy Brown, and Puff Daddy. His life followed a twisting path, with an abrupt end that left the music world reeling. Touching on issues of race, mental illness, the development of a new art form and the price of success, this podcast, hosted by Reggie Ossé unpacks his story in a way that’s relatable to all music fans.”

The choice to go with podcasts here makes for an interesting contrast to Apple, who are said to be making in-roads towards Netflix-like video content.

Ultimately, it’s a move that builds on Spotify’s previous efforts to distinguish itself and one that, at least in theory, builds on their overall appeal for audio enthusiasts.

The service produced a political podcast called Clarity in 2016.

While the popularity podcasts has grown signficiantly over the last decade, it’s a medium that’s proven difficult to monetize.

However, there have been some standouts. True crime podcast Serial inspired dozens of imitators and over in 80 million downloads in 2014.

If Spotify can come anywhere near that kind of following, it could provide an unorthodox edge over its competition.

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