Jun 18, 2020 - Technology

Spotify, Warner Bros. strike deal for DC Entertainment podcasts

Photo: Aytac Unal/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images

Spotify announced two mega podcast deals in the past 24 hours: A deal with Warner Bros. and DC Entertainment to produce a slate of original podcasts, and a deal to distribute podcasts exclusively from Kim Kardashian West.

The big picture: The company is doubling down on its commitment to podcasting, a medium it thinks can drive higher profits for the company through advertising. Spotify also aims to use its partnership with Warner Bros. and DC to unlock a new type of podcast storytelling.

Details: Spotify, Warner Bros. and DC Entertainment — a subsidiary of Warner Bros. that houses franchises like Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, and more — have inked a multi-year deal to produce and distribute an original slate of scripted podcasts, both dramatic and comedic, centered on the DC universe.

  • The end product will feel similar to that of a DC Entertainment film, with an exclusive web of complex characters and plot lines, but it will be produced exclusively for audio, and exclusively on Spotify.
  • While Warner Bros. is responsible for producing all of the podcasts, Spotify is responsible for the marketing, advertising, and distribution of the shows exclusively on its platform.
  • Under terms of the deal, Spotify gets a first look at original scripted narrative DC podcasts, "including new shows based on the vast universe of premier, iconic DC characters," per a statement.

Our thought bubble: While narrative, scripted podcasts have existed for years, this partnership will help drive the idea of franchising original intellectual property in the audio space, because franchising is what DC specializes in for movies.

Context: Spotify started out investing in podcast production and analytics companies, and is now moving to acquire talent, franchises and intellectual property.

  • After it built a solid suite of technology, advertising and production capabilities through acquisitions of companies like Gimlet, Parcast and Anchor in 2019, it began this year to acquire or strike exclusive deals with brands like The Ringer, The Joe Rogan Experience and now Kim Kardashian West.

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