J.K. Rowling and Spotify are teaming up to bring a celebrity-filled narration of the first “Harry Potter” book to life.
The initiative was created to bring more entertainment to kids and their parents during the worldwide COVID-19 lockdown. Rowling’s first book, “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone,” will be read aloud by “Harry Potter” star Daniel Radcliffe, Stephen Fry, David Beckham, Noma Dumezweni, Eddie Redmayne and Dakota Fanning among the actors that will narrate the book via self-recorded videos.
Appropriately, Radcliffe kicks off the narration by reading chapter one. Other “surprises and special appearances from across the Wizarding World and beyond” will also be featured.
The read-aloud chapters will be released individually starting May 5 through the end of June. Chapter One will be released at 2:15 BST and videos will be posted weekly on the Harry Potter at Home website. Spotify joins the effort and will host audio-only versions of the read-along on its web player and mobile app. As with all podcast content on Spotify, the chapters will be available to all free and Premium Spotify users worldwide, including Spotify Kids — the platform’s standalone beta app for kids — exclusive to Spotify Premium Family subscribers in select markets. Audiobook platform Audible is also offering the audiobook version of the novel for free on its Audible Stories platform.
Teachers are also encouraged to get their remote classes involved and will be given open license to post videos of themselves reading the Harry Potter stories on educational platforms.
The initiative was developed by Wizarding World Digital (a partnership between J.K. Rowling’s fan site Pottermore and film publishers Warner Bros) and J.K. Rowling’s agents the Blair Partnership.
“It is hoped that this new slate of readings bring further comfort, entertainment and magic to children, families and carers confined to home everywhere,” Wizarding World Digital said in a statement Tuesday.