Music streaming service Spotify demonstrated how serious it is about making a mark in the video space with this morning’s announcement of a 12-series development slate.
The programming will stay true to the Spotify brand, focusing on music performances, pop culture, musical storytelling, animation and music culture. It is expected to roll out in the summer and fall of 2016.
“We are working with artists, producers and partners who understand that the Spotify audience has a strong connection to artists and wants to go deeper into their worlds, see their performances and expressions, and hear their stories,” said Tom Calderone, global head of content for Spotify, in a statement.
The move positions Spotify as a competitor to Amazon Prime and YouTube Red, both of which offer music streaming (Prime Music and Google Play Music, respectively) bundled with their video subscription packages.
Spotify’s series in development are:
“Rush Hour”: Two hip-hop artists (one legend, one up-and-comer) are picked up in a van during the height of L.A. rush hour and driven to an undisclosed location, where they must come up with a remix or mashup of one of their well-known tracks. Once finished, they are taken to the L.A. parking lot stage of Russell Simmon’s All-Def Digital, where they perform for fans.
“Landmark”: A series illustrating the story of an important moment or movement in music history with exclusive interviews, archival footage and multimedia elements. Each installment will be accompanied by a long-form podcast giving in-depth analysis of specific tracks.
“Drawn & Recorded”: An animated series from Gunpowder & Sky featuring narration from Oscar-winner T-Bone Burnett and animation from Drew Christi that illustrates remarkable anecdotes from music history.
“Life in Short”: An anthology series celebrating music’s most enigmatic artists. Each 24-episode season will cover a single artist, with each individual sub-2-minute episode using a different narrative device (animation, documentary, tribute performance) to highlight a key aspect of the artist’s life.
“Trading Playlists”: Two celebrities trade Spotify playlists for a day and discover new music and a little about each other in the process, while highlighting all the ways music is tied to identity and culture. Produced by Collab and Ace Media.
“Singles”: Shot in Spotify’s new, state-of-the-art music studio in NYC, this series gives viewers fly-on-the-wall access to artists as they record new takes on their most well-known songs.
“Rhymes & Misdemeanors”: A true crime series profiling notorious crimes from the music world, from the PCP-fueled cannibalism of rapper Big Lurch to the murder-for-hire plot hatched by the singer of the metal band As I Lay Dying.
“Ultimate/Ultimate”: A mockumentary series from Tim Robbins following several passionate but modestly talented people competing to become the next great EDM star.
“Generations”: A performance series in which two generations of hip-hop stars come together to create new versions of their most notable songs.
“Public Spaces”: In each episode, a notable act performs in one of the world’s great public spaces, from Macklemore in Union Square to A$AP Rocky at the Brandenburg Gate.
“Flash Frame”: Once a month, an A-list act performs at Spotify’s New York City office and is captured on video. Later, additional visual assets will be sourced, shot or created (animation, archival footage, additional video production, etc.) and intercut with one of the numbers to build a narrative around the song’s theme. An assortment of music video directors, animators, CG artists and other creatives will be enlisted to help craft each episode.
“Focus On…”: A performance series in which Spotify will identify a popular band in a key market and have them play an exclusive show for super fans sourced through the platform’s data. In addition to the performance, each 5-segment will features sprofiles of the fans and the music culture in the locale.
Launched in Sweden in 2008, Spotify is now available in 59 markets globally. According to the company, it has 75 million active users and over 30 million paying subscribers, and has driven more than $3 billion to rights holders.