Spotify Goes Video Programming — Announces Launch of Original Music-Themed Shows

Source: Spotify

As if we couldn’t cherish Spotify enough for its extensive library of songs and artists, for its curation of playlists that fit nearly every mood and activity imaginable, basically for it being your own personal DJ, the music-streaming giant is in the works of bringing us a new wave of content — through video programming.

Currently with an audience of 75 million users, Spotify announced in early May 2016 that it is working to expand its reach as it enters the original video content programming game, launching 12 new original series revolving on three central themes: music performances, music profiles, and music culture.

Spotify’s new global head of content partnerships, then-VH1 president Tom Calderone, shares that they are partnering with artists and producers who “understand that the Spotify audience has a strong connection to artists;” those who go beyond listening to music. Spotify will also be partnering with Gunpowder & Sky, a production company formed by Calderone’s former boss Van Toffler who ran MTV, VH1, and CMT before forming the company. Gunpowder & Sky is set to produce an animated series, among the many shows, for Spotify.

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,” — Tom Calderone

In an effort to offer users “more than just a library of music,” as what Toffler said on what services like Spotify need to be, Spotify has lined up 12 new and original shows — all of which bringing narratives behind the music. Among those included in the lineup are Spotify originals such as Landmark, Rush Hour, Trading Playlists, Ultimate/Ultimate, and Drawn and Recorded.

Landmark is a documentary show where each episode features a notable moment in music history through exclusive interviews, archival footage, and other multimedia elements such as an in-depth analysis podcast of specific tracks.

Rush Hour is a series that features two hip-hop artists creating remixes in a van as they are brought to an undisclosed location which was later revealed to be at the parking lot stage of Russell Simmons’ All Def Digital where they perform their new collaboration.

Trading Playlists features two celebrities exchanging Spotify Playlists for a day wherein beyond discovering new music, ways music is tied to identity and culture is highlighted.

Ultimate/Ultimate would be Spotify’s take on mockumentaries as it follows several passionate people competing to become the next big EDM star, exploring the “hilarious, endearing, and absurd lengths people will go to pursue their musical passions.”

Drawn and Recorded, the animated show in collaboration with production company Gunpowder and Sky, features music history anecdotes as narrated by Grammy-winning producer T-Bone Burnett.

And that only consists Spotify’s first phase into video programming, together with the consideration of “talking to artists about ways of collaborating on video in conjunction with upcoming albums.” The current plans on phase 2, on the other hand, is focused on the creation of comedy and animation series that they see would cater to Spotify’s younger audience.

This video programming strategy has not been Spotify’s first attempt at videos as probably unknown to most users, videos are “currently buried in the app, down there with ‘how to unsubscribe’ and ‘privacy policy’,” as joked by Calderone. With Calderone’s expertise at creating genre shows, the challenge for Spotify now is to get people to watch them, at the same time competing with the likes YouTube and Apple Music — which has been reported will soon be playing in the video programming scene as well.

See more about the upcoming original Spotify shows on

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