Warner Bros. and DC today revealed they have signed a multi-year deal with Spotify to develop a slate of premium, original podcasts featuring DC properties. According to their announcement, Spotify is committed to an annual slate of new dramatic and comedic podcasts that Warner Bros. will develop and produce. Under the deal, Spotify will have a first look at original, scripted narrative DC podcasts. The initial slate of podcasts will also incorporate non-DC properties from Warner Bros.' library of titles and characters. In addition to producing narratives based on existing characters and established franchises from across Warner Bros. and DC, the companies will also collaborate to create new programming from original intellectual property.
Warner Bros. will see their side of the operation overseen by executives Peter Girardi and Robert Steele, who will co-develop and produce the programming in collaboration with Spotify, which will be responsible for the marketing, advertising, and distribution of the shows exclusively on its platform. Girardi hails from Blue Ribbon Content, a low-budget original content creator working with Warner Bros. Home Entertainment on projects like The Banana Splits Movie. Steele is an SVP for Business Strategy and Operations at WB Digital Networks.
"As we continue to see explosive growth in podcasting around the world, we are thrilled to partner with Warner Bros. to build this slate of programming drawn from the worlds of DC and WB," said Dawn Ostroff, Chief Content and Advertising Business Officer for Spotify. "We could not be more excited to be working with Robert, Peter and the entire Warner Bros. and DC teams to deliver new exclusive stories to the more than 286 million Spotify users."
"Warner Bros. has been synonymous with compelling and unforgettable storytelling for nearly a century, and we're continuing to expand that legacy across all types of media platforms for our fans," said Robert Steele and Peter Girardi in a joint statement. "Spotify's deep engagement with its consumers and commitment to prioritizing their podcast vertical makes them an ideal partner in this endeavor. We're excited to bring beloved characters and franchises from DC and Warner Bros. into this new world and to use our storytelling prowess to redefine what's possible in the scripted audio space."
Besides DC characters, Warner has franchises ranging from Mortal Kombat and Austin Powers to the Hanna-Barbera universe (including Scooby-Doo) and Cartoon Network/Adult Swim content. Some franchises may have some rights entanglements with the original writers or creators, but in a lot of cases, these properties would be wide open for WB and Spotify to utilize.