Spotify Producing 12 New Original Shows In Phase 1 Of Video Production Plans

Spotify have 12 new shows on the way covering pinnacle moments in music, the clashing of producers and a mockumentary starring Tim Robbins.

Earlier this year in January Spotify launched a new section on their iOS and Android apps called ‘Shows’. Spotify Shows hosts a load of networks including Comedy Central, MTV, Adult Swim, BBC, Vice, Ted Talks, NBC and more. Each network features a bunch of shows which range from full series like Robot Chicken, to snippets from TV programmes and feature length documentaries.

Now Spotify are working on 12 new and original shows that focus on music and pop culture. These new shows will range from a few minutes long to 15 minutes and feature help from actor Tim Robbins and the co-founder of Def Jam Records Russell Simmons.

Russell Simmons (right) helped build Def Jam Records after it was founded by legendary producer Rick Rubin (left)
Russell Simmons (right) helped build Def Jam Records after it was founded by legendary producer Rick Rubin (left)

A couple of the shows have been revealed: ‘Landmark’ is a docu-series that covers various significant or “landmark” moments in music history. So far there are two episodes shot about Metallica, and one about Beach Boys’ Pet Sounds album.

The other show announced is “Rush Hour”, produced by Russell Simmons’ All Def Digital company. Rush Hour brings together two Hip-Hop acts who have to come together and create performance in limited time to audiences. Bloomberg reported that in the pilot of the show cameras were mainly on the audience, suggesting a focus on response rather than performance.

Meanwhile Academy Award winning actor Tim Robbins will take part in a series which follows his attempts to become the next big thing in dance music… Unfortunately it’s a mockumentary, or fortunately.

The shows are being led by Spotify’s new content partnerships chief. Tom Calderone, who joined in March, said: “Music will always be the most important, but our audience likes us and wants more from us. We have to figure out a second act, and I think it will come out of video. The idea is to make sure users know they can come here for something other than playlists.”

Tom Calderone's years of experience in translating music to video will be instrumental in Spotify's Shows platform
Tom Calderone’s years of experience in translating music to video will be instrumental in Spotify’s Shows platform

Before joining Spotify Calderone worked for 17 years at Viacom Inc. where he made TV stars out of pop singers Britney Spears and Justin Timberlake. He also played a part in turning rappers Flavor Flav and Snoop Dogg into reality television stars. Now he’s trying to bring that experience of melding music and video to Spotify by leading their new original shows.

Apparently Calderone’s plans for Spotify Shows includes two stages. The coming together of music and programmes is part of phase 1. Calderone is also talking to artists in how they can use video with new album releases to complement their new shows. Then in phase 2 they will take the music element away to cement shows as it’s own entity with a series of comedy and animated shows. Calderone plans to visit Los Angeles and London in the next month to discuss partners for shows.

Calderone already has the help of ex-boss Van Toffler, who left his management of MTV, VH1, and CMT to form his own production company: Gunpowder & Sky. The company will produce an animated series called “Drawn & Recorded” focusing on notable artists and places in history.  The show will be narrated by Grammy winner T-Bone Burnett.

Ex-media magnate Van Toffler will produce an animated series for Spotify with his new production company
Ex-media magnate Van Toffler will produce an animated series for Spotify with his new production company

Toffler appears to be highly enthusiastic of Spotify’s direction in video production, saying that streamers like Spotify “need to be more than a library of music. What we did at MTV was create genre shows, unique performance shows and narratives behind the music – literally ‘Behind the Music’. This is a blueprint.”

At the moment there’s no release date for Spotify’s upcoming shows but be sure to find out about it here on the RouteNote blog when any news is revealed.

Head of Social Media and Marketing, RouteNote

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