Spotify is doing more to become the place you go for original audio and video content, rather than just preexisting content. The streaming company announced that it is producing three original podcasts about various aspects of music culture, with more titles to be announced later this year. The first episode of one of the podcasts is already available: Showstoppers, with host Naomi Zeichner, Editor in Chief of The Fader magazine, focuses on “pop culture analysis of our favorite music moments in TV.”
The second podcast, called Unpacked, debuts March 14, coinciding with South by Southwest. Hosted by Matt FX, music supervisor for Comedy Central’s Broad City, and Michele Santucci of Spotify Studios, Unpacked brings the festival scene to you even when you’re miles away from the action. The hosting duo will travel to different music festivals and record interviews daily with musicians, filmmakers, and more so listeners can experience the festival via the podcast.
The third podcast announced, which has the working title The Chris Lightly Story, will showcase how music industry icon Chris Lightly shaped some of the biggest names in hip-hop culture. Hosted by Reggie Ossé, the podcast will dive into Lightly’s life and influence on the careers of artists including Missy Elliot, Foxy Brown, and LL Cool J, with commentary from other big names including Russell Simmons and Fat Joe.
Spotify must bolster its original content offerings since most other competitors are doing the same. Pandora recently launched subscription tiers, making itself more like Spotify than ever before. Apple Music will be producing its own content as well, including a Carpool Karaoke series based off of James Corden’s popular late-night sketch. Popular original content should not only draw new users to a platform, but it could also keep existing users from switching over to a competitor.
This is the biggest push into original podcasting we’ve seen from Spotify. Last year the company produced Clarify, an audio and video series about the relationship between music and political issues, in partnership with Mic and Headcount.org, Spotify also announced last year it would produce 12 original video series; the ones that have already come out have received mixed reviews. Spotify has carried existing podcasts since 2015, and it’s possible that the recent podcast resurgence will help the company’s new efforts. Spotify users may not have been interested in the company’s original videos, but they may be more keen to listen to its original audio content if they’re already streaming most other music and podcasts on the platform.