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Spotify Announces 12 Original Music Shows, Including a Mockumentary Series Starring Tim Robbins

Spotify Announces 12 Original Music Shows, Including a Mockumentary Series Starring Tim Robbins

The music streaming service Spotify is trying to expand their reach by tapping into original video content. Variety reports that Spotify has announced the launch of 12 original music-themed video programs, including a mockumentary series about the EDM scene starring Tim Robbins and a series from Russell Simmons of All Def Digital. The shows are a mix of dramatic, documentary, and live performance series, with shows like “Landmark” and “Life in Short” delving into music history, and others like “Singles” and “Public Spaces” featuring notable acts recording and performing their own material. Bloomberg News says that the episodes will range from a few minutes to fifteen minutes long, and that it will be available free and paid Spotify users in the U.S., U.K., Germany, and Sweden.

READ MORE: Listen: 3 Exclusive Playlists Of Music Compiled By ‘Carol’ Director Todd Haynes

The launch represents a big move on the part of Tom Calderone, former VH1 president and new Spotify global head of content partnerships. “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,” says Calderone.

Spotify says that this latest push into video content will only be the first phase of their overall strategy, with a second phase involving more comedy and animation series for its users. Read a description of Spotify’s twelve upcoming shows below. 

  • “Landmark”: Comprised of exclusive interviews, archival footage and multimedia elements, each episode brings to life the story of an important moment or movement in music history. Each installment is accompanied by a long-form podcast with in-depth analysis of specific tracks.
  • “Drawn & Recorded”: Featuring narration from T-Bone Burnett and animation from Drew Christie, each episode tells an anecdote from music history. The stories will range from introspective to comic, and feature artists from across the music spectrum. From Van Toffler’s digital studio Gunpowder & Sky.
  • “Life in Short”: Anthology series celebrating music’s most enigmatic artists. Each 24-episode season covers a single artist and each episode (less than 2 minutes long) uses a different narrative device like animation, documentary or tribute performance to highlight a key aspect of the artist’s life.
  • “Trading Playlists”: Two celebrities trade Spotify playlists for a day, in the process discovering new music, learning a bit about each other, and highlighting all the ways music is tied to identity and culture.
  • “Singles”: Shot in Spotify’s brand 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 with an intimate “low-fi” feel.
  • “Rhymes & Misdemeanors”: In each episode of this true crime series, we profile a notorious crime from the music world. From the PCP-fueled cannibalism of rapper Big Lurch to the murder-for-hire plot hatched by the singer of metal band As I Lay Dying, we’ll get the full story of how some of music’s biggest and most promising acts went tragically down the wrong path.
  • “Ultimate/Ultimate”: Mockumentary series from Tim Robbins follows several passionate (but modestly talented) people competing in a competition to become the next great EDM star. From pint-sized phenom DJ Sparkle, to frat brothers channeling their inner Daft Punk, the series explores the hilarious, endearing and absurd lengths people will go to to pursue their musical passions.
  • “Generations”: In this unique performance series, two generations of hip-hop stars come together to create new versions of their most notable songs. Each installment of the series will feature musical performance along with documentary segments about the experience..
  • “Public Spaces”: Each installment of PUBLIC SPACES features a notable act performing in one of the world’s great public spaces. Whether it’s Macklemore in Union Square, or A$AP Rocky at the Brandenburg Gate this series will redefine “music for the masses.”
  • “Flash Frame”: Billed as a “rejuvenation” of the music video format. Once a month an A-list act will perform at Spotify’s New York City office. The show will be captured on video. After the fact, additional visual assets will be sourced, shot or created (animation, archival footage, additional video production, etc.) and intercut with one of the performed tracks to build a narrative around the song’s theme. Music video directors, animators, CG artist and other creative trendsetters will be tapped to help craft each distinctive episode.
  • “Focus On…”: Data-driven performance series that lives at the intersection of music, culture and Spotify. Spotify will identify a popular band in a key market, and have them play an exclusive show for Super Fans sourced through Spotify’s data. In addition to the performance, each 5-segment installment features segments profiling the fans and the music culture of that particular locale.

READ MORE: Listen: 62-Minute Talk With Xavier Dolan, Plus Spotify Playlist Of All The Songs In ‘Mommy’

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