Spotify tunes into original music-themed videos

Leading streaming-music service Spotify is moving forward with original music-themed videos.

Spotify Ltd. is making 12 original video programs around music theme, set to start producing and streaming this summer, featuring performances, musical storytelling, animation, pop culture and music culture videos.

“We are developing original content that is rooted in music, pop culture, and animation that is driven by the passion and sense of humor of our audience,” Tom Calderone, Global Head of Content Partnerships, Spotify.

Episodes will range up to 15 minutes and will be available, initially, for free and paid Spotify users in four markets – U.S., U.K., Germany and Sweden.

Check below a rundown of the shows, announced by Spotify:

Rush Hour – “Two hip-hop artists (one legend, one young buck) are picked up in a van during the height of LA rush hour,” Spotify notes. “As they drive to an undisclosed location they must come up with a remix or mashup of one of their well-known tracks. Once done, they arrive at the downtown LA parking lot stage of Russell Simmon’s new company All-Def Digital, where they perform their new collaboration (as well as other songs) before a crowd of raucous super fans.”

Landmark – This is more of a factual/documentary style series that will include interviews, archival footage, and “unique multi-media elements.” These will focus on key moments in music history that will also feature podcasts digging deeper into tracks.

Drawn & Recorded – Animated series narrated by T-Bone Burnett and illustrated by Drew Christie, also focused on music history milestones. “The stories will range from introspective to comic, and feature artists from across the music spectrum.”

Life in Short – This is described as an “anthology series celebrating music’s most enigmatic artists.” The seasons will have 24 episodes and each season will focus on a single artist. The episodes are very short — less than two minutes — and will mix in animation, documentary, performance and other formats. Prepare to be unprepared, it seems:”Episodes will run the gamut from funny to inspiring, to somber. Each episode is designed to live on its own but, if watched as whole, the series will provide unique insight into the subject.”

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 – This reminds me a bit of the series of videos that Spotify has done around live performances at SxSW in Austin. This one — of artists performing some of their best-known work — will be shot in NYC on Spotify’s studios. And despite the fact that they studios are “state-of-the-art” “SINGLES will have a super-intimate, almost ‘low-fi’ feel,” says Spotify.

Rhymes & Misdemeanors – 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 – If you liked Tim Robbins in movies like Robert Altman’s The Player, this one will be aimed at you. The actor has created a “comedic, mockumentary series following several passionate (but modestly talented) people competing in a competition to become the next great EDM star.” This sounds excellent.

Generations – A performance series that pairs different generations of hip-hop stars “to create new versions of their most notable songs.”

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 – Spotify says this is its take on the “music video format.” Once a month an A-list act will perform at Spotify’s New York City office, and 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.” Spotify says that its list of creatives will include music video directors, animators and CG artists.

Focus On… This is an interesting one, too: it will be using some of its own analytics to surface an up and coming musician or group, and will then get that act to perform a show for “superfans” as well as profiles of the band itself. It shows how, even if Spotify is still sitting cold with Taylor Swift, it’s trying to move on and forge relationships with the next generation of would-be stars.

This is a great move by Spotify as the service needs to be more than a music library. This strategy is very interesting by making users glued to watching videos and allowing the company to explore different types of ad revenues. It also differentiates the service compared to other streaming providers.

Great move by Spotify and it’s over 75 million of users.

Quen-Quen Potter

BlackBerry enthusiast, entrepreneur, beer sommelier, web developer, Geek with Glasses, darts fanatic and Enlightened agent.

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