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Spotify has added another top filmmaker to its podcasting ranks.
The music streaming giant has inked a deal with Ava DuVernay and her ARRAY arts and social impact collective. Under the exclusive, multi-year deal, the Selma director is expected to produce scripted and unscripted podcasts in collaboration with Spotify-owned studio Gimlet, which is run by former HuffPost editor-in-chief Lydia Polgreen. ARRAY Filmworks president Sarah Bremner is overseeing the relationship for the company.
“Recognizing the undeniable power of voice and sound, I’m thrilled to extend ARRAY’s storytelling into the realm of podcasts,” DuVernay said in a statement. “The opportunity to work with Lydia Polgreen and her passionate team drew us to Spotify as a home for our audio narratives and we couldn’t be more excited to begin this new creative journey.”
DuVernay joins a lengthy list of creatives who have signed on to make podcasts for Spotify, which began investing in the medium in 2019. The company, in looking to broaden out from its roots as a platform for music, has inked deals with Barack and Michelle Obama, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, Jordan Peele, Paul Feig and Kim Kardashian.
Polgreen noted that the Spotify’s work with ARRAY would align it with a a company “at the forefront of telling powerful stories about the most pressing issues of our time.” The company did not provide specifics about any projects in the works.
“Spotify’s partnership with ARRAY continues our commitment to bringing the world’s most powerful and creative voices into podcasting,” Spotify Chief Content and Advertising Business Officer Dawn Ostroff said in a statement. “We look forward to Spotify listeners hearing from the exceptional creators that ARRAY will be bringing to our global platform.”
Spotify has more than 320 million monthly active users and 144 million subscribers to its Premium service. The company has invested some $1 billion into growing its podcast business over the last two years, including purchasing a number of studios and technology firms in the space. It currently offers 1.9 million podcasts on its platform. All podcasts are available as part of its free, ad-supported offering.
DuVernay, whose credits include films A Wrinkle in Time, 13th and limited series When They See Us, founded ARRAY in 2011 as a home for both film production and distribution efforts and non-profit work.
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