ESPN and Netflix are looking to Spotify for ancillary content to complement their newest docuseries about former Chicago Bulls player Michael Jordan. The Last Dance tells the story of Jordan’s career over the course of 10 episodes released weekly, and now, Spotify is creating music and podcast playlists that viewers can check out after watching the show. The music playlist was partially curated by the series’ music supervisor Rudy Chung, while Spotify’s internal podcast curation team is seemingly putting the weekly podcast playlist together.
The partnership builds on every brand’s respective strengths. ESPN is partnering with Netflix to bring the show to viewers outside the US, and the two companies are looking to outsource further content curation to Spotify, another company with massive global reach.
Chung, the show’s music supervisor, also mentioned in an interview with Vice that The Last Dance couldn’t license every song they wanted because of budget constraints. Spotify already has those deals worked out, so he and his team can build their entire dream playlist without having to take money from the show. Plus, Spotify gets to promote its own network podcasts, like Bill Simmons’ show, which is an extra perk for the company.
Spotify just launched its podcast playlists last month. Showing that it can not only curate content around arbitrary themes, but also specific shows, might make the platform even more appealing to potential listeners. Apple already has curated lists around themes, like Women’s History Month, for example, so it’s interesting that Netflix and ESPN looked to Spotify for this partnership. If Spotify can become the place for themed playlists tied to specific shows and brands, it could end up dominating a huge portion of the podcast market.