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Ava DuVernay is the newest celebrity to sign a Spotify-exclusive podcasting deal

Ava DuVernay is the newest celebrity to sign a Spotify-exclusive podcasting deal


For scripted and unscripted shows

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Photo by Rich Polk/Getty Images for ESSENCE

Spotify is continuing its pursuit of podcasting talent. Today, the company announced that it’s partnering with filmmaker Ava DuVernay and her Array media collective to launch exclusive scripted and unscripted audio programming. Those shows will come out of Spotify’s Gimlet team, and Spotify didn’t offer any preview of what the new programs might entail.

DuVernay is just the latest in a string of high-profile talent deals Spotify has inked. It locked down Joe Rogan’s show exclusively last year, as well as new shows from Kim Kardashian West, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, as well as the Obamas’ production company Higher Ground. It’s also acquired notable podcast networks, including Gimlet Media, Parcast, and The Ringer.

The strategy with all these deals seems to be building out a robust catalog of programming that has something for everyone. This, in turn, could bring more people to the Spotify app and turn them into lifelong users who, ideally, also pay for a premium subscription. Spotify also sells ads against these shows, even for paying subscribers, meaning it can double dip in revenue.

Meanwhile, Spotify’s facing pressure from investors who don’t see the strategy panning out, at least not yet. Even still, competitors like Amazon and Google have since gotten more serious about podcasting while Apple is rumored to be considering launching its own subscription podcast service. Spotify now has new competition, as well as its stock market price to consider.