In the future, everyone will have a podcast. If there wasn’t already a plethora of podcasts available before the coronavirus pandemic, the quarantine has certainly inspired a whole swath of new audio entertainment to fight for our attention. Even media giants are getting in on the latest rise in podcast popularity, and Spotify and Audible will be adding more to the bunch.
Spotify has just struck a deal with Warner Bros. and DC Entertainment that will bring the likes of Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, Harley Quinn, The Joker and many more DC Comics characters into the podcast arena with an annual slate of dramatic and comedic scripted audio programming. Meanwhile, over at Audible, a handful of new shows starring Kevin Bacon, Alicia Silverstone, Christian Slater, Yvette Nicole Brown and more have just been announced.
A press release from Spotify announced the new DC Comics podcasts offerings in a multi-year deal to produce and distribute an original slate of narrative scripted podcasts featuring various DC Comics superheroes and villains. Spotify will get a first look at original scripted narrative DC Comics podcasts starring recognizable characters from the rich history of comics, and they”ll also work with Warner Bros. and DC to create new programming from original intellectual property.
For Warner Bros., Peter Girardi, Executive Vice President of Blue Ribbon Content and of Alternative Programming at Warner Bros. Animation, and Robert Steele, Senior Vice President, Business Strategy and Operations, Warner Bros. Digital Networks, will co-develop and produce the programming in collaboration with Spotify. The music streamer will take care of all the marketing, advertising, and distribution of the shows they produce while Giardi will serve as the creative lead and Steele will handle the business strategy side of things.
In a joint statement, Steele and Giaradi said:
“Warner Bros. has been synonymous with compelling and unforgettable storytelling for nearly a century, and we’re continuing to expand that legacy across all types of media platforms for our fans. Spotify’s deep engagement with its consumers and commitment to prioritizing their podcast vertical makes them an ideal partner in this endeavor. We’re excited to bring beloved characters and franchises from DC and Warner Bros. into this new world and to use our storytelling prowess to redefine what’s possible in the scripted audio space.”
With over 286 million Spotify users out there, this could be an exciting new way to experience the world of DC Comics. Perhaps this is something we’ll learn more about during DC FanDome in August.
Audible Announces Summer Slate of Original Shows
Meanwhile, Audible has been in the audio entertainment game for a little while now. Though they’ve mostly been known for audiobooks, recent years have seen them expand into original audio entertainment featuring a variety of famous faces. Their latest round of shows for the summer were recently unveiled, and the line-up includes both comedy and drama programming with some recognizable faces (and voices) from film and television.
Here’s a rundown of the four new original Audible shows arriving this summer:
Yard Work follows an elderly judge, reeling from the death of his wife of 50-plus-years. Against his children’s wishes, the judge decides to live out the rest of his years at the lake house where he and his wife spent their happiest times. Shortly after arriving, the judge notices a vine aggressively growing on what was once the couple’s favorite tree. Quickly, it spreads into the house, onto his body, and eventually into his bloodstream. After taking several gruesome measures to fight off the vine, it becomes clear the vine has taken on a life of its own – and threatens to end his.
The series is written by Jurassic Park and War of the Worlds scribe David Koepp, marking his first foray into short fiction, and stars Footloose and Apollo 13 actor Kevin Bacon.
Phreaks follows a group of fledgling phone hackers in the ‘70s who figure out how to crack the global telephone network and forge the first virtual community. Emma Gable, an isolated blind teen, stumbles into the underground Phreak culture while exploring the vast network owned and operated by Bell Telephone.
With real techniques used by hackers across the globe in the 1970s, Phreaks seeks to tap into a unique 10-part period drama that stars Christian Slater (Mr. Robot), Carrie Coon (Gone Girl), Ben McKenzie (Gotham), Justice Smith (Detective Pikachu), and rising star Bree Klauser (See) as Emma Gable.
Eat Sh*t Kenny Daniels follows an aspiring, amateur podcast host who goes on an ill-advised journey to investigate and learn from an unexamined moment from her life 18 years ago. One woman’s quest for redemption from a former high school classmate she wronged starts as a self-indulgent dead-end but quickly turns into a strange, darkly comedic murder mystery that unravels her whole life as she knew it.
Alicia Silverstone stars in this series created by Tony Wilson, Luke Kelly-Clyne and Susanna Wolff, who serves as director of the series, as well as a writer along with Zach Broussard and Kerry McGuire. The latter two writers also co-star in the series with Zac Oyama, Mike Trapp, Owen Robinson (Adam Ruins Everything), Avery Monsen (High Maintenance), Katie Marovitch, Emily Axford (Hot Date), Brian Murphy (Hot Date), Pam Murphy, Blake Rosier, Rekha Shankar, Josh Ruben, Ellie Race-More, and Elaine Carroll.
In Vroom Vroom, when a used Ford dealership in upstate New York finds out its local rival, Wild Ron, is trying to put it out of business, the dealership has one week to band together to keep its business alive.
Described as a comedy about the high-speed pursuit of the American dream, Vroom Vroom hails from ward-winning playwright and screenwriter Josh Koenigsberg (High Fidelity, Orange is the New Black) and stars Andy Richter (Conan), Yvette Nicole Brown (Community), John DiMaggio (Adventure Time, Futurama), Rick Gonzalez (Arrow), Lucy DeVito (Deadbeat), Mic Daily (Accepted) and Azhar Khan (Mr. Robot).
Summing up the new slate of summer programming, David Blum, editor-in-chief of Audible Originals, said:
“We strive to take the art of audio storytelling to the next level with all Audible Originals. Each of these projects feature narratives written and performed to create intimate and unique listening experiences, and showcase an extraordinary roster of talented performers and artists.” He added: “We are proud to introduce these new programs to our listeners, and add them to Audible’s growing library of scripted series that offer listeners the premium content they’ve come to expect.”
There’s no specific release date for all of these shows just yet, so stay tuned to Audible for more.
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