In May, music streaming giant Spotify announced that it would dive into video by producing 12 original shows.
On Thursday, Spotify released the first in its slate of originals, a collaboration with viral video creator Attn called “Deconstructing.”
The first episode, which clocks in at a swift one minute 58 seconds, explores the roots of EDM in the funny-yet-serious tone.
There will be two more episodes in the series released in the future.
The animated video is well-made and informative for those who know nothing about the history of EDM, but it leaves you wondering, why exactly is Spotify doing this?
Here’s an answer from Tom Calderone, a veteran of Viacom who now heads up video at Spotify: “With this series we wanted to give fans a perspective on how politics and society shape the music they love.” According to Bloomberg, Spotify had hoped to use original video both to grab new customers and make users spend more time with the product. But w
hile videos like this new one seem good for Spotify’s brand, it’s hard to imagine them moving the needle on those two things.
Here’s the video:
This isn’t the only series that Spotify will put out in the coming months.
Here are the other ones Spotify has scheduled, along with their descriptions:
Rush Hour – Two hip-hop artists (one legend, one young buck) are picked up in a van during the height of LA rush hour. 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 – Comprised of exclusive interviews, archival footage, and unique multi-media elements, each episode of Landmark brings to life the story of an important moment or movement in music history. Each instalment is accompanied by a long-form podcast giving in-depth analysis of specific tracks.
Drawn & Recorded – Featuring narration from Oscar-winner T-Bone Burnett and stunning animation from Drew Christie, each episode of Drawn & Recorded tells a remarkable anecdote from music history. The stories will range from introspective to comic, and feature artists from across the music spectrum.
Life in Short – Life in Short is an anthology series celebrating music’s most enigmatic artists. Each 24-episode season covers a single artist and each sub-2 minute episode uses a different narrative device (animation, documentary, tribute performance) to highlight one key aspect of the artist’s life. 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 – Shot in Spotify’s brand new, state-of-the-art music studio in NYC, this series gives viewers fly-on-the-wall access to artists as they record new takes on their most well-known songs. SINGLES will have a super-intimate, almost “low-fi” feel. While the series will have a consistent look, visual elements will be tweaked to align with each artist’s sensibilities.
Rhymes & Misdemeanours – In each episode of this true crime series, we profile a notorious crime from the music world. From the PCP-fuelled 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 – From Academy Award winner Tim Robbins comes Ultimate/Ultimate — a comedic, mockumentary series following several passionate (but modestly talented) people competing in a competition to become the next great EDM star. From pint-sized phenom DJ Sparkle, to frat brothers channeling their inner Daft Punk, the series explores the hilarious, endearing and absurd lengths people will go to to pursue their musical passions.
Generations – In this unique performance series, two generations of hip-hop stars come together to create new versions of their most notable songs. Each instalment of the series will feature musical performance along with documentary segments about the experience..
Public Spaces – Each instalment of PUBLIC SPACES features a notable act performing in one of the world’s great 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 – Flash Frame is Spotify’s rejuvenation of the music video format. Once a month an A-list act will perform at Spotify’s New York City office. 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. Music video directors, animators, CG artist and other creative trendsetters will be tapped to help craft each distinctive episode.
Focus On… – FOCUS ON is a data-driven performance series that lives at the intersection of music, culture and Spotify. Spotify will identify a popular band in a key market, and have them play an exclusive show for Super Fans sourced through Spotify’s data. In addition to the performance, each 5-segment instalment features segments profiling the fans and the music culture of that particular locale.
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