Spotify launches first branded podcast in midst of year-long push to honor black music

Spotify's launch of a hip-hop centered podcast comes in the center of a year-long push to honor rap, R&B and other black music / Spotify

Spotify has launched its first branded podcast, an original series with New Amsterdam Vodka called Ebb & Flow.

The podcast marks New Amsterdam’s first step into the space, its arrival came as part of its ‘Pour Your Soul Out’ campaign. The five-episode series, hosted by international DJ and brand influencer Jasmine Solano, has been called “the place for the most buzzworthy hip-hop and R&B artists to get real with their fans and share stories about the good, bad and ugly of their come-up in the music industry.”

Spotify’s global reach of around 83 million subscribers has made it the number-two podcast provider in the world. The streaming service conducted research with Ypulse and found that half of podcast listeners say podcast ads are more relevant, seamless, or entertaining than other ads found placed online.

The choice of podcast topic also falls, maybe coincidentially with the streaming service’s extra push to connect with African-Americans and listeners of black-influenced music. In February, the streaming service announced that it’d be making a major push throughout the year to highlight and celebrate black artists.

So far, this has included enlisting Janelle Monae and Pharrell Williams in curator roles for its year-long Black History is Happening Now hub, built with Saturday Morning, an initiative launched by black marketers to promote equality through ‘peaceful conversation’.

Spotify's investment in rap, R&B and music-related content targeted to the community has also extended to the podcast space, ln June, the company continued its Black History efforts with the launch of a podcast incubator for women of color to get into the emerging space. And in mid-August, the platform added an exclusive partnership with critically-acclaimed rapper Joe Budden, giving his YouTube show a bi-weekly podcast slot.

The Drum has reached out to Spotify for additional commentary on their recent efforts.

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