- Columbia Pictures is working with streaming audio giant Spotify on a Quentin Tarantino takeover as the director's ninth film, "Once Upon a Time … in Hollywood," hits theaters on July 26. The studio is taking over Spotify's "TV & Movies" hub, which started streaming an exclusive four-part podcast interview with Tarantino to accompany the premiere, per details shared with Mobile Marketer.
- The director also curated Spotify's "Film and TV Favorites" playlist featuring tracks from films like "Pulp Fiction," "Reservoir Dogs" and "Django Unchained." Spotify users also can hear the soundtrack from "Once Upon a Time … in Hollywood," which stars Leonardo DiCaprio and Brad Pitt.
- Spotify's "TV & Movies" hub is available in Australia, Belgium, Canada, Chile, France, Germany, Italy, Netherlands, Spain, Sweden, the U.K. and the U.S. The playlists and podcast are available on Spotify's free service and ad-free Premium tier.
The Tarantino takeover of Spotify marks the second time that a single movie is being featured on one of its audio hubs, which organize songs around themes like "Summer Hits," "Latin Party Anthems" or "New Music Friday." Director Jordan Peele's "Us" took over the U.S. version of Spotify for its premiere in March. Similarly, Spotify this month created a Disney hub to showcase songs from the studio's movies, TV shows and theme parks.
The strategy behind the concept is to reach the millions of people who listen to music and podcasts on Spotify, which has 217 million users in 79 countries, including 100 million paid subscribers. As mobile users open the app, they see featured hubs like the Tarantino playlist placed prominently on-screen. The soundtrack could help to engage Spotify users with music from the film's 1960s setting and compel them to visit theaters to see the film.
Columbia Pictures goes beyond providing curated playlists by also featuring a podcast interview with Tarantino, who discusses the music from his films with Rolling Stone critic David Wild. The exclusive content is another value-added feature that could draw listenership among Tarantino fans and raise awareness for his latest movie.
The takeover comes as Spotify continues to expand its exclusive audio offerings in a move to differentiate its service from fast-growing rivals like Apple Music and Amazon Music. The company has made significant investments in original content, spending $400 million to acquire three podcasting companies.
Meanwhile, Apple is contacting media companies and their representatives to buy exclusive rights to streamed audio content for its Podcast app, a report said earlier this month. Amazon is leveraging its market dominance in smart speakers to boost its audio streaming services. Amazon Music Unlimited had the fastest growth rate among music streaming services last year at 70%, the Financial Times reported this month.
As the audio streaming battle heats up, the e-commerce giant is piloting ways to make its audio ads more interactive than those on rival platforms. Tests of a new format let consumers respond with voice commands, such as asking Amazon's digital assistant Alexa to put advertised products into virtual shopping carts for purchase, Ad Age reported.