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Exploring Spotify’s Creative Content Partnership With Ellen DeGeneres

December 10, 2018

Spotify and Ellen DeGeneres are cut from the same cloth. We share an insatiable appetite for new music, and we’re both passionate about using the power of music to build culture and community. Now, The Ellen Degeneres Show and Spotify are coming together in an exciting partnership that will create opportunities for new voices to be discovered and enjoyed by millions of listeners.

As Ellen herself said, “I’m so excited to partner with Spotify on my very own music hub because music truly makes everything better. Well, music and salt.”

Spotify users can now find an all-new content Ellen hub based on her incredibly popular show—from the music of artists on her show, to her popular “Ellen on the Go” podcast, and beyond. The innovative partnership, which launched Friday, December 7, puts Ellen center stage on our platform, curating fresh, new Spotify content that old and new fans alike will love.  

We caught up with several of the Spotify band members behind the partnership from across the company to learn about what Ellen and Spotify fans can expect in the year ahead.

What excites you the most about this awesome new partnership with Ellen?

Jamie Herbert, Spotify Head of North American Marketing: Ellen is such a beloved figure around the world, but she’s also a huge music fan and tastemaker, helping to launch the careers of countless new and emerging artists over the years.

We’re excited to help generate exposure for all the artists Ellen is passionate about, whether it’s global music stars or the next big thing. We’ve created a Spotify-first dedicated hub for all of Ellen’s fans to visit and hear what she is listening to right now, including custom playlists of all the artists appearing on the show updated on a regular basis. We’ll also be featuring her Ellen on the Go podcast and in 2019 adding exclusive video clips from the show.

What was the original idea spark for this first-of-its-kind collaboration?

Alex Bodman, Spotify Global Executive Creative Director: This is the first time we’re doing such a high-profile partnership, so I began to think about how we might pitch the creative opportunity to Ellen and her team and what it would look like. I wrote down a few words on a piece of paper. One of them was “irreverent.” One was “progressive.” One was “energy.” Then I wrote the phrase “passionate about culture.” You could take all of these attributes and use them to describe the Spotify brand, but you could just as easily use them to describe the Ellen brand. What you have is two brands that align in a really authentic, natural way with very different audiences.

Richard Frankel, Spotify Global Creative Director, Partner Solutions: Both Ellen and Spotify use our platforms to amplify exposure for new voices, music, and culture trends. We’re focused on establishing content partnerships that help us give a million creative artists the opportunity to live off their art, and that gives billions of fans the opportunity to enjoy and be inspired by it. Additionally, working closely with Ellen will be our first experience with marketing to an older audience.

What is it about Spotify and Ellen that makes this an ideal pairing?

Xavier “X” Jernigan, Head of Cultural Partnerships: It’s ideal because it enables us to partner with an influencer to curate an entire category and hub around their brand, and it’s the first time we’ve done so. Ellen’s brand is deeply interwoven with music, as evidenced by the care with which she handpicks musical talent, and by the ways she integrates music into her show. Bringing in specific influencers like this to Spotify is perfect because it opens us up to more opportunities to speak to fans—and an even wider audience—where influencers have already cultivated trust.

Frankel: Ellen represents that embrace of just loving what you love and freely expressing it. Another thing she does really well is find and celebrate lesser-known voices. She takes chances on them in ways that Spotify aims to do. It echoes how we help unknown songs become discovered and, many times, turn into hit songs. On Spotify, a hit song can come out of nowhere, and Ellen has that same unique exposure power. She finds the yodeler in Walmart and turns them into a superstar. We’re so aligned on amplifying those voices, so I think this is going to work really well between us. We share an affinity for the underdog who breaks through in unexpected ways.

What does this groundbreaking partnership say about the evolution of Spotify, and about the evolution of the Ellen brand—and how nimble both brands are at connecting with new and existing audiences?

Herbert: Through this partnership, we can tap into Ellen’s passion for music and provide innovative ways to connect her loyal fanbase with artists across the full spectrum—from undiscovered talent to household names—all through a custom Ellen destination on Spotify.

What can fans look forward to over the next year?

Jernigan: Ellen and her team have curated four exclusive Spotify playlists that fans can look forward to. Loved By Ellen features music that Ellen is loving right now. Twitch’s Favorites is DJ Twitch’s top dance jams. Ellen Show Favorites is a sneak peek of songs played just for guests. And Performed On Ellen highlights artists who have performed on Ellen.

Bodman: Ellen’s playlists will be endless because they’ll be constantly updated. They’ll include the artists and songs Ellen is currently listening to. Some of it will be Bruce Springsteen classics and some of it will be the breakout rapper who just played her show last week. The beauty is that listeners will discover new music and rediscover favorites, all through Ellen’s eclectic, one-of-a-kind lens.

Check out our exclusive new “The Ellen Show” content hub on Spotify here.