Spotify has launched its own original content series and dedicated website called Spotify Landmark, a multi-media documentary series focusing on classic moments in music history.
The premiere episode (embed below), entitled “The Real Story of Nirvana’s 'In Utero,'” went live yesterday (Sept. 17) on the occasion of that album’s 20th anniversary and a week before the album's deluxe reissue.
The installment features audio recollections from Nirvana bassist Krist Novoselic, producer Steve Albini, tour mate Curt Kirkwood from the Meat Puppets and comedian -- and Nirvana opening act -- Bobcat Goldthwait as well as the album’s promotional video and a stream of the album in its entirety with commentary.
“[It’s] somewhat like a ‘Behind The Music’ sort of approach -- although we’re more focused on the actual recording and the making of the record and less on the interpersonal dynamics –- and an NPR sort of an approach," says Spotify’s Sandy Smallens, head of artist marketing and original content and Spotify Landmark’s co-producer.
Spotify Landmark's website does not require membership or registration. A cursory listen to the episode on a desktop launched the Spotify client where the program, which was divided into roughly 50 smaller snippets, played continuously. The production indeed sounded much like an NPR story, complete with a narrator and what sounded like recorded phone interviews.
The program contained extensive information which included producer Steve Albini discussing how Nirvana recorded “In Utero” under the name the Simon Ritchie Band (Sid Vicious’ birth name) so the public wouldn’t crash the recording sessions.
This is not the first time streaming services have added editorial content to their offerings. Sites like Myspace, eMusic, Rhapsody and Rdio have featured editorial content which has included bios, reviews, news, multimedia features and other content. In the past, Spotify itself has featured artist interviews, which included discussions with such artists as Cat Power and Miguel. iTunes in 2009 launched iTunes LP which was supposed to replicate the physical experience of liner notes and box sets.
Though Smallens couldn't say which artists would be featured in upcoming Spotify Landmark episodes, he did say big name artists are interested in the serires and that future productions will contain documentary video.
Spotify Landmark was co-produced by music author and journalist Alan Light, former critic for Rolling Stone and editor-in-chief of Spin and Vibe.