Spotify, the music and audio streaming service, has taken two further significant steps to challenge Apple’s dominance of the podcast market by signing exclusive deals with DC Entertainment and celebrity Kim Kardashian West.

DC Entertainment, a subsidiary of Warner Bros. and the owner of superhero franchises Batman and Superman, has agreed to a multi-year deal with Spotify to produce and distribute an original slate of scripted podcasts on the platform.

Spotify, which announced details of the partnership yesterday, also revealed that, in addition to producing narratives based on existing characters and franchises from across Warner Bros. and DC, the two companies will collaborate with Spotify to create new programming from original intellectual property.

Warner Bros. will take responsibility for producing all the podcasts, while Spotify will manage the marketing, advertising and distribution of the exclusive shows on its platform.

The deal – along with the one Spotify has secured with Kim Kardashian West – is another sign of the Swedish company’s strategy of using podcasts as a good source of ad revenue while simultaneously shoring up the loyalty of its subscriber base.

Following much acquisition activity last year, Spotify signed a deal in May to secure the exclusive rights to the Joe Rogan Experience, one of the most popular podcasts in the world, and in February it also acquired The Ringer, the sports and pop culture podcast hosted by Bill Simmons.

In addition to its latest deal with Warner Bros. and DC Entertainment, Spotify has secured an exclusive partnership with Kim Kardashian West, who will create campaigning podcasts centred on reform of the criminal justice system.

First reported by the Wall Street Journal, it is understood that Kardashian West will co-produce and co-host the show with TV producer Lori Rothschild Ansaldi, who has been investigating the alleged wrongful triple murder conviction of Kevin Keith from Ohio.

It comes also as America continues to reel from the angry reaction to the death of George Floyd at the hands of police officers in Minneapolis.

Sourced from Spotify, Wall Street journal; additional content by WARC staff