They’ve conquered television! They’ve conquered film! Now the house that JJ built is going where no production company with a robot-based mascot has gone before — audio storytelling (I think the cool kids call them “podcasts”)!
Santa Monica-based production company, Bad Robot (Star Trek, Alias, Super 8) has announced a new division dedicated to producing and developing original scripted and non-scripted audio content called Bad Robot Audio! The company is collaborating with Spotify to execute the new division, which will be led by former Audible and Spotify award-winning executive, Christina Choi, who joins as Head of Podcasts at Bad Robot. The new multi-year exclusive first look with Spotify gives Bad Robot Audio a showcase for these new narrative non-fiction and fiction podcast productions. And the deal with Bad Robot comes as Spotify’s audio business continues to see unprecedented growth driven by waves of new content being introduced to its platform.
When asked to comment on the new partnership, the elusive Bad Robot robot just ran across a field really fast, and stopped, blinked twice, and froze, continuing to stare at me the rest of the time.
Below is the official press release for the new partnership:
LOS ANGELES, Calif., (November 17, 2021) – Bad Robot is rolling out Bad Robot Audio, a new division dedicated to developing and producing original scripted and non-scripted audio content. Bad Robot Audio launches in collaboration with Spotify (NYSE: SPOT) and will be led by former Audible and Spotify award-winning executive, Christina Choi who joins as Head of Podcasts at Bad Robot. The announcement was made by Bad Robot’s President and COO, Brian Weinstein.
Bad Robot, whose unparalleled storytelling and worldbuilding has led to global creative and commercial success across film, television, and digital platforms, will now explore new ways to tell stories through the audio format. The new multi-year exclusive first look with Spotify gives Bad Robot Audio a showcase for these new narrative non-fiction and fiction podcast productions. Conversely, the deal with Bad Robot comes as Spotify’s audio business continues to see unprecedented growth driven by waves of new content being introduced to its platform.
Spotify demonstrated an early belief in and commitment to the potential of audio and is now a driving force behind the rapid growth of the medium. Their significant investments in the space have elevated podcasting within the entertainment industry and established a new outlet for creators like JJ Abrams and Bad Robot Audio to entertain, inspire and inform listeners all over the world.
“Podcasts have obviously become a go-to destination for entertainment, education and discovery. Given Bad Robot’s work in TV, film, games and music, podcasts was an obvious topic of conversation within the company for a long time. We are thrilled to welcome Christina Choi to lead the way, and to collaborate with Dawn and the incredible Spotify team to bring some incredible stories to life,” said Bad Robot’s Co-CEO, JJ Abrams.
“We’re incredibly honored to welcome visionary JJ Abrams and his renowned Bad Robot productions into the Spotify family. Bad Robot productions have produced some of the world’s most riveting and award-winning content and we cannot wait to see how their imaginative stories transcend into the audio space” said Dawn Ostroff, Chief Content and Advertising Business Officer. “We are committed to bringing some of the world’s most respected and dynamic creators to Spotify exclusively, and we are thrilled to add Bad Robot and JJ Abrams’s mind bending and world building stories, alongside their hugely loyal following of dedicated fans, to our wide-ranging catalogue of world-class audio talent.”
“I’m thrilled to join Bad Robot as they expand into the world of podcasting. The medium allows for the imagination of creators to thrive. I’m honored to have the opportunity to build out this new venture with Katie, JJ, Brian, and the Bad Robot team. I’m also looking forward to reuniting with Spotify, which was where I started my career in podcasting. I hope through our partnership we can create quality audio content that is meaningful, inclusive, and creator first,” said Choi.
Emmy-nominated Choi joins Bad Robot from Audible where she served as Director of Content Partnerships under the content acquisition and development division. She managed development partnerships with key production partners and high-profile talent. Prior to Audible, Choi spent seven years at Spotify as a creative development executive and showrunner and was a key contributor to Spotify’s podcast strategy and growth. As an advocate for diversity, inclusion, and belonging she founded and led Spotify’s Asian employee resource group and helped create Spotify Sound Up a global podcast incubator program for underrepresented voices. Before Spotify, Choi was an administrator at the Juilliard School where she worked with young classical musicians.
The new podcast division expands upon Bad Robot’s creative branches including its film, television, gaming and music arms. For film, the company has a wide slate of projects in development under their Warner Media deal, including priority projects with Warner Bros., DC, HBO Max, and Warner Animation Group including a live-action remake of the beloved anime film Your Name, and Dr. Seuss’s iconic children’s book, Oh, The Places You’ll Go! set up at Warner Bros. and to be directed by Jon M. Chu.
It also has the thriller Lou starring Allison Janney, Jurnee Smollett and Logan Marshall-Green set up at Netflix, as well as multiple projects at Paramount. Recent television projects for Bad Robot includes the 18-time Emmy-nominated Lovecraft Country for HBO, Lisey’s Story currently streaming Apple TV+, and UFO, a four-part docuseries for Showtime. The company is currently in production on the highly anticipated 4th season of Westworld for HBO. Bad Robot continues to have several series and projects at HBO and HBO Max, produced by WBTV through its WarnerMedia overall deal including Demimonde and Fledgeling for HBO and Duster and Subject to Change for HBO Max. Additionally, Bad Robot has My Glory Was I Had Such Friends set up with Apple TV+.
We can’t wait to see what exciting new projects emerge from this new partnership!
For more news about Bad Robot and Bad Robot Audio, stay tuned to The Nerds of Color!