Comedian Hasan Minhaj returns as The Riddler in new Spotify podcast series
Among the wave of Spotify announcements coming out of today’s Spotify Stream On event, the company shared some exciting news with podcast listeners -- in particular, Batman fans. Spotify is launching a new podcast series “The Riddler: Secrets in the Dark,” starring comedian-actor Hasan Minhaj as The Riddler.
As part of Spotify’s exclusive multiyear partnership with DC and Warner Bros, “The Riddler: Secrets in the Dark” will premiere later this year and will see Minhaj reprise his role as the supervillain. Minhaj starred in the 2022 Spotify podcast “Batman Unburied,” which starred Winston Duke as the Dark Knight. Batman/Bruce Wayne will also appear in the new podcast series along with Barbara Gordon and Alfred.
“The Riddler: Secrets in the Dark” is a scripted “Batman” spinoff series that follows an unexpected duo -- The Riddler and Batman -- as they bring down another villain tormenting the streets of Gotham City.
“Audiences are going to travel back to Gotham City with me in a story that leaves clues, puzzles and shines a spotlight on my personal favorite character, The Riddler,” Minhaj said in the announcement video.
“Batman Unburied” premiered on the audio streaming service in May 2022 and climbed its way up Spotify’s top podcast charts. At one point, it even took the crown from “The Joe Rogan Experience,” which was the No. 1 podcast globally on Spotify in 2022 despite its controversial host.
Plus, Spotify recently launched “Harley Quinn and The Joker: Sound Mind,” which was also a huge hit among fans, reaching the top of the charts in six markets, according to the company.
As Spotify bets on original programming to boost its overall podcast strategy, the DC podcasts are certainly a smart move being that podcasts with recognizable characters, especially from the Batman franchise, will likely perform well in this IP-driven world we live in.
Speaking of recognizable voices, Spotify also announced today an exclusive video partnership with Markiplier (Mark Fischbach), the popular YouTuber with 34.5 million subscribers and approximately over 19 billion views. The partnership allows for Markiplier to produce exclusive video episodes of “Distractible” and "Go! My Favorite Sports Team."
“While we love the audio world and still aim to bring you the very best in auditory experiences, by bringing our faces into the mix, we aim to give you an as-yet-unseen dimension to your listening experience. Imagine if you could smell a movie, imagine if you could smell us . . . who knows what the future will bring?” Markiplier said in a hilarious and thought-provoking statement.
Now, instead of just listening to his voice, Spotify users will also get to watch videos of Markiplier alongside his content creator friends Wade Barnes and Bob Muysken.
Another podcast getting the video treatment is “Forbidden Fruits” with actresses Julia Fox and Niki Takesh, which will return for a second season on March 17. The new episodes will be released as an all-video podcast, reflecting the growing trend of video-led podcasting.
According to Spotify, there are over 70,000 video creators on the platform. In April 2022, Spotify expanded the ability for creators to publish video podcasts in the U.S., Canada, New Zealand, Australia and the U.K.
Separately, the company revealed that “The Comment Section” hosted by TikTok star Drew Afualo, would be moving exclusively to Spotify on April 5.
During today’s event, Spotify announced an array of new podcaster tools, such as a redesigned Podcasters dashboard that includes an Anchor integration and the launch of a new feature “Autoplay for Podcasts.” Plus, the company is teaming up with Patreon to allow users to listen to Patreon content on Spotify.