Spotify Gets NFL Stars to Swap Playlists in New Original Series

Spotify, suiting up for the start of the NFL season, wants to drive users to stream more music by giving them an off-the-gridiron glimpse into the musical predilections of the league’s athletes.

Spotify and ACE Media, the content arm of the NFL Players Association, are debuting original sports and music series “Trading Playlists,” in which two NFL players with disparate musical tastes — spanning genres from country to rap and from classical jazz to blues — trade playlists for a day.

The series features NFL stars including DeMarcus Ware (pictured above), Von Miller, Coby Fleener, Tyler Eifert, Rashad Jennings and Stefon Diggs. Produced by digital studio Collab, all seven episodes will be available exclusively on Spotify’s mobile platform only in the U.S. beginning Thursday.

The Spotify series “was a unique opportunity to showcase a side of our players that their fans don’t often get to see, through a medium — music — that unites athletes across all sports,” said Scott Langerman, CEO of ACE Media.

“Trading Playlists” joins Spotify’s growing slate of original programming. Last month, the music-streaming service launched a short-form documentary series on Metallica and animated series “Deconstructing.” Spotify’s content strategy is led by Tom Calderone, former president of VH1, who joined the company as global head of content partnerships this spring.

The players paired up in “Trading Playlists” are: Denver Broncos teammates Von Miller and DeMarcus Ware; Cincinnati Bengals teammates Tyler Eifert and Jeremy Hill; Carolina Panthers’ Kony Ealy and Kyle Love; running backs Jay Ajayi and Ameer Abdullah; wide receivers Stefon Diggs and Nelson Agholor; NFL Hall of Famer Andre Reed and Washington Redskins’ Jamison Crowder; and New Orleans Saints tight end Coby Fleener and New York Giants running back Rashad Jennings.

“Trading Playlists” is executive produced by Scott Langerman, Pete Tenney, Paige Keffer for ACE Media, and Ryan Slattery, Charlie Faith, James McFadden and Tyler McFadden for Collab.

“We were eager to partner with ACE Media to produce this exciting new series for Spotify,” said Ryan Slattery, Collab’s VP of production and development. “And getting to do so with some of the NFL’s biggest stars has been an incredible experience for all of us.”

The NFL Players Association established Athlete Content & Entertainment Media (ACE Media) last fall to produce and develop content around pro athletes. It has partnerships with BET Networks, Turner’s Bleacher Report, The Players’ Tribune and 120 Sports, producers such as Tongal and brands including Nike.

Watch the first episode of “Trading Playlists” featuring the Denver Broncos’ Von Miller and DeMarcus Ware:

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