YouTube Gaming Star Markiplier Signs Exclusive Video Podcast Partnership with Spotify

Digital creator, podcaster and filmmaker Markiplier has signed an exclusive video partnership with Spotify for his two podcasts, “Distractible” and “Go! My Favorite Sports Team.” Video episodes of both podcasts will be available to stream on Spotify exclusively. Markiplier is set to debut additional exclusive video content on the platform.

“Distractible,” which Markiplier hosts with Wade Barnes and Bob Muyskens, reached the No. 1 spot on Spotify’s podcasts charts the week of its debut in 2021. The podcast centers on discussions of various, seemingly random topics such as anti-aging practices, Halloween candy and roller coasters. “Go! My Favorite Sports Team” is hosted by Markiplier and Tyler Scheid; it launched in 2022 and provides humorous commentary on the world of sports.

Markiplier, a YouTube creator since 2012, boasts over 34 million subscribers on the platform; his videos have garnered over 19 billion views. After gaining a following with video game play-through videos, the creator then branched out into various other ventures, creating interactive digital series “A Heist with Markiplier” and “In Space With Markiplier,” as well as a documentary titled “Markiplier From North Korea.”

Shortly before taking the stage to announce his exclusive partnership with Spotify, he chatted with Variety about his podcasts, upcoming film and whether he’ll be in the “Five Nights at Freddy’s” movie.

How did your partnership with Spotify come about?

[My friends and I] make content, because we want to make a really enjoyable experience for people while still being like authentic and genuine. We’ve been doing that for quite a while now; even before “Distractible,” we were always doing that. So it’s a strange thing to come now and there be an official partnership behind it. It was really a conversation that we had. I just explained my motivations for making things, the drive I have for creating not just with audio podcasting, but in all things that I do. That’s probably what led more to the partnership than just being like “Oh, ‘Distractible’ is successful, ‘Go’ is successful.” I think they do believe in creators and believe in the people that are making the things that people enjoy.

What will this video content look like? Will you have live-action podcasts, will it continue to be animated?

It just depends, because me and my friends, we actually are not in the same city. There’s a lot of podcasts out there that would do couch podcasts, I’m sure we would prefer to do that. We just so happen to have different living situations. But when it comes to “Go!,” me and Tyler are in the same city, so we are able to do that in person. Because it’s a sports related podcast, what we want to do is try to experiment with bringing things outside of just the podcasts that are related, like trying new sports and teaching me things, collaborating with athletes to be able to bring them in and do a video with them — and just show how bad a new guy is versus a pro. I think that video just offers a more robust way for people to connect.

What made this exclusive partnership with Spotify the right decision for your podcasts career-wise?

It seemed like they were going to be a good partner that was willing to both support and enhance what we were already able to do. That’s natural, you want to find a partner that is able to do that. It also just so happens that Spotify is a huge audio platform, a lot of people are listening on Spotify, it does seem like a good place to be and with a team that’s willing to take risks and innovate and that’s also who you want. I hate terms like influencer, innovator, all this stuff, but I like trying new things. I like learning new things. I like pushing myself — not like I’m trying to push these boundaries that are out there; I am weirdly narrow in terms of my worldview of what’s going on out there. But for myself, I always like to try new things, push myself in new ways so that I can build my own skills, so that I can try new things after that and continue to improve what I make. Immediately after this is done, I have to jet to the airport because I’m flying back to film my movie that I’m making and I wrote. A whirlwind of creativity is spiraling around, and I just keep getting dragged, and it’s fun.

What can you tell me about the film you’re shooting currently? I know you wrote it, are you directing it as well?

Write, direct, act. I can’t say anything, not until it’s announced. But it is, it’s different than my other projects that I made before. So I made “In Space,” and “Heist,” and those are interactives. Some people would probably categorize it like digital first stuff, yada, yada, whatever. I wanted to challenge myself with something new, even though I consider this particular production to be way less stressful than “Space.”

What’s your dream for this film? Are you planning for it to have a theatrical release?

As long as people enjoy it, that’s the only thing I’ve ever done when it comes to making films. I do it for the experience that people get out of it, and the experience that I get out of it, and walking away from a project, I look back, and I see that it’s great. I’ve been very fortunate in my career that a lot of things that I do are done in this way, and also they’re successful. That’s not always a promising thing, especially in the entertainment world. It’s so happened, it’s but it’s never my focus, like I always am just pushing myself to be like, I want to make this project the best that I can make it with all the skills and learning as much as I can to push myself to make it even better as I go along. I just want people to see something that they can remember and that can really stick with them.

You’ve been a creator for 11 years now. What’s the key to staying ahead of the constantly evolving digital landscape?

No matter what the changes of the Internet are, no matter what the changes of entertainment landscape therein — so long as you remember, it’s always people that are watching, and people that you’re making connections with. If you’re telling a story, if you’re doing a podcast, it’s unscripted, if you’re making TikToks, there’s always behind every single number, hopefully a person, a real person who is giving you their time. That is the most basic social contract that humans have. It doesn’t matter if it’s a movie, it doesn’t matter if it’s gaming video, doesn’t matter if it’s TikTok, it doesn’t matter if it’s music, if you’re connecting with people, you’re making them feel something, whether that’s laugh, be scared, fall in love, or just entertaining them for a brief moment so that they can get away from whatever was stressing them. It’s real people in real connections, you know, keep that in mind. You always put that at the most important part of what you make, you’ll adapt to the landscape because it’s not like people are going to change.

Are you going to be in the “Five Nights at Freddy’s” movie?

Everyone wants to know, there was a lot of confusion. Yeah, I can’t say anything particular about that. There was a lot of scheduling conflict. And I can’t say anything.

Deadline was first to report news of the partnership.

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