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 exclusively for streaming on Spotify, and Markiplier is set to debut additional exclusive video content on the platform.
“Distractible,” hosted by Markiplier with Wade Barnes and Bob Muyskens, reached No. 1 on Spotify’s podcast charts the week after its debut in 2021. The podcast centers around discussions of various seemingly random topics such as anti-aging practices, Halloween candy and slides. “Go! My Favorite Sports Team” hosted by Markiplier and Tyler Scheid; it was launched in 2022 and provides humorous commentary on the world of sports.
A YouTube creator since 2012, Markiplier boasts over 34 million subscribers on the platform; his videos have received over 19 billion views. After gaining a following with video game playthrough videos, the creator 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 movies and whether he will be in the movie “Five Nights at Freddy’s”.
How did your collaboration with Spotify come about?
(My friends and I) make content because we want to make a really enjoyable experience for people while still being authentic and real. We have been doing this for a while now; even before “Distractable”, we always did. So it’s a strange thing to come now and there’s an official partnership behind it. It was really a conversation we had. I just explained my motivations for making things, the drive I have to create not just with audio podcasting, but in all the things I do. That’s probably what led to the partnership more than just being like “Oh, ‘Distractable’ is successful, ‘Go’ is successful.” I think they believe in creators and believe in the people who make the things that people enjoy.
What will this video content look like? Do you want live-action podcasts, will it continue to be animated?
It just depends, because me and my friends are not actually in the same city. There are a lot of podcasts out there that would do couch podcasts, I’m sure we’d prefer to do that. We just happen to have different life situations. But when it comes to “Go!”, Tyler and I are in the same city, so we’re able to make it personal. Because it’s a sports-related podcast, we’re going to try to experiment with bringing things outside of the podcasts that are related, like trying new sports and teaching me things, partnering with athletes to be able to bring them in and make a video with them – and just show how bad a new guy is compared to a pro. I think video just offers a more robust way for people to connect.
What made this exclusive partnership with Spotify the right decision for your podcasting career?
It seemed like they would make a good partner, willing to both support and enhance what we were already capable of. It is natural that you want to find a partner who is able to do that. It also happens that Spotify is a huge audio platform, a lot of people listen on Spotify, it seems like a great place to be and with a team that is willing to take risks and innovate, and that’s who you want too. I hate terms like influencer, innovator, all that, but I like to try new things. I like to learn new things. I like to push myself – not like I’m trying to push these limits that are out there; I’m strangely narrow in my world view of what’s going on out there. But for myself, I always like to try new things, push myself in new ways, so I can build my own skills, so I can try new things afterwards and continue to improve what I’m doing. Immediately after this is done, I have to fly to the airport because I’m flying back to film my movie that I’m making and I wrote. A whirlwind of creativity spirals around and I just keep getting pulled and it’s fun.
What can you tell me about the film you are currently shooting? I know you wrote it, are you directing it too?
Write, direct, act. I can’t say anything, not until it’s announced. But it is, it is different from my other projects that I did before. So I did “In Space” and “Heist” and those are interactive. Some people would probably categorize it as digital first stuff, yada, yada, whatever. I wanted to challenge myself with something new, although I consider this production to be far less stressful than “Rum”.
What is your dream for this film? Do you plan for it to have a theatrical release?
As long as people enjoy it, that’s all I’ve ever done when it comes to making movies. I do it for the experience of people getting out of it and the experience of me getting out of it and walking away from a project I look back and I see it’s great. I have been very fortunate in my career that a lot of things I do are done this way and they are successful too. That’s not always a promising thing, especially in the entertainment world. It’s happened, it is, but it’s never my focus, like I’m always just pushing myself to be like, I want to make this project the best I can do it with all the skills and learn as much as I can to push myself to do even better as I go. I just want people to see something they can remember and really stick with them.
You have been a creator for 11 years now. What is the key to staying ahead of the ever-evolving digital landscape?
No matter what the changes to the internet, no matter what the changes to the entertainment landscape – as long as you remember, it’s always people watching and people you’re connecting with. If you’re telling a story, if you’re doing a podcast, it’s unscripted, if you’re doing TikToks, behind every single track, there’s always, hopefully, a person, a real person, giving you their time. It 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 a gaming video, it doesn’t matter if it’s TikTok, it doesn’t matter if it’s music, if you connect with people, you make them feel something, whether it’s laughing, being scared, falling in love or just entertaining them for a short moment so they can get away from whatever was stressing them out. These are real people in real connections, you know, remember that. You always set that the most important part of what you do will adapt to the landscape, because it’s not like people will change.
Do you want to be in the movie “Five Nights at Freddy’s”?
Everyone will know there was a lot of confusion. Yes, I can’t say anything special about that. There was a lot of scheduling conflict. And I can’t say anything.
Deadline was the first to report news of the partnership.
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