Spotify amps up fiction podcast effort with new leader of scripted content

On the heels of Spotify’s blockbuster audio drama Batman Unburied, the company is promoting Gimlet executive Mimi O’Donnell to head of scripted fiction at the streamer, according to an internal memo obtained by The Verge.

Batman Unburied notably unseated The Joe Rogan Experience when it debuted in May and appears to be a turning point for the streamer. While Spotify has already bulked up on licensing deals with hosts like Rogan and Call Her Daddy’s Alex Cooper, Batman will likely open the door for more Hollywood series.

Julie McNamara, Spotify’s head of talk studios, told staffers that O’Donnell will help produce the streamer’s next ambitious fiction programs, including an upcoming Jordan Peele project and the English adaptation of Caso 63 with Julianne Moore and Oscar Isaac.

In her six years as head of scripted fiction at Gimlet, O’Donnell produced star-studded series like Sandra with Alia Shawkat and Kristen Wiig and Motherhacker with Carrie Coon and Pedro Pascal, adding some showbiz flair to a network that was once best known for culture shows like Reply All.

O’Donnell will report to McNamara and the incoming managing director of Gimlet. Gimlet MD Lydia Polgreen announced in April that she is leaving the company and is returning as an opinion columnist at The New York Times, where the journalist spent nearly 15 years. A replacement has not yet been announced.