After adding a trio of channels to Roku last year, Warner Music Group’s WMX has officially unveiled “a visual podcast series” entitled Iconic Records, the first season of which will center on Notorious B.I.G.’s Life After Death (1997).
WMX, the mentioned major label’s artist-services division, formally announced Iconic Records today, having inked the aforesaid Roku agreement in December. Under the pact, three “exclusive” stations, including WMX Hip-Hop, arrived on The Roku Channel. The latter streaming service is said to have reached “U.S. households with an estimated 100 million people” during Q4 2022.
Now, Iconic Records is scheduled to premiere on WMX Hip-Hop at 5 PM PT on Saturday, April 29th, and the eight-episode season will feature appearances from Rick Ross, Pusha T, Lil’ Cease, Fat Joe, Too $hort, and others “who participated in the creation of, or were influenced by” the final album that Notorious B.I.G. dropped during his lifetime.
Moreover, these guests are set to “reminisce about the making of the album” and explore its “cultural impact” as well as that of Biggie himself, higher-ups relayed. Hosted by Angie Martinez, the podcast is also expected to become available via the famed rapper’s YouTube channel and, beginning in May, “all major audio podcast platforms,” WMX communicated.
Addressing the release of Iconic Records in a statement, WMX president of media and creative content Ben Blank (who doubles as an exec with Warner Music’s Uproxx) touched upon music fans’ “huge appetite and need for unique content.”
“The launch of Iconic Records embraces the huge appetite and need for unique content tailored for genre-specific audiences,” Blank said in part. “WMX lives at a crossroads where artists, content, and experiences converge to reach music fans where they are, and this exciting series is the first of many forums in which we will continue to tell the stories about the art that shapes and inspires our culture.”
Notwithstanding reports that new podcasts are drying up – not to mention the multiple cutbacks and recent executive departures affecting non-music audio entertainment – Spotify is expanding video podcasting and encouraging the use of “broadcast-to-podcast” technology.
Meanwhile, the Stockholm-headquartered service rolled out a video podcast about the ultra-popular RapCaviar playlist in August of 2022. Then, Hulu at March of 2023’s end debuted an exclusive docuseries based on the same playlist, and the six-part show features episodes about Tyler, the Creator, Roddy Ricch, and Polo G, to name a few.