Spotify debuts its first 'bookcast' from Dolly Parton and James Patterson

The format combines audio storytelling with original music and sound elements.

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Spotify has released the first episodes of a new audio format it's calling the "bookcast" with help from Dolly Parton and James Patterson. The pair co-wrote a novel titled Run, Rose, Run, which has been blended with an original soundtrack written, recorded and produced by Parton.

The bookcast format brings together audio storytelling with sound elements and original music. Spotify says it delivers "an immersive listening experience."

Run, Rose, Run tells the story of a musician who moves to Nashville to chase her dream of making it in the music industry. Her songs are inspired by a "brutal secret" that threatens to thwart her plans.

You'll be able to listen to the bookcast on Spotify for free. The first two episodes are out now, featuring excerpts from the book set to Parton's music. More episodes will arrive over the next couple of weeks, with the last six landing on March 7th, the same day the novel is released. Parton will release the soundtrack on March 4th, and the first two songs are available now.

The bookcast, which comes from a pair of hugely popular creatives, emerges in the wake of some notable artists pulling their music from Spotify. Neil Young and Joni Mitchell both removed their work from the platform after the former accused the company of allowing Joe Rogan to spread harmful misinformation on his podcast. Brené Brown paused new episodes of her Spotify-exclusive podcasts, while film director Ava DuVernay this month ended her podcast deal with the company before producing any shows for Spotify.

It's possible the bookcast was in the works long before the Rogan controversy blew up, so it doesn't entirely seem to be a case of damage control. However, if Spotify's looking to build up some goodwill, it could go far worse than recruiting Parton and Patterson.

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