Former CAA Agent Vanessa Silverton-Peel To Head Spotify & Chernin Entertainment Partnership

EXCLUSIVE: Spotify and Chernin Entertainment have appointed ex-CAA agent Vanessa Silverton-Peel to lead its hunt for podcasts to adapt for TV and film.

Last year, the two companies struck a multi-year deal that would see Chernin Entertainment adapt Spotify’s audio IP for the screen. At the time, the pair said that they were looking to hire an executive to sit inside the audio giant to identify opportunities. Deadline understands that Silverton-Peel is that executive.

She has joined Spotify as Head of Chernin Partnership and will search for series and episodes to adapt. This comes after she left CAA, where she was an agent in the television department, last year. During her seven year tenure at the agency, she represented podcasts companies such as Spotify’s Gimlet Media, Pineapple Street Studios and WNYC Studios to adapt their IP in scripted and non-scripted television, as well as documentary filmmakers and directors, novelists, journalists, and life rights. She was previously a producer on The Rachel Maddow Show.

In November, at the Paley International Council Summit 2020, Chernin said, “The library and the amount of new [podcasts] being created is so vast that we’re looking for someone to live inside Spotify and constantly surface this stuff and talk to their creators and labels and going back through the library.”

He also revealed that the two companies were taking out its first project from the deal, which was signed in September, to market.

Chernin Entertainment will develop adaptations of Spotify’s library of over 250 original shows including series from the likes of Reply All producer Gimlet Media and Famous Fates producer Parcast.

Spotify’s Head of Studios and Video Courtney Holt told Deadline in December, “You’ve seen signals from a film and TV standpoint that proven IP is de-risked because there’s an established audience interest against it,” he says. “We’re heavily investing in IP so we should be looking at the full slate of opportunities that come with that IP.”

Holt added that it’s not just the shows themselves, but also specific episodes contained within larger series that could spawn ideas.

Silverton-Peel’s hire comes as the number of podcasts being adapted continues to grow. Deadline recently revealed that Spotify series Wind of Change, which is produced by Crooked Media and Pineapple Street Studios in association with Daniel Ek’s firm, was being adapted by Alex Karpovsky for Hulu.

Prior to the overall partnership, Chernin Entertainment, in association with Weimaraner Republic Pictures and Endeavor Content, struck a deal to develop an adaptation of true-crime podcast series The Clearing, which is produced by Spotify-owned Gimlet Media and Pineapple Street.

Spotify’s Chief Content Officer Dawn Ostroff added at the Paley event that podcast adaptations offered a “global opportunity”. “We’re in 92 countries and we have podcasts from all over the world. There are so many adaptations that are being used in the U.S. to other regions or vice versa but also region to region. We’re making content not just for the U.S. but for the world.”

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