Spotify and the millennial-aimed web publisher Mic have launched Clarify, a new election season video series aimed at reaching young people, with the express purpose of inspiring them to vote this November. Hosted by author and former Daily Show producer Baratunde Thurston and co-produced by Headcount.org, the weekly series will mix one-on-one conversations with well-known artists, plus roundtables, infographics and other interactive storytelling devices to "inspire civic engagement," commented Kerry Steib, Spotify's director of social impact. "We hope to create a meaningful and entertaining way for music fans to explore the issues and provide information that inspires them to turn out for the polls in November," she said.
The first episode features Diplo and focuses on one of the top issues for young people: student debt. "Everyone I know has debt," said Diplo, who grew up in Florida and went into debt while attending Temple University in Philadelphia. "I'm like a small percentage, lucky story where I just happened to make money with my profession. Thank God, I don't know what I'd be doing… back in Florida. Back in the swamps. Everyone I know is still paying if off. It's so daunting… and you're not guaranteed a job out of college either."
According to Spotify, future episodes will feature Thurston speaking with Tom Morrello's Prophets of Rage about the economy, Chicago rapper Vic Mensa about civil rights and Brooklyn rapper Talib Kweli about gun control. Throughout many installments, Mic journalists will pop in to add further context and balance to the issues, which were identified by Spotify users through surveys conducted by Hart Research Associates and Echelon Insights. At the end of every episode, viewers will be encouraged to visit headcount.org/spotify to register to vote.
"Clarify is a breakthrough combination of dynamic conversation and news that will elevate national conversation in this campaign and encourage action come November," said Cory Haik, chief strategy officer, Mic. "For so many young people the issues Spotify and Mic are addressing in this series are personal. Through Spotify's interactive platform and influence amongst artists, paired with Mic's strong voice on matters of social culture, we hope to strengthen points of view on equality and the power of thoughtful action."
To house the Clarify video series, Spotify has added an Election 2016 section in the Browse area. Episodes are available to U.S.-based premium and free Spotify users on both mobile and desktop. Watch the first episode: