Spotify Wants to Hire a Hollywood Vet to Oversee Its Podcasting Studios

Spotify Technology SA is looking to hire a new head of its podcasting studios, an effort to better manage its growing portfolio of shows, according to people with knowledge of the matter.

Chief Content Officer Dawn Ostroff, who joined Spotify after a long career in the TV business, wants an executive with a Hollywood background to oversee the output of original podcasts from its studios, said the people, who asked not to be identified discussing an internal issue. Spotify, the Sweden-based leader in music streaming, now produces hundreds of podcasts around the world, including original series in Germany, Japan and the Philippines.

Courtney Holt has been running Spotify’s studios after orchestrating the company’s push into podcasting alongside Chief Executive Officer Daniel Ek and former Chief Financial Officer Barry McCarthy. Holt helped oversee the acquisition and integration of three studios, Gimlet Media, the Ringer and Parcast. The head of those three studios all report to Holt, whom Ostroff credits with helping to sign a deal with Joe Rogan, host of the company’s most-popular show.

Spotify’s podcasting operation has mushroomed in the past few years, and Ostroff wants to split management into two parts. One person will oversee the studios and storytelling, and the company has hired a recruiter to identify potential candidates, the people said. It’s not yet clear if the Ringer’s Bill Simmons, Gimlet Media’s Lydia Polgreen and Parcast’s Max Cutler will report to that person.

Holt doesn’t come from a programming background. He joined Spotify after stops at the short-form video outfit Maker Studios, the social network MySpace and Universal Music Group. Ostroff has asked Holt to take the lead on emerging formats and new types of audio, including Spotify’s live audio service, paid podcasts, and the pipeline of podcasts being turned into film and TV shows, the people said.

Both Ostroff and Holt declined to comment.

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