Spotify executive Courtney Holt is exiting the streaming giant after a four-and-a-half-year run.
The departure is described by insiders as amicable and Holt will stay on in an advisory role. His duties will be divvied up between two execs: Max Cutler, head of new content initiatives and managing director of Parcast Studios; and U.S. studios and video chief Julie McNamara. A former programming exec at CBS All Access and Paramount+, McNamara joined Spotify last fall.
Holt previously was head of studios and video at Spotify, but at the time of his departure his title was head of talk partnerships, editorial and global markets.
The news was first reported by The Ankler and confirmed to Deadline by a person familiar with the details surrounding Holt’s departure.
Spotify declined to comment on the executive’s exit.
When Holt arrived at Spotify in 2017, the company was not an active player in podcasting, a burgeoning audio sector which has become a central aspect of its service. Today, it features a portfolio of broad-audience shows and has achieved scale by acquiring podcast producers like The Ringer, Gimlet and Parcast. It has locked up top-tier talent like Joe Rogan (whose podcast still tops the charts despite a storm of controversy in recent months), Michelle and Barack Obama and Prince Harry and Meghan Markle.
In the fourth quarter of 2021, Spotify reached 180 million paying customers and reported a 40% year-to-year jump in advertising revenue. For the full year, the company cracked the $3 billion mark in total revenue, in part due to its investments in podcasts. In its quarterly letter to shareholders, the company said it “benefited from strong growth across existing Spotify studios and our exclusive licensing deals.”
Before joining Spotify, Holt has executive stints at Maker Studios, a video network acquired by Disney, as well as MySpace.
In a tweet, Holt thanked his colleagues. “The goals we set were ambitious, and yet we achieved so much,” he wrote.
I want to give thanks to the incredible teams at @Spotify I was luck enough to lead and interact with. The goals we set were ambitious, and yet we achieved so much. There is a great future for the company beyond what you can see and hear today!
— Courtney W. Holt (@mootron) April 12, 2022
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