Spotify, Nodding to Broader Ambitions, Hires Chief Content Officer

Spotify, Nodding to Broader Ambitions, Hires Chief Content Officer

Spotify has hired Dawn Ostroff, a veteran television and video executive, as its new chief content officer, a move that may signal the music service’s wider ambitions in media.

Ms. Ostroff, who had been president of Condé Nast Entertainment, the publisher’s video studio, will join Spotify in August, the company announced on Tuesday. She will report to Daniel Ek, Spotify’s chief executive, and be responsible for its content and editorial divisions, as well as the creator services side of Spotify’s business, which handles the detailed data reports it makes available to artists.

Spotify has long been searching for ways to expand its offerings beyond music, which tends to offer lower profit margins than video or podcasts. But its efforts have been fitful. Spotify first promised a major move into video in 2015 — at a celebrity-filled news conference on the eve of Apple Music’s introduction — with minimal results, and a series of high-profile personnel changes have followed. The content chief’s job has been vacant since January.

In filings before Spotify’s listing on the New York Stock Exchange in April, the company also hinted that it was interested in working directly with recording artists, in a challenge to what it presented as the outmoded “gatekeeper” model of traditional record labels. Those suggestions, and recent reports that Spotify has been pursuing deals with independent artists, have been met with an angry response from the major labels.

Ms. Ostroff’s background outside of the music world may be another sign that the company is looking elsewhere for its future plans. A former top executive at the CW and UPN networks, she developed popular TV series like “Gossip Girl” and “The Vampire Diaries.” At Condé Nast she had been charged with developing the publishers’ stories into film and television productions, like “Only the Brave,” a 2017 film starring Josh Brolin that was based on a GQ article about firefighters.

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