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Spotify's podcast dealmaker Courtney Holt to leave

Apr 13, 2022
Spotify Head Of Global Communications and Public Relations Dustee Jenkins (L) and Spotify Head of Studios and Video Courtney Holt on November 20, 2019 in West Hollywood, California.

Spotify's Dustee Jenkins and Courtney Holt. Photo: Lester Cohen/Getty Images for Spotify

Spotify exec Courtney Holt is leaving after more than four years at the streaming service.

Why it matters: Holt was a key figure in Spotify's podcast push, including licensing deals with Joe Rogan and the Obamas, and acquiring other podcast networks.

Details: Holt will soon leave his position as head of talk partnerships, editorial and global markets, and then will serve in an advisory role.

  • Julie McNamara, Spotify's head of U.S. studios and video, and Max Cutler, head of new content initiatives and managing director of Parcast, are expected to take on more responsibilities rather than replacing Holt with a new individual.
  • "I want to give thanks to the incredible teams at @Spotify I was luck [sic] enough to lead and interact with," Holt tweeted Tuesday. "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!"
  • The Ankler first reported Holt's departure.

Flashback: Holt joined Spotify as head of studios and video in 2017 from Disney after it acquired Maker Studios. He previously worked in the music business at MySpace, MTV Networks, Interscope, A&M Records and Atlantic Records.

  • Spotify opened up the podcasting floodgates in 2018 by allowing podcasters to upload their shows. The company started spending significantly when it acquired Gimlet, Anchor and Parcast in 2019 and The Ringer in 2020. It then began signing more exclusive deals with big names.
  • "We realized that [for] people who were already in love with Spotify for music, it's a natural evolution to offer something complimentary to music on the service," Holt told Engadget in 2019.

Of note: Spotify has been building more content around its talent roster. In 2021, it signed an exclusive licensing deal with "Call Her Daddy" podcast host Alex Cooper. This week, Spotify launched Cooper's "After Hours," a new show for its rebranded live audio feature.

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