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Moonbug hires former Spotify exec Courtney Holt

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Feb 21, 2024
a photo illustration of Courtney Holt surrounded by squares and a cutout of the moonbug logo

Photo illustration: Tiffany Herring/Axios; Photo: Courtesy of Courtney Holt

Former Spotify executive Courtney Holt has joined Moonbug Entertainment as global head of music and strategic audio initiatives.

Why it matters: The new role helps Moonbug, owned by Blackstone-backed Candle Media, further invest in revenue sources outside of YouTube and other video streaming platforms while complimenting that core business.

Details: Holt started on Feb. 12, reporting to Moonbug's managing director of operations and music Jon Benoy.

  • He is based in the Los Angeles office.

The big picture: Moonbug, behind CoComelon and other popular children's series, is not new to audio production and distribution deals. Holt, in fact, helped ink a podcast deal between CoComelon and Spotify in 2022. Moonbug Radio launched on SiriusXM in June.

  • But Holt's hiring is a clear sign of Moonbug strengthening and expanding its audio business. It comes as Moonbug was on track for a 30% miss from its profit estimates in 2023, Bloomberg reported.
  • Holt tells Axios that his role involves all aspects of music — from its traditional role as a "soundtrack" to Moonbug's shows to more audio-centric storytelling. He noted further investments in "co-listening," as in podcasts that parents and children can enjoy together.

Catch up quick: Holt worked with Moonbug CEO René Rechtman at Maker Studios, the digital media brand specializing in online video creators that Disney acquired in 2014. That sale connected Holt to former Disney executives Kevin Mayer and Tom Staggs, now the co-CEOs of Candle Media.

  • For five years at Spotify, Holt helped lead its podcast push, including licensing deals with Joe Rogan and the Obamas. He previously worked in the music business at MySpace, MTV Networks, Interscope, A&M Records and Atlantic Records.
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