Courtney Holt Jumps From Disney to Lead Spotify Content Efforts
The former head of Maker Studios is joining Spotify to oversee its video and podcasting division.
Courtney Holt, the former head of Maker Studios, is returning to his roots in music with a new job overseeing video and podcasting efforts at Spotify.
The music streaming service has tapped Holt as vp and head of Spotify Studios and Video. He will replace Tom Calderone, who Spotify previously said has been transitioning out of the role. A Spotify spokeswoman says Holt will lead development of Spotify's efforts in video, podcasts and other audio content. He will continue to be based out of Los Angeles and will report to chief content officer Stefan Blom.
Holt spent much of his early career working in music, first at labels such as Atlantic Records and Interscope Geffen A&M. He has also held executive roles at MTV Networks and Myspace Music. He joined Maker Studios in 2011 and over the next several years worked closely with CEO Ynon Kreiz to sell the company to Disney for a final price tag of $675 million. After the departure of Kreiz, Holt was upped to head of Maker, a position he held until this January when Maker was fully absorbed by Disney Consumer Products and Interactive Media. At that time, he transitioned to a strategy role reporting to Disney's Kevin Mayer.
Spotify, which offers both free, ad-supported and subscription music offerings, began adding video content in 2015 as a way to lure new subscribers in an increasingly competitive music streaming environment. First, it licensed videos from media companies such as ESPN and Vice. Later, under Calderone, the company unveiled a slate of original series with ties to music. They included Drawn & Recorded from T Bone Burnett and Rush Hour from Russell Simmons. The company has also begun to offer podcasts from such partners as Panoply and Gimlet Media.
Under Holt, Spotify is expected to focus its content efforts through popular playlists such as Rap Caviar and Rock This. At the time of Calderone's departure, Spotify said in a statement that "building out our video and podcast content remains a priority for Spotify."