Spotify Taps Liz Gateley in Podcasting Push

Michael Kovac/Getty Images for Lifetime Television
Liz Gateley

The former Lifetime programming executive has joined Spotify, as head of creative development, where she is expected to help shape the company's original podcasting strategy under a new mandate to offer listeners broader audio programming.

Veteran television executive Liz Gateley is making the jump to podcasts. 

The former Lifetime programming executive has joined Spotify as head of creative development. She is expected to help shape the company's original podcasting strategy under a new mandate to offer listeners broader audio programming. 

In her new role, Gateley will oversee the original content development teams in both New York and Los Angeles as they develop projects in the comedy, sports, YA Fiction, scripted, news and documentary and music genres.

"I am excited to be back in the music/culture world to tell loud stories with my incredible team and to help invent new executions as I always have, but, most importantly, to join at such a transformative time at Spotify on the heels of the Gimlet and Anchor acquisitions," she wrote in a post on LinkedIn confirming her move. 

Spotify, which launched a little more than 10 years ago, has made its name as a music streaming service with both free, ad-supported and subscription offerings. As it has grown to reach more than 200 million monthly active users, the company has dabbled in new formats, including original video programming.

In early February, the company announced its acquisitions of podcasting startups Gimlet Media and Anchor (for a combined price tag of $340 million) as part of a larger push into non-music audio programming. The company has already begun distributing podcasts and releasing a handful of original shows, such as Amy Schumer's 3 Girls, 1 Keith and The Joe Budden Podcast. Through the acquisition of Gimlet, Spotify now has the in-house podcast production capabilities to build out a slate of originals that span new formats and genres. 

In Gateley, Spotify has found an executive with a deep background in storytelling. She most recently spent three years as head of programming at Lifetime before announcing her departure in February. During her time at the female-focused network, she oversaw a push into scripted programming led by the launch of drama Unreal. She also oversaw the release of stalker-thriller You, which despite low ratings on Lifetime became a surprise hit when it began streaming on Netflix, and docuseries Surviving R. Kelly, which reignited allegations against the singer and played a role in his indictment. Before Lifetime, Gateley spent several years as head of development at MTV, where she created the reality series Laguna Beach.  

Gateley's move to Spotify will reunite her with content chief Dawn Ostroff, with whom she worked at Lifetime during both of their early careers. She also worked with Spotify head of studios and video Courtney Holt while at MTV. 

The Information first reported on Gateley's hiring.