Spotify poaches BBC boss for new in-house music curation role

Spotify has appointed BBC Radio1’s head of music, George Ergatoudis, as its first head of content programming.

In the newly created role, due to commence in March next year, Ergatoudis will lead Spotify’s in-house music curation strategy and content programming for the UK.

Ergatoudis told the BBC that he was leaving “the world’s greatest music radio station, to join the world’s leading digital music service and I couldn’t be more excited.”

He said there are “are huge opportunities ahead for Spotify and I am delighted to be joining their brilliant team.”

Having joined as a producer on Radio 1 in 1997, Ergatoudis has worked for the BBC for 18 years, the past 10 of which have been as head of music for Radio 1. He is also currently head of music at sister station 1Xtra.

He will begin in the newly created role in March next year and will oversee Spotify services such as Discover Weekly, a personally tailored playlist of music which Spotify creates each week for users based on what they have listed to on the platform.

Music curation is a battle ground which Apple and Spotify have been warring over this year. Every major streaming service uses a mix of human curators and computer algorithms to target their suggestions with Apple Music prominently positioning itself in the human curated camp.

Spotify meanwhile is understood to depend more on algorithms for Discover Weekly, however the appointment of an experienced head of music in Ergatoudis may suggest that it is beginning to upend the equation in favour of more human curation.

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