Nick Holmstén Out as Spotify Global Head of Music

bb16 2019
Annie Tritt
Nick Holmstén photographed on Jan. 28, 2019 at Spotify’s New York offices.  

There is more staff on the move at Spotify. A company spokesperson has confirmed that Nick Holmstén, the streaming service’s global head of music since October 2018, will transition to an advisory role going forward.

Holmstén's exit as the face of Spotify in the U.S. comes a month after global head of curation Mike Biggane exited to join Universal, and two months since the arrival of former Interscope CFO Jeremy Erlich in the similarly titled head of music strategy role.

Taking over the company’s music team until a permanent replacement can be found will be Erlich and Marian Dicus, the Spotify veteran who was recently promoted to vp, global head of artist & label services.

Holmstén joined Spotify in 2013 after the streaming service acquired his music discovery startup Tunigo. He was elevated to vp, global head of shows and editorial in early 2016, and promoted to his most recent perch -- a role which reported to chief content officer Dawn Ostroff -- last fall. 

As global head of music, Holmstén oversaw 100-plus employees responsible for the operation of Spotify’s more than 5,000 owned and operated playlists, as well as label and artist relations.

In a recent profile of Holmstén in Billboard, the Swede spoke of his reputation for extreme candor ("I hope that they are not lying to me, but a lot of people think I’m really easy to work with") and of letting Spotify scoop up Tunigo, which became the foundation of the company's playlist strategy.

"It's crazy to think about it, but in 2013 Spotify didn’t have any of its own playlists," said Holmstén. "I told Daniel [Ek], 'I promise you: In the future, some of these playlists are going be bigger than the biggest radio station.' He sort of looked at me like, 'Let’s see about that.' And that is what happened. It changed the music industry."

News of Holmstén's departure was first reported by Hits.


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