Spotify has confirmed the appointment of George Ergatoudis in the newly-created position of Head of Content Programming for the UK.
In his new role at Spotify, based in London, George Ergatoudis will be responsible for leading Spotify’s in-house music curation strategy and content programming for the UK.
Ergatoudis joins Spotify from the BBC where he was most recently Head of Music for BBC Radio 1 and 1Xtra.
He takes up his new position in March.
This is the second huge move from a BBC radio exec into a streaming service this year.
In February, presenter Zane Lowe jumped ship to become the face of Apple Music’s Beats 1 station.
MBW later revealed that Lowe was joined by four Radio 1 producers.
Ergatoudis said: “I am leaving BBC Radio 1, the world’s greatest music radio station, to join the world’s leading digital music service and I couldn’t be more excited.
“There are huge opportunities ahead for Spotify and I am delighted to be joining their brilliant team. My passion for music has driven my entire career and this next step is like a dream come true.”
Spotify is currently looking likely to adjust its ‘everything freemium’ rule in 2016, allowing certain artists’ music to be only made available to premium subscribers.
As a result, the platform’s non-interactive ‘radio’ service is likely to become all the more important. From that angle, Ergatoudis’s appointment seems to be a telling one.
Nick Holmstén, Spotify’s Global Head of Content Programming, said: “George is one of the most well known and well respected figures in the British music industry, and we are enormously proud and excited to have him join us at Spotify. His gifts for music curation and identifying exciting new talent are second to none, and I can think of no one better to help Spotify introduce music fans to a wealth of new music and a new generation of artists that they are going to love.”
The process for finding the next Head of Music for Radio 1 & 1Xtra has already begun.
Ben Cooper, Controller of BBC Radio 1 & 1Xtra, said: “Over the past decade, George has been a key part of Radio 1’s discovery of new music for young audiences and has continued to support British artists, giving them a platform for success. He has built a strong team at Radio 1 with excellent contacts across the industry. We would like to thank him for all his hard work and wish him all the very best for the future.
“Radio 1 has a rich history of developing presenters, producers and leaders, and we see this as being a key part of what we bring to the industry.”
George Ergatoudis said: “It’s been a privilege to have played a key part in the journey of the world’s greatest music radio station over the last 10 years. In that time, Radio 1 has successfully moved into a new era of visual and shareable content, helping to drive new young audiences to the BBC. Now I’m ready for the next chapter in my career as I take on responsibility for leading Spotify’s in-house music curation strategy and content programming for the UK. I can’t wait to get started.”
Ergatoudis was positioned at No.7 in The Guardian’s Music Power 100 list published in May 2011 and was named in the 2015 Sunday Times-Debretts list of the 500 most influential people in the U.K.
Prior to being Head of Music, he managed Radio 1Xtra’s music policy (2000-2005) and was responsible for championing key U.K. talent such as Dizzee Rascal, Wiley and Ms Dynamite alongside major U.S. artists such as Jay Z, Eminem, Kanye West and Pharrell.
At Radio 1 he has championed a diverse range of artists including Mumford & Sons, The 1975, Tinie Tempah, Ellie Goulding, Disclosure, Bring Me The Horizon and London Grammar.