Rachel Whitney, formerly of YouTube, is joining Spotify as the Head of Editorial for Nashville, she announced in a social media post (which recently has become a method of the streaming giant announcing new employees). A source close to the situation points out that the company now has two female executives at the helm of its Nashville office — Whitney joins head of artist & label services Brittany Schaffer, who signed on with the company in December of 2017.
“Starting a new professional chapter next week as the Head of Editorial for Nashville at @spotify, alongside @bshaffer10 and this world class team of music champions,” Whitney wrote.
“Big thanks to [music coheads] @jeremyerlich @mariandicus & [chief content officer] @dawnostroff for this opportunity! And extra gratitude to all of the incredible people here in Nashville and beyond who have encouraged and inspired this journey of connecting music and fans through technology. I’m proud to further the mission of sharing all of Nashville’s amazing talent at the biggest audio streaming service in the world!”
Whitney joined YouTube in 2018 as Country Music Programming Lead, working alongside the Nashville-based YouTube team to head up strategy and programming for country and roots music across Google & YouTube. With 15 years in Nashville, she was previously the Head of Country Music Programming at Pandora, and Director of Digital Marketing at Borman Entertainment where she supported a roster of artists including Keith Urban, Lady Antebellum, Michael Franti and My Morning Jacket.
Earlier this month, Spotify reported its best-ever net adds for Premium subscribers and topped guidance for total monthly active users for the fourth quarter of 2019, as the audio-streamer said it plans to double down on podcasting in 2020.
Total monthly active users worldwide were 271 million as of the end of the year, up 31% and beating the high end of its previous guidance. The streaming music and audio service reported 124 million Premium subscribers globally, up 29% year-over-year — its highest quarterly net adds, up about 11 million from Q3.
The gains in Premium subscribers came at a cost: Spotify’s average revenue per user for the Premium business dropped 5% in Q4, to $5.12 (€4.65), largely because of the company’s the extension of free trial periods across its entire product suite. The aggressive promos show that Spotify is still in land-grab mode in trying to gain share in the competitive music-streaming market against the likes of Apple, Amazon, and Google and YouTube.