Condé Nast exec Dawn Ostroff departs, joins Spotify

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Dawn Ostroff
Dawn Ostroff Credit: Spotify

Spotify has named Dawn Ostroff as its new chief content officer, the company said Tuesday, replacing Stefan Blom who departed the music streaming platform shortly before it went public. Ostroff will lead all aspects of Spotify's content partnerships across music, audio and video, the company says. She starts her new post in July.

Ostroff previously served as president of entertainment at Condé Nast, where she helped establish the publisher's video business from scratch. In a memo sent to employees, Bob Sauerberg, CEO of Advanced Magazine Publishers, said he "first talked to Dawn back in 2011 about joining Condé Nast to establish our video business when it was no more than an idea we sketched on my white board."

Condé Nast Entertainment will be led on an interim basis by chief operating officer Sahar Elhabashi, according to the company.

The memo continues:

"In short order, she built Condé Nast Entertainment, a thriving digital and social video business that reaches an average of 50 million unique viewers, generating more than 1.1 billion views per month, and a burgeoning TV and film studio. I am extremely proud of what Dawn and the team at CNE have accomplished and we are in a great position to continue this growth trajectory long into the future."

Ostroff is no stranger to youth culture. She previously ran the CW television network -- and before that UPN -- which fostered hits such as "Gossip Girl," and "Vampire Diaries" under her watch. Her mandate at Condé Nast was to turn the company's magazine stories and ideas into full blown TV and film projects under Condé Nast Entertainment.

The 2017 feature film "Only the Brave," for example, was based on the GQ article "No Exit" by Sean Flynn and tells the story of an elite crew of firefighters. It was produced by Condé Nast Entertainment and released by Columbia Pictures.

Condé Nast Entertainment produces some 5,000 videos each year, seeing more unique viewers than other major players such as Buzzfeed, Vice, Hearst, ESPN and Vox each year, the company says, citing comScore data.

That said, it should come as no surprise that Ostroff will be leading Spotify's efforts in areas such as video, something that many felt her predecessor fell short on delivering.

Spotify said at the end of the year that it had 157 million global monthly active users, of which 71 million were subscribers who listen ad-free. In March, the company projected it 168 million to 171 million global monthly active users in the first quarter, up 28 percent to 31 percent, with 73 million to 76 million paying subscribers.

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