George Ergatoudis, one of the most influential tastemakers in the UK business, is leaving Spotify, MBW understands – to join arch rival Apple Music.
Ergatoudis joined Spotify as Head of Content Programming for the UK in March 2016, leaving behind his role as Head of Music for BBC Radio 1 and 1Xtra.
He has since been promoted to Head of Music Culture, International Shows & Editorial / Content at the platform.
It is currently unclear what Ergatoudis will be doing at Apple, but some sort of curatorial/playlisting-in-chief role wouldn’t be a surprise. (Update: It’s bigger than that – now we hear Ergatoudis has filled the vacant Head of UK role at Apple Music.)
The widely respected exec is the latest high-profile figure to exit from Spotify, following the recent departures of senior marketing and comms exec Angela Watts, Global Head of Artist & Label Marketing, Dave Rocco and Global Head of Artist & Industry Partnerships Mark Williamson.
Other recent senior departures at Spotify have included the defection of Tuma Basa to YouTube Music, as well as the exit of UK/international Head of Artist & Label Services, Kevin Brown.
Spotify is believed to have a current active user base worldwide of around 170m (75m paying; 95m ad-funded) while Apple Music is believed to have around 48m (40m paying; 8m on free trials).
However, Apple Music is tipped to overtake Spotify’s paying subscriber base in the US over the coming months.
Ergatoudis 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 at Radio 1, 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 Williams.Music Business Worldwide