Spotify poaches BuzzFeed CRO Lee Brown for global ad sales role

In June it was reported that Spotify’s Global Head of Advertising Brian Benedik would be leaving his role in September, only a few weeks after he was championing the streaming company’s potential as “a global advertising platform” ahead of the Cannes Lions Festival of creativity.

It’s still unclear why Benedik decided to leave the company, or where he is going to next, but we now know who his replacement is.

Spotify has hired BuzzFeed Chief Revenue Officer Lee Brown to take on the role of VP of Global Sales Strategy from next month.

Brown will report to Spotify’s Chief Financial Officer Barry McCarthy.

According to AdAge, which first reported the news, BuzzFeed founder and CEO Jonah Peretti sent a memo to staff on Tuesday (September 17) stating that the publication will be left “in a position of strength” following Brown’s exit.

Brown worked at Tumblr prior to joining BuzzFeed in 2015.

His predecessor at Spotify, Benedik, joined the the music streaming service as the VP of North American sales in 2013 and was promoted to Global Head of Advertising in 2015.

Spotify generated €126m from its ad-supported tier in Q1 this year, which was down 28% quarter on quarter, though up year-on-year.

That advertising figure made up just 8.3% of the streaming company’s overall revenues in Q1 2019, with premium users contributing €1.39bn – eleven times the size of the company’s quarterly advertising haul.Music Business Worldwide

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