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Radio 1 Head Of Music George Ergatoudis to join Spotify

By | Published on Tuesday 15 December 2015

George Ergatoudis

George Ergatoudis has announced he is to join Spotify, leaving BBC Radio 1 where he has been Head Of Music for the last decade. He will take on the newly created role of Head Of Content Programming for the UK at the streaming service.

Prior to joining the BBC in 1997, Ergatoudis was a senior producer at Kiss FM. Initially taking on a producer role at BBC Radio, he went on to manage Radio 1Xtra’s music policy before eventually becoming Head Of Music for both Radio 1 and its sister station. In his new position at Spotify he will lead the company’s in-house music curation strategy and content programming for the UK.

Announcing the news this morning, 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”.

He continued: “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 ten 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”.

Nick Holmstén, Spotify’s Global Head of Content Programming, added: “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”.

Meanwhile, Ben Cooper, Controller of BBC Radio 1 and 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”.

It has long seemed logical that streaming services should utlise the curation skills of traditional music radio, especially as they endeavour to reach more mainstream audiences. Some Radio 1 staff members went to Apple as it moved into the streaming space earlier this year, of course, so this isn’t the first time a digital platform has tapped BBC talent.

Acknowledging that fact, Cooper added: “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”.

Ergatoudis will take up his new role at Spotify in March. In the meantime, the BBC is on a search for his replacement.