Condé Nast has lost Dawn Ostroff, president of its entertainment division, to Spotify, but it’s not giving up on its push into video, film and TV.
Ostroff is set to join Spotify at the end of July as its global chief content officer, where she’s being tasked with leading “all aspects” of the music-streaming platform’s content partnerships, which mainly entails music, audio and video. She’s filling a role that’s been vacant since Stefan Blom in April left Spotify, right before the company went public. Shares were up about 2.7 percent to $175 after Ostroff’s hiring was revealed.
Daniel Ek, Spotify founder and chief executive officer, tweeted that he’s “excited to welcome Dawn Ostroff to the band!”
Going to the Stockholm-based company, where she’s now the sole woman among its c-suite executives, is a pivot for Ostroff, who spent seven years at Condé Nast, which she led into social video and the cross-section of media, film and tv, the latter of which Ostroff’s background is steeped in. Before joining Condé, she was an executive at Lifetime, then UPN, where she helped launch The CW, so it seems likely that Spotify is looking to become more than a music streaming platform.
Bob Sauerberg, ceo of Condé’s parent Advance Publications Inc., said in a memo that he had “mixed emotions” about Ostroff’s departure, noting that he’s “extremely proud” of her “innumerable contributions” to Condé Nast over the years, not least the launch of Condé Nast Entertainment.
“I 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,” Sauerberg wrote. “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.”
It’s no surprise then that Condé is on the hunt for a replacement and has named Sahar Elhabashi, currently chief operations officer, head of CNE on an interim basis.
Elhabashi will be overseeing Condé’s many video projects, including eight TV series in production and on air, along with the upcoming film “The Old Man and the Gun” starring Robert Redford, Sissy Spacek and Casey Affleck, being released through Fox Searchlight in early fall.
Sauerberg stressed the importance of video and CNE to Condé Nast’s future, something he said is “recognized by our audiences and advertising partners alike,” and said the goal is to triple the size of the segment’s revenue “in the next few years.”
Ostroff and a representative of Spotify could not be immediately reached for comment.
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