There’s another senior-level executive departure at Spotify, and it’s chief marketing officer Seth Farbman. He’ll leave the company at the end of this month, according to an SEC filing from Spotify. “As part of a broader effort to realign Spotify Technology S.A.’s (“Spotify”) marketing organisation, Seth Farbman, Chief Marketing Officer, notified Spotify this week that he will leave Spotify to pursue other opportunities,” is how the filing put it. “Mr. Farbman will depart Spotify at the end of the month and will assist in the transition of his responsibilities until his departure.”
Farbman joined Spotify in March 2015, having previously been global chief marketing officer at Gap. He’s been one of the key public faces of the company, speaking at conferences including our NY:LON Connect this January, and the Cannes Lions in June. “We want to thank Seth for his creativity, dedication and hard work over the past three and a half years. He’s played a pivotal role in establishing our brand around the globe and building the remarkable team that will carry us into the future,” said CEO Daniel Ek in a statement.
Ek recently told Fast Company about why Spotify’s culture leads to senior executives leaving. “I sit each of them down every year, a mental closing on the year–what went good, what went bad, and then just ask the honest thing, is this what you want to do for the next two years? You make calls sometimes, you know, are you motivated in doing this?,” he said. “Very few people at Spotify last more than two or three of these rounds… It’s not personal. It’s not because of poor performance. At this level, it’s never about that. It’s about future performance.”
In other Spotify news, the company’s global ad-sales boss Brian Benedik has been talking about the growth in its video ads revenues. “Video is our fastest-growing format, which is counter-intuitive for an audio-led platform,” he told Reuters in an interview. Video ads are being served to free users of Spotify’s mobile app, when they are detected to be looking at the app versus just playing music with the screen switched off.
Benedik also said that podcast-listening is up 367% globally on Spotify (surely from a small base, mind) and suggested that the company is working on applying its recommendations technology to podcasts – “If we can figure out a recommendation around podcasts and serve them up to users, that would be great” – which would match the efforts going on at Pandora to develop similar technology.