Spotify has hired a pair of media executives to help craft its news and sports podcast portfolios. The streaming audio service has recruited former Facebook head of sports media partnerships Amy Hudson to take over as head of the company’s burgeoning effort to build a lineup of sports podcasts. Hudson quietly joined Spotify in July after spending the previous five years working at Facebook. She earlier worked at NBC Sports and Turner Sports.
Meanwhile the company has also reportedly lured former CBS News and Fox News executive David Rhodes as a consultant to help develop news podcasts. The Information reports he’ll work with the team already striving to expand Spotify’s news podcast lineup. Rhodes most recently was President of CBS News. He exited the company in March of this year after several network staff members were involved in allegations of sexual harassment as well as declining ratings. It is expected Rhodes will work to bring media brands into the Spotify portfolio, similar to the work Spotify-owned Gimlet Media did with the recent launch of the Wall Street Journal’s new flagship, The Journal.
Spotify has been rapidly growing its podcast portfolio. In February the platform had 185,000 podcasts. Today it has more than 450,000, according to Chief Content Officer Dawn Ostroff who said in an interview with the Los Angeles Times that they plan to add “hundreds and hundreds” of new original shows within the coming year. “The amount of content that we can make is endless,” Ostroff said. “Seeing how many of the existing talent in the Hollywood community and the news community are interested in migrating toward this new medium, it really makes it a lot easier.”
Spotify hasn’t said how many of its 232 million monthly active users around the world are listening to podcasts, but the company told the L.A. Times the number is already in the tens of millions. Eventually, Spotify executives have said they think one out of five users will become podcast listeners. “Podcasts have started to really take off,” said Ostroff.