Bill Simmons will continue to lead The Ringer, the outlet he founded and sold to Spotify in 2020, but is also being upped to head of global sports content and managing director of The Ringer. In the new role, he will lead sports strategy around the world, which will aim to build on progress in the category in the U.S.
Simmons will report to Julie McNamara, who will continue to serve as head of talk studios, overseeing all original content across Spotify. Along with the Ringer, suppliers under her aegis include Parcast and Gimlet as well as original partnerships such as Bad Robot, DC/WB’s Batman Unburied, Jemele Hill’s Unbothered Network and Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s Archewell Audio.
Max Cutler is also being promoted, from head of new content initiatives & managing director of Parcast to head of talk creator content & partnerships. He will manage and grow the company’s creator ecosystem as well as licensed content and new content initiatives. Spotify plans to launch an operation dedicated to creator content, which Cutler will oversee, with a team of yet-to-be-designated direct reports. As CEO Daniel Ek signaled on the company’s most recent quarterly earnings call, Spotify is aiming to boost the number of overall creators from current levels of about 11 million to 50 million.
In conveying the news, Spotify called it a “massive level up moment for so many hard working people and for our podcasting efforts as a whole.” It added that the aim is to execute “an acceleration and expansion of our ambitions.”
Overseeing the reworking of the structure is Dawn Ostroff, Spotify’s chief content officer and advertising business officer.
The company also plans to name a global markets lead for talk content in the coming weeks. That person will be responsible for streamlining collaboration and IP sharing across the world.
Other new exec appointments expected by summer include a new head of talk markets, and new managing directors for Gimlet and Parcast, two key acquisitions made in 2019 that jump-started Spotify’s push into podcasting.