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Julie McNamara joins audio giant Spotify as head of US studios and video

Long-serving former ViacomCBS exec Julie McNamara has resurfaced at music and podcast streaming service Spotify as its head of US studios and video.

Julie McNamara

McNamara stepped down from her role as executive VP and head of programming for SVoD service Paramount+ after 15 years at the US media giant in May.

According to US reports, the exec will lead on key partnerships for Spotify’s slate of originals and oversee creative across its studios, which include Gimlet, The Ringer and Parcast.

The Swedish firm has made significant inroads into the podcast space in recent years by acquiring various podcast studios, while video also has an increasingly large presence on the subscription service.

A new feature introduced last year allowed users to watch music videos, documentaries and exclusive video series within the app.

Meanwhile, its scripted audio projects have included Funny or Die’s The Last Degree of Kevin Bacon and Terry Miles’ Faerie and it has agreed deals with talent including the Duplass Brothers and Meghan Markle and Prince Harry.

McNamara will report to Dawn Ostroff, Spotify’s chief content officer and advertising business officer, who joined the firm in 2018 in New York having previously held roles that include president of entertainment for US network The CW.

Courtney Holt, former Disney-owned Maker Studios exec who joined Spotify in 2017, will remain the company’s VP of global podcast business.

Earlier this year Bloomberg reported that Ostroff and Spotify were seeking an executive with a Hollywood background to oversee output of original podcasts from its studios.

At Paramount+, McNamara was behind a slate of programming that included spy drama The Offer: The Making of The Godfather and comedy series Guilty Party.

As exec VP of original content at CBS All Access (now Paramount+), McNamara spearheaded original scripted series including Star Trek spin-off Star Trek: Picard, with Patrick Stewart in the lead role.

Prior to that, she spent a decade at CBS Television studios, where she led series including The Good Wife and Elementary.

McNamara joined CBS from fellow US network ABC, where she developed Desperate Housewives and Grey’s Anatomy as VP of drama development.


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