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Spotify hires for scripted push

Audio streaming giant Spotify has hired a former executive at Dynamic Television in the US for a new role focusing on scripted content at its studio, C21 can reveal.

Holly Hines

Holly Hines joined Spotify Studios on September 23 as its LA-based scripted lead, reporting to head of creative development and former Lifetime exec Liz Gateley.

Hines will oversee Spotify’s exclusive content strategy for scripted, sourcing, developing and producing premium audio series in genres such as mystery, sci-fi, horror, thriller and YA.

The senior development executive will identify potential IP to adapt as original scripted podcasts; shop IP to television and premium networks; and work with non-scripted colleagues at Spotify to surface non-scripted IP to turn into television formats, according to the role’s job posting. Spotify declined to comment.

Hines stepped down after four years in the role as senior VP of content at Dynamic Television in March but has been in a consulting role for the company since then.

During her time at Dynamic Television, Hines developed and sold scripted series and miniseries to commissioning networks in the US, UK, Canada and Australia and also oversaw the various television series Dynamic produced.

Liz Gateley

Hines was previously senior VP of scripted programming for Pivot TV, the now defunct cable network for Millennials owned by Participant Media, working on shows such as Fortitude with Sky Atlantic and Please Like Me with Australia’s ABC.

Prior to Pivot, Hines held roles at companies such as Fremantle, Fuse and TLC. Hines got her start in the format and international coproduction business when she served as a development executive at Reveille, working on the scripted series such as the US version of The Office, The Tudors and Ugly Betty.

The appointment comes after Gateley joined the studio arm of the Swedish tech firm earlier this year to focus on original podcast content, having left her role as head of programming at Lifetime in early 2018.

Spotify shook up the music industry a decade ago with its streaming model, which allows its members to listen to unlimited amounts of audio ad-free for a monthly fee or for free with ads.

The firm has risen to become the world’s most popular audio-streaming subscription service and is available in 79 markets, touting 108 million subscribers and 232 million active users, as of June 2019.

Podcasts have proven fertile ground for series like Amazon’s Homecoming

The firm has made significant investment in growing podcasting by acquiring the podcast studios Gimlet Media and Parcast, plus podcast publisher Anchor, earlier this year for a combined reported fee of US$396m. It currently streams around 450,000 podcast titles.

Meanwhile, the world of podcasts has emerged as fertile ground for TV development, with numerous production companies launching their own audio departments and many popular podcasts moving to TV, such as 2 Dope Queens (HBO), My Dad Wrote a Porno (HBO), Dirty John (Bravo) and Homecoming (Amazon Prime Video).

Among Spotify’s forthcoming exclusive original podcasts is 12-episode comedy show I’m Gonna Be Kevin Bacon, produced by Funny or Die and created by Dan Abramson; various projects with President Barack Obama and Michelle Obama’s Higher Ground prodco; and a 12-episode series focusing on singer/songwriter mxmtoon.

Gimlet’s slate of new and returning fiction podcasts, meanwhile, includes cyber-thriller Motherhacker, in which a single mother, played by Carrie Coon (Fargo), journeys through the dark web.


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