Is Spotify bringing on new talent to try to keep up with Tidal, Apple?

Troy Carter, former manager to artists such as Lady Gaga and Meghan Trainor, has become Spotify's global head of creator services. Will Carter bring on artists for exclusive releases, as has been done by Spotify rivals Apple Music and Tidal?

Christian Hartmann/Reuters
Headphones are seen in front of a logo of online music streaming service Spotify in this illustration picture.

Troy Carter, who has been the manager for such artists as Lady Gaga, Meghan Trainor, and John Legend, has joined the music streaming service Spotify as the company’s global head of creator services.

Mr. Carter will reportedly be in charge of Spotify’s dealings with music artists and record companies. Carter is the founder, chairman, and CEO of Atom Factory, which helps artists manage their careers. 

The hire is largely being viewed as an attempt by Spotify to work on the relationships the company has with various music artists. Spotify is one of various streaming services that is attempting to bring in listeners, with some of its rivals including Apple Music and Tidal. 

Both of those services have succeeded so far in securing exclusive releases with popular artists. Beyoncé, who is a co-owner of Tidal (and whose husband, Jay-Z, purchased Aspiro, the company that created Tidal), released her hit album “Lemonade” only on the streaming service at first, while rapper Drake made his album “Views” available only through Apple services for a time. 

Forbes writer Hugh McIntyre wrote, after rapper T.I. became a co-owner of Tidal, “T.I. is already doing his part as one of the many co-owners of Tidal by gifting the service with exclusive content, which is increasingly becoming the thing that makes the company stand out from larger competitors like Spotify.” 

Now music industry observers think Spotify will be trying for similar moves with Carter coming on board.

“Spotify is turning to the former manager of Lady Gaga to help compete against players like Apple and Tidal,” New York Times writer Ben Sisario wrote of Carter joining the company. “…Music executives, who had been notified of the change, said that they expected Mr. Carter to take on a role roughly similar to the one that Jimmy Iovine, the longtime music producer and co-founder of Beats Electronics, holds at Apple. That is, being a central contact for the music business, someone who speaks the same language as artists and their managers, and can help secure content for the service.”

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