The Apple vs. Spotify fight just became tougher with news that Apple recently hired Spotify’s former head of label relations, Steve Savoca, who left the company in August of last year (Spotify’s current boss of label relations is Rob Harvey). He was recruited for the identical role at Apple Music.
The Cupertino firm on Thursday confirmed the hiring of Spotify’s former executive, saying he’ll be focusing on relationships with smaller, independent labels, especially internationally.
Savoca left Spotify after spending five years with the company.
He was reportedly one of Spotify’s first employees in the United States. Prior to joining the Swedish startup, he held roles at Domino Records and other labels. He’s currently on the board of directors of the Music Business Association (formerly NARM) and previously sat on the board at Merlin.
Apple Music has leveraged exclusives from artists like Drake, Frank Ocean, Taylor Swift and others as an effective way to set itself apart from Spotify, the world’s leading music-streaming service with 40 million paid accounts and 60 million users on ad-free tiers (Apple Music has 20 million paid subscribers as of December).
Record and film producer Jimmy Iovine, now an Apple executive, said recently that Apple will be acquiring more original television series and movies to be offered for free to Apple Music subscribers. Such content, said Iovine, is integral part of Apple Music’s pop cultural experience and may give Spotify fans another reason to switch to Apple Music.