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Spotify hires Lady Gaga’s former manager Troy Carter to counter Tidal and Apple exclusives

TechCrunch TechCrunch 7/06/2016 Romain Dillet

Troy Carter has confirmed yesterday’s report from Hits Daily Double that he’s now going to work for Spotify as Global Head of Creator Services. He shared a message on his Facebook account to explain the move, and Spotify also confirmed it to TechCrunch.

In his new role, Carter will handle relationships with artists, songwriters and record labels. Spotify was lagging behind on this front compared to Tidal and Apple Music.

Taylor Swift and Drake have partnered with Apple for exclusive content, such as Taylor Swift’s 1989 world tour film. Dr. Dre and Jimmy Iovine have been key when it comes to fostering these relationships with music artists.

Tidal is owned by Jay Z, and many artists have chosen to release their new albums exclusively on Tidal, at least as a temporary exclusive. Rihanna, Beyoncé and Kanye West all chose this path.

If Spotify’s competitors want to play the exclusive game, Spotify has to hire accordingly. Troy Carter, as a music industry insider, has all sorts of connections and will be able to counter all these Apple and Tidal exclusives.

It’s unclear whether Spotify wants to work with other artists on different exclusives or wants to convince artists not to sign exclusive deals.

Carter is also the founder of Atom Factory, an artist management company. Over the years, Carter has managed Lady Gaga, John Legend, Meghan Trainor, James Davis, Priyanka Chopra and others.

Atom Factory is also a small tech investment fund. Investments include Dropbox, Warby Parker, Uber, Lyft, Genius, theSkimm, StyleSeat and, yes, Spotify. Not a bad portfolio! He’s also involved with Cross Culture VC and SMASHD.co.

“I'm a firm believer that Spotify is the future for music. In my new role as Global Head of Creator Services, my job is just a natural continuation of what I've always done — protect the voice of artists. Always have and always will,” Carter wrote on Facebook. “Through Atom Factory, my team will stay in place to run our tech, culture and hustle outlet SMASHD.co as well as launch a brand innovation agency. And through Smashd Labs and Cross Culture VC, I'll still continue investing in great founders that have the ability to deliver next wave disruption to culture.”

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