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Spotify’s Rak Patel to lead EMEA sales

Patel takes up lead EMEA role as Spotify founder pledges to invest more resources in developing its advertising business.

By Omar Oakes

Spotify has promoted Rak Patel to lead the music and podcast streaming giant’s sales teams across Europe, the Middle East and Africa.

Patel’s promotion to head of enterprise sales EMEA comes within weeks of Marco Bertozzi’s departure. Bertozzi was vice-president, EMEA sales and multi-market global sales.

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Spotify UK won Sales Team of the Year at the 2020 Media Week Awards and was highly commended for Commercial Team of the Year at last year’s Campaign Media Awards.

Patel, whose previous title was head of sales for UK and pan-EMEA, has worked at Spotify since 2017 and previously held senior roles at Auto Trader and Microsoft. He spent the early part of his career at Emap and the Financial Times.

A Spotify spokeswoman confirmed Patel’s new role but did not comment further.

The brand makes most of its revenue from subscriptions, but its ad-supported free option plays an important role in attracting users and generated 9 per cent of the company’s €7.88bn (£5.55bn) total revenue last year.

During Spotify’s year-end financials call with investors, founder and chief executive Daniel Ek remarked that the company’s advertising business has been “unpredictable” and pledged to invest more resources in developing its commercial arm.

Ek added: “In our mature markets, our largest issue was that we were inventory constrained. And, while this sounds like a good problem to have, I guess it is difficult for us to predict how quickly we can open up new inventory.

“I expect that as the category of audio ads matures and more radio dollars move to streaming, this area will become much more predictable, but, for the next year or two, it will be a bit more uncertain.”

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