(1) Spotify has hired Jean Chi, a “veteran Hollywood dealmaker” from Paramount, to take up the newly-created Global Head of Podcast Business Affairs role, which puts her in charge of dealmaking across the company’s various podcast divisions. Here’s the Hollywood Reporter on the hire. Seems like yet another data point supporting the view of Spotify as being distinctly Hollywood-centric in its original show commissions.
(2) Audible names new Head of Content Acquisition and Development: Pat Shah, a veteran of Twitch and Spotify. Variety had the exclusive on the hire, and the write-up notes that Shah’s role at Spotify involved original content strategy on the licensing and business side, and that his work there “prompted the company’s expansion into podcasts.”
|In tomorrow’s Servant of Pod. Gretchen Rubin — the best-selling author, podcaster, and prominent voice on the subject of happiness — is on the show this week, and we hit on a bunch of things: the podcast-author intersection, the notion of self-help versus “self-helpful,” and how she moved from being a lawyer and clerking for Justice Sandra Day O’Connor towards writing books about happiness, human nature, and in an earlier effort, Power, Money, Fame, (and) Sex.
In case it’s not already apparent, Gretchen is a super interesting person, and genuinely one of the most intimidatingly intelligent people I’ve ever met. We overlapped briefly when I worked at the now-defunct Panoply for a short stint back in 2015, which was the time she first launched her podcast, Happier with Gretchen Rubin, at the network. (The show is now with Cadence13.) In hindsight, that show turned out to be one of the earlier data points in the now surging modern trend of authors crossing over into podcasting. That trend makes a lot of sense now, but I’ll admit I thought Happier was going to be anomaly at the time.
Anyway, you can find Servant of Pod on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, or the great assortment of third-party podcast apps that are hooked up to the open publishing ecosystem. Desktop listening is also recommended. Share, leave a review, so on.