Radio 1 head of music George Ergatoudis quits to join Spotify

Ergatoudis has worked for the BBC since 1997

George Ergatoudis is leaving BBC Radio 1 after a decade at the station to take up a new role at Spotify.

Ergatoudis, who took on the job as Head of Music BBC Radio 1 & 1Xtra in 2005, will leave in March next year. The news of his exit was announced this morning (December 15). Details of the Spotify position are yet to be revealed.

Ben Cooper, Controller of BBC Radio 1 and 1Xtra, says: “Over the past decade, George has been a key part of Radio 1’s discovery of new music for young audiences and has continued to support British artists, giving them a platform for success. He has built a strong team at Radio 1 and 1Xtra with excellent contacts across the industry. We would like to thank him for all his hard work, and wish him all the very best for the future.”

Ergatoudis says: “It’s been a privilege to have played a key part in the journey of the world’s greatest music radio station over the last 10 years. In that time, Radio 1 has successfully moved into a new era of visual and shareable content, helping to drive new young audiences to the BBC. Now I’m ready for the next chapter in my career as I take on responsibility for leading Spotify’s in-house music curation strategy and content programming for the UK. I can’t wait to get started.”

Ergatoudis managed Radio 1Xtra’s music policy for five years between 2000-2005 and produced shows for DJs such as of Jo Whiley and Simon Mayo for three years before that. He was a senior producer at Kiss 100 FM during the 1990s.

The departure to streaming giants Spotify may not come as such a surprise. Back in 2014 Ergatoudis claimed that “albums are edging closer to extinction” as people moved towards playlists as a primary way of listening to music.

Meanwhile, Ergatoudis went on record earlier this year as saying that Spotify rival Apple is a “huge disruptive monster”. He warned that Apple Music would be a big threat to radio stations around the world, describing them as “the sharks taking our audience away”.