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Google taps former Spotify executive to lead YouTube Music in APAC

Youtube Music Branding Up Close Galaxy Z Fold
Youtube Music Branding Up Close Galaxy Z Fold (Image credit: Andrew Myrick / Android Central)

What you need to know

  • Google has hired Paul Smith as managing director of YouTube Music in the Asia Pacific region.
  • Smith previously served at Spotify as global head of its international licensing for five years.
  • Earlier in his career, Smith held various label relations roles at Nokia, Microsoft and MixRadio.

Google seems to be doubling down on expanding YouTube Music into new markets with a new hire. The search giant has welcomed Paul Smith as the new managing director of its music streaming service for Asia Pacific, as per Music Business Worldwide.

Smith brings a deep background to his new role at Google. He was previously the director of Spotify's international licensing, a position he held for five years. There, he led the company's expansion into new markets through local ang global licensing deals, according to his LinkedIn profile (opens in new tab). These markets include South Korea, India, Vietnam, Thailand, Russia, South Africa, Israel and the Arab states.

Lyor Cohen, YouTube's global head of music, has this to say regarding Smith's new role:

We are excited to welcome Paul to jump into the YouTube team in this Year of the Tiger. We have experienced massive growth in both our advertising and subscription businesses around the world, including APAC.Paul has joined our team at an exciting moment when innovation is happening across APAC with new monetisation options for creators and new ways of servicing our viewers, and will continue to build upon our relationships in the region.

Before he joined Spotify, Smith held various label relations roles at several companies, including one year at MixRadio as vice president of business affairs and label relations. Prior to that, he was the director of global head of major label relations at Microsoft.

His longest experience in label relations was with Nokia, where he worked for seven years. Smith also spent four years as a senior national accounts manager at Universal Music Group.

Google's latest hire signifies its growing effort to battle it out in the race for the best music streaming services. In September of last year, YouTube Music topped more than 50 million paid subscribers, eclipsing its main rivals including Spotify.

Jay Bonggolto always keeps a nose for news. He is a tech journalist based in the Philippines who has been writing about consumer tech for the past six years and has been using various Android phones since falling in love with Jelly Bean. When he's not writing, he likes to spend time outside, stealing scenes with his phone camera.