As Spotify gears up for its long anticipated IPO scheduled for early 2018, the company has made a very critical hire. Dustee Jenkins has been appointed as the company’s new head of public relations.
Jenkins, who will have the same role she had at Target, is charged with unifying Spotify’s various PR initiatives under one umbrella. She will report to CMO Jeff Farbman. Angela Watts, who has served as VP of marketing and communications at Spotify in London since 2010, will report to Jenkins, as well as Americas communications head Graham James in New York.
Spotify, which is the world’s largest streaming service, passed 140 million worldwide users earlier this year. The company announced in July that it also passed 60 million paying subscribers. The company, however, witnessed significant revenue and operating losses in 2016.
At this point, Jenkins’ appointment is evidence of the company’s effort to streamline its PR and messaging in advance of its upcoming public offering. Jenkins will relocate to New York from Target’s Minneapolis headquarters. She served with Target for seven years, vacating in July. Before that, she held communications roles with Hill & Knowlton PR consulting agency, with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development under President George W. Bush, and with Texas Republican Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison.
Spotify is expected to launch a public offering soon, in which it will list shares directly to buyers. The move has been anticipated for several years but has been delayed as the company shores itself up, not least by closing new licensing deals with three major labels and the independent label collective Merlin. It completed the last of those with Warner Music in August.
Whether this hire proves fruitful or not will be revealed in a few months, but one thing that we know for sure is that analysts will be closely watching how this IPO unfolds.