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Spotify Grabs a Top Engineer From YouTube, Its Current and Future Rival

Jason Gaedtke leaves the streaming video service to work at a streaming music service.

Peter Kafka covers media and technology, and their intersection, at Vox. Many of his stories can be found in his Kafka on Media newsletter, and he also hosts the Recode Media podcast.

Spotify has a new executive overseeing its engineering team.

Jason Gaedtke, who headed up infrastructure at YouTube, will now have the same position at the streaming music company.

That means, among other things, overseeing data centers on four continents, says Spotify CEO Daniel Ek.

Gaedtke’s hire is worth noting because Spotify often describes YouTube as its biggest competition, since Google’s video site is now the de facto location for lots of people looking for free, on-demand music. And sometime soon YouTube will also compete more directly with Spotify, when it launches its paid music subscription service that was supposed to start up last year.

It’s also interesting that Spotify has hired someone with extensive video knowledge: At YouTube, one of Gaedtke’s more significant accomplishments was building up its capability to handle heavy-duty livestreams like the Olympics and Felix Baumgartner’s space jump. Before that he had worked at Time Warner Cable, as well as Joost, a would-be YouTube competitor.

So does that mean Spotify is getting ready to venture into video, as it has been noodling about for some time? No. “He’s a huge music fan,” Ek said. “He just wanted a new challenge.”

UPDATE: Here’s YouTube’s official goodbye for Gaedtke, via a spokesperson: “We thank Jason for his many contributions to Google and YouTube, and we wish him well in his new role.”

This article originally appeared on

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