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Ted Sarandos, Netflix’s Hollywood boss, is joining Spotify’s board

Spotify wants to make a splash in video — kind of like Netflix.

Premiere Of Netflix's 'Stranger Things' - Arrivals Alberto E. Rodriguez / Getty
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 wants to branch out from music to video. This could help: The streaming music company is adding Ted Sarandos, Netflix’s content boss, to its board of directors.

This one seems pretty straightforward: Spotify, which is heading toward a public offering, has been telling investors for years that it would eventually move into video. But so far it hasn’t made a big splash.

On paper, at least, Sarandos can help.

He has one of the best vantage points in the video business, because he negotiates all of Netflix’s deals with traditional movie studios and TV networks and has been navigating Netflix’s move into original content, which kicked off three years ago with “House of Cards.”

Sarandos’s appointment comes more than a year after Spotify announced it was going to start streaming video from its mobile apps and more than six months after Spotify started showing clips, primarily from TV networks like Viacom’s Comedy Central.

In the last few weeks, Spotify has started showing original clips as well, though those don’t seem to have captured the zeitgeist.

Sarandos isn’t the only Netflix connection at Spotify. Two years ago, Barry McCarthy, Netflix’s former chief financial officer, joined the company’s board. Last year he left the board and became Spotify’s CFO.

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