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Spotify has hired an M&A specialist to help it buy other companies

WPP veteran Sheila Spence joins next week.

Spotify Press Announcement
Spotify CEO Daniel Ek
Michael Loccisano/Getty Images for Spotify
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 hired an executive tasked with helping it buy other companies. The music streaming service is bringing on Sheila Spence, a longtime M&A specialist at ad giant WPP, as its vice president of corporate development.

Spence, who will report to Spotify CFO Barry McCarthy, is a well-known figure in the digital media business who has spent the last 10 years running corp dev at WPP.

A Spotify rep says Spence will start May 30; I’ve asked her for comment.

Spotify is preparing to go public via an unconventional public listing later this year or early next year, at a reported valuation of $13 billion. If it does, its stock will give it a new currency for Spence to play as she looks at acquisition targets.

Up until now Spotify has made relatively modest purchases, and has usually focused on bringing on engineering teams. Yesterday, for instance, the company said it had picked up Niland, a Paris-based AI startup. Spotify’s biggest acquisition to date appears to be The Echo Nest, a music data startup, for about $60 million.

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