YouTube Music’s subscriber base has been growing over the past year especially among youths. Google wants to keep that pace up by hiring a former Spotify executive to lead YouTube Music in Asia-Pacific (APAC).

Paul Smith, as spotted by Music Business Worldwide, was Spotify’s Global Head of International Licensing from February 2017 to 2022:

Driving Spotify’s global expansion across New Market launches through commercial licensing partnerships with both local and global rights holders. To date have expanded Spotify’s global footprint into 100+ markets, including South Korea, India, Vietnam, Thailand, Russia, South Africa, Israel and GCC countries to name just a few.


Smith is now Managing Director of YouTube Music for APAC as of this month. He’s had a long career in the music industry, including seven years at Nokia and another year at Microsoft, while starting at Universal Music Group.

In a statement about the hire, YouTube Music head Lyor Cohen said that the streaming service has “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 monetization options for creators and new ways of servicing our viewers, and will continue to build upon our relationships in the region.

Meanwhile, Smith told Music Business Worldwide that he has “witnessed the incredible growth of YouTube’s music businesses here in APAC.

I am honored to be able to join and learn from an amazing team of colleagues at YouTube, and get to know and contribute to the future of the fastest growing music platform.

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Abner Li

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