If you ask 100 music executives to recount their professional paths to the industry, you’re bound to hear 100 unique stories. Few resumes are as varied, however, as Jeremy Erlich’s—investment banking, corporate strategy, major-label CFO, A&R and most recently, Global Head of Music at Spotify. His career is singular not only in how intimately he’s worked on both the business and creative sides of the industry but because his roles have afforded him perspective from both an artist-oriented and consumer-based frame of reference. He’s also established a stellar representation as one of the most likable and approachable players in the DSP world.

Erlich entered the music biz in 2010 as a wide-eyed summer intern at UMG. He rose through the ranks, moving to Interscope in 2016 after a five-year run as Head of Corporate Development and Strategy for the parent company, where, as CFO/Head of Business Development, he’d been heavily involved in the acquisitions of EMI and Eagle Rock Entertainment.

In my last six months at Interscope, I signed BLACKPINK, Erlich recalls. “There were people at the label who thought, “Why the fuck is the CFO signing an act?” But that’s where my passion lies, in the music and the future.

“As soon as I left Interscope, Spotify reached out. They offered me Head of Music Strategy, which was running the business side and editorial team. I said, ‘I think you have the wrong guy—you need to find someone who’s done editorial their whole life.’ They said, ‘No, we need someone who loves music, who not only understands the ecosystem and the needs and wants of artists but who can make this platform powerful, who can efficiently manage a really strong team.’

“So I took the leap, and it’s been fantastic. In the two years I’ve been with Spotify, my role has evolved four times. The first was VP of Music Strategy, which added editorial to the business functions. When Nick Holmstén left, I was made interim Co-Head with Marian Dicus. We dropped the ‘interim’ in February 2020. Marian left this past July to go to Netflix, and I dropped the ‘co-head.’ I pinch myself sometimes; I’m the Global Head of Music for Spotify—what a long, strange trip it’s been, as Jerry would say.”

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