Former Spotify Head of Music Nick Holmstén Shares His Next Move

November 19, 2020

By Tatiana Crisano – Billboard

Nick Holmstén is teaming with Fortress Investment Group to launch the brand-new entertainment company TSX Entertainment, a “playground for artists”.

 

A little over a year since leaving his post as Spotify’s global head of music, Nick Holmstén has revealed his next move. The executive tells Billboard that he is teaming with Fortress Investment Group to launch the brand-new entertainment company TSX Entertainment, a “playground for artists” which will revolve around a multi-billion-dollar development with a street-facing stage and retail space in Times Square.

The company is operational now, and pending coronavirus-related restrictions, Holmstén plans to open the development to the public in 2022. There, artists will be able to perform concerts, sell merchandise, meet fans and create other experiences around new releases, while Holmstén says a digital component will “amplify that moment globally.”

“This is a vision of Disneyland for music meets Las Vegas,” he says.

The idea has been brewing in Holmstén’s mind since around 2018, the year he was promoted to his last Spotify role. He joined the streaming service in 2013 after it acquired his music discovery startup Tunigo, which became the foundation for Spotify’s playlist strategy. For Holmstén, playlisting was “about this enormous potential of new artists to find fans they couldn’t reach,” he says. “A lot of artists loved what happened, but it also felt like a lot of that relationship with fans was lost.”

He introduced new ways to bridge the gap, such as turning popular editorial playlists like RapCaviar and ¡Viva Latino! into tours and creating branded merchandise. Even so, Holmstén says he wasn’t completely satisfied — he missed the in-person experiences that he says make music so impactful.

“It has always been extremely important to make sure we can paint the full picture, and that was always a limitation with streaming services,” he says. “I always felt like, ‘Imagine if you can take the best of two worlds: Combine the physical [experience] with the technology.’”

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