Design Manager – Free

The core of Spotify’s business is our Free experience, providing ‘Music and Audio for Everyone’, and delivering an amazing experience that sets us apart globally.

With over 100 million users enjoying our free product, we’re off to a good start. Over the last few years, we’ve built out an exceptional team and a solid platform to support our users, our internal teams and our advertising partners. However, we see this as only the beginning of our free monetization and marketing technology efforts.

The challenge ahead is how to scale the people, culture, design and business for both the Spotify Free user experience and it’s advertising, messaging & promotional products and services. We are excited to continue to improve our existing offering AND come up with new strategies. Whether it’s connecting the listeners to the content they love through our promotional touchpoints, expanding our footprint in the digital audio marketplace, creating best-in-class tools, products and features, and crafting innovative new promotional experiences for brands and artists alike. We’ve caught up with the market, and believe the next step is to take the lead.

What We’re Looking For

We’re searching for someone to lead one of our New York based design teams. The initial focus will be on building, mentoring and guiding a design team responsible for building strategies, prototypes and tools that help us to craft data, user protection, attribution and ML experiences for our promotional tech platform and how it ultimately surfaces across many of our different Spotify products and surfaces. 

Your team’s work is very out of the box, systems-thinking and goal-driven, often stepping into new territories where design has yet to tread, coming up with new ideas and approaches to solve for some exciting problem spaces. You will partner with your team and peers to create a human-centric, relevant, personalized and effective experience helping to drive the core foundations of our Free business. Our mission is to unlock the potential of human creativity—by giving a million creative artists the opportunity to live off their art and billions of fans the opportunity to enjoy and be inspired by it. Our designers work collaboratively with business, product, research, and technology to deliver standout experiences that help us achieve our mission!

To be successful, you have experience in the following areas:

  • Motivation – You are someone who has an appreciation for the role that advertising, messaging & promotion can play in a service such as Spotify, and you can share this passion to motivate the team and the wider organization. You understand the impact we can have in this space and recognize the opportunity to inject the perspective of our users into a space that’s typically brushed them aside.
  • Management & leadership – You have practical management experience with designers in agile product development environment, and you are driven to foster and grow the culture in cross-functional teams through advocacy.
  • Team builder – You have experience hiring product designers and some experience with guiding teams through hyper-growth.
  • Collaborative – You have deep history working with other Design leaders, Product Managers, Developers, and Product Insights/Researchers, as well as a working understanding of some of the following: systems design, tooling, b2b technology, complex user ecosystems and/or media platforms that rely on advertising and promotion as a business model.
  • Impactful – We are truly looking to push the envelope and keep the best interests of ALL of our users (listeners, artists, marketers AND advertisers) at heart. The ad-tech domain is fast-paced, prone to dark UX patterns (which is NOT what we’re interested in), and not necessarily intuitive. We are hoping to challenge those antiquated values, and an existing understanding and ability to evangelize is valuable for the role. 
  • An Explorer – You are comfortable in uncharted territories where design hasn’t historically found itself or where the rules and engagements aren’t already established. You are interested in leading a team of pioneers to bring human-centered design into some of the foundational systems that drive our business.

You will be responsible for co-leading a product area/tribe, including management of 3-4 designers focused on creating outstanding experiences that deeply focus on, optimize and foundational data, targeting and attribution and other promotional, advertising and marketing technologies across multiple products throughout our Spotify ecosystem. 

What you’ll do

  • Alongside your Tech, Insights and Product counterparts, you will be responsible for leading a product area which has responsibilities across many areas of Spotify that support our ads and marketing technology. Your work will include – 
    • systems thinking and design (ie. user journies, behavior/need mapping, data/tech systems as they apply to operational considerations/needs and ecosystems) 
    • Service design maps
    • ethical considerations
    • Framing user considerations in context to promotion, advertising and marketing tech (think attribution, targeting etc) and navigating how that may flow into a larger suite of multiple products and offerings
    • design thinking in support of machine learning 
    • Data visualization
    • internal tooling
    • standards and patterns for data/insights that drive our ad and marketing technology across multiple user-facing products (both on and off our platform)
  • You’ll provide thought leadership to develop the right product strategy. Together, you’ll solve problems and come up with solutions that delight our users.
  • Shape the data-informed product design vision for the user experience of the products we make in this Tribe, partner and advise on how those internal decisions affect the user experience for other Tribes/Missions. You create the space for others to collaborate across the entire product lifecycle and multiple product launches
  • Put a premium on listening to users, both directly and through the work of our Product Insights team, and letting their needs guide us to the best solutions. 
  • Hire and grow the craft of talented designers for your product area and across Spotify.
  • Be autonomous. You’ll take full ownership of your product area, and you take responsibility for every last detail, every step of the way, including how the work your Tribe contributes to our holistic user experience.
  • Work from our office in New York with occasional travel to Stockholm and/or London.

Who you are

  • You have 8+ years of design experience and 3+ years of management experience within consumer-focused product companies, SaaS or b2b platforms, or for agencies with clients in those areas. Experience with promotional strategy, tools and platforms as well as multi-sided marketplaces is a plus.
  • You are people-focused and have the right balance of gut, pragmatic intuition and a user and data-focused design mentality. 
  • You are constantly looking to hone your team’s instincts through a variety of inputs – including technological considerations, trend analysis, benchmarks, user feedback, and data insight. 
  • You are a champion for human-centered design and can evangelize the need for having design integrated into business and technical decisions. 
  • You love informing new spaces and have experience leading design teams in less traditional places, like systems-thinking, design strategy and machine learning.
  • You are familiar and comfortable working within and contributing to large design systems that you may or may not own directly. Balancing the needs of the larger design ecosystem with the local goals of your mission.
  • You are a player/coach/servant leader with practical design chops you don’t mind dusting off from time-to-time. You’ve shipped many consumer products over the years, and understand what it takes to create awesome, human-oriented experiences.
  • You’re a fantastic communicator and storyteller. You have the skills to help you partner with business stakeholders and cross-functional partners. You shine most at motivating others to carry forward and execute a strategy without needing to be in the room.
  • You are hungry to learn and evolve in all things. From leadership skills to design craft to process to industry and market trends — you never stop pushing into the next big challenge and fit right into our growth-focused culture.
  • You thrive in coaching teams to balance short term needs while keeping an eye on and contributing to long term strategic goals.
  • You are able to provide a brief explanation in your application of why you are excellent for this role, while highlighting a portfolio of work that represents who you are as a designer and leader.

What We Value

Dogmatic user focus, innovation, collaboration, transparency, passion and playfulness are the start. We believe our culture is a core part of what makes Spotify successful. We’re looking for someone who understands our culture, will thrive within it and will help shape it as it evolves.

We are proud to foster a workplace free from discrimination. We strongly believe that diversity of experience, perspectives, and background will lead to a better environment for our employees and a better product for our users and our creators. This is something we value deeply and we encourage everyone to come be a part of changing the way the world listens to music.

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