MySpace Music, the joint venture between MySpace and the major labels to provide free streaming music to users, is announcing its executive team this afternoon. The president of the company, Courtney Holt, was announced late last year. Today the company showing off the rest of the team.
The key new executives are Jamie Kantrowitz (SVP Strategy and Global Marketing), Alex Maghen (CTO), Nancy Taylor (Lead Counsel, VP Business Development & Legal Affairs), Roberto Fisher (VP Product and Operations) and Frank Hajdu (Executive Director, Strategy & Business Development). The memo from MySpace CEO Chris DeWolfe to all MySpace and MySpace Music employees is below.
Kantrowitz, Hajdu and Fisher were previously with MySpace and transition over to the music team. Maghen previously was CTO of both Yahoo Music/Launch and MTV Networks Online. Taylor has held a number of senior management positions with major music companies, most recently as SVP of Warner/Chappel Music. Fisher was previously Senior Director of Product for Yahoo Music.
We’ve been bullish on MySpace Music, and despite the relatively slow feature progress since launch they’ve recently made significant improvements to the product (best of all it isn’t sluggish any more). MySpace Music (and premium video, including music videos) remains MySpace’s last significant competitive advantage to Facebook (and Facebook knows it).
Chris DeWolfe memo:
On the heels of some incredibly positive and productive Music industry buzz last week surrounding the SXSW festival, I wanted to take a moment to spotlight the enormously talented executives who will be responsible for turning the MySpace Music JV into the dominant 360 degree music experience on the Internet.
I’m thrilled to introduce Alex Maghen (Chief Technology Officer) and Nancy Taylor (Lead Counsel, Vice President Business and Legal Affairs) – who will be joining Courtney Holt (President), Jamie Kantrowitz (Senior Vice President Marketing and Strategy), Roberto Fisher (Vice President, Product) and Frank Hajdu (Executive Director, Business Development) on the MySpace Music senior executive team.
The vast knowledge and experience that these individuals bring to the table spans across all areas of the business including mobile, digital music, sales, and online marketing and creates the rock solid foundation necessary for the continued growth of the MySpace Music business and brand. Check out their bios below and please join me in welcoming them to the team.
Finally, the music team has been working diligently over the last few months, turning out meaningful new product enhancements that have helped to greatly improve the user experience on MySpace Music.
The Top 8 New MySpace Music include:
1. New Player
2. Public Playlisting
3. Unlimited Playlists
4. Album Pages
5. Artist Activity Feed
6. New Music Search
7. Artist Authentication
8. Top Search Terms
I am so proud and excited about what this team has already accomplished. Keep your eyes and ears open—there’s more to come!
President, MySpace Music
Courtney Holt serves as President of MySpace Music a landmark joint venture among MySpace, The EMI Group, SONY BMG MUSIC ENTERTAINMENT, Universal Music Group, Warner Music Group, and Sony ATV.
In this role, Courtney oversees the growth and development of the MySpace Music brand. Courtney brings extensive music industry depth and relationships to MySpace Music, as well as experience and focus on product, promotion, and marketing that will serve to solidify the company’s position as a global leader in the digital music space as well as the platform of choice for artists at every level.
Prior to joining MySpace Music Courtney served as Executive Vice President of Digital Music for the MTV Networks Music and Logo Group where he oversaw all digital initiatives for the company’s MTV, VH1 and CMT music brands, as well as for Logo. In this role, Courtney was responsible for identifying ways to further engage audiences across a spectrum of touch points, expanding the reach of the music brands online and content syndication. He also worked closely with Integrated Marketing and Ad Sales teams to drive new business partnerships and advertising models within the MTV Networks Music & Logo Group portfolio.
Courtney’s team led the way on a number of instrumental initiatives that are providing the audience with the new means to interact with music including the recent launch of mtvmusic.com. He also helped broker the creation of Rhapsody America, a joint venture between MTV Networks and RealNetworks and worked to develop the partnership between Rhapsody America and Verizon.
Prior to joining MTV Networks in 2006, Courtney was Senior Vice President of New Media, Creative and Strategic Marketing at Interscope Geffen A&M. There he embraced emerging technology to break new marketing ground, galvanizing communities of fans around top musical artists.
Beginning his career in the early 1990s as a freelance producer and director of music videos and commercials, Courtney was eventually appointed director of video production for Atlantic Records, where he introduced the concept of shooting live performances for electronic press kits and enhanced CDs and was responsible for some of the earliest artist broadcasts on the Internet. Aware of his accomplishments, A&M tapped Holt in 1996 to serve as their VP of New Media. At A&M, Holt championed the development of DVDs, online viral marketing campaigns, wireless artist channels and interactive music videos in the promotion of artists.
Throughout his career and as a veteran of the recording music industry, Courtney has earned recognition for embracing technology and changing the way labels traditionally promoted artists. His strategic initiatives helped usher in a new era of music marketing, which continues today. His vision is to continue shaping the way artists connect with their fans and ensuring that music lives across multiple platforms by further cultivating the sense of community that already defines and differentiates the MySpace Music experience.
Courtney earned a BS degree in Film from Boston University in 1990. He currently resides in Los Angeles.
SVP Strategy and Global Marketing, MySpace Music
Jamie Kantrowitz is SVP of Strategy and Global Marketing for MySpace Music. In this role, Jamie will also oversee the strategy expanding MySpace Music’s rich media platform of content partnerships and original programming, artist strategy and label relations, consumer and product marketing initiatives. Jamie is also responsible for spearheading the expansion of the MySpace Music platform across the company’s international territories. She will be based in New York, where MySpace Music will have an office.
Prior to this role, Jamie served as MySpace’s Senior Vice President, International Marketing and Content based in London. She played an integral role in overseeing MySpace’s successful expansion into 30 international territories. Jamie joined MySpace in 2004 as VP of Marketing and Content. In this role, Jamie was integral in the original growth of MySpace’s entertainment properties, including MySpace Music and created and managed strategic marketing and promotional campaigns both online and offline.
For her innovative work at MySpace Jamie has been previously placed on Ad Age’s Top 50 Marketers and Billboard Magazine’s “30 Under 30 to Watch” list and was honored in. Prior to working at MySpace, Jamie spent time as the Digital Director for Rock the Vote during the 2004 Presidential election. Jamie also worked at Radar Magazine as its Marketing and Special Projects Director and at KPE, Inc., a New York-based digital media studio where she led the project teams that developed digital business and marketing strategies for clients such as Nickelodeon, J Records, and Ralph Lauren Media.
A native of the Los Angeles area, Jamie graduated from Emory University.
Chief Technology Officer, MySpace Music
Alex Maghen serves as Chief Technology Officer for MySpace Music. In this role, Alex leads all technological and platform initiatives for MySpace Music. With over fifteen years of experience overseeing and developing interactive media technologies, Alex brings a wealth of knowledge to his position, and is poised to reinforce MySpace Music as the most innovative music product in existence.
Alex is no stranger to the CTO position, and brings with him six years of CTO experience in Online and Mobile Media. As CTO at Yahoo! Music / Launch Media and at MTV Networks Online, Alex drove a broad and highly integrated set of online properties which dramatically advanced the business and market goals of those companies. Alex developed new business and revenue opportunities in content and data syndication, including content integration with both online and on-air content partners. At Boston-based Groove Mobile, Alex led the mobile music platform’s product, architecture, and overall technology initiatives.
Alex began his career at AT&T, where he managed development of interactive products and programming for AT&T’s interactive television trials. Most recently, Alex has served as acting CTO and Head of Product for various Israeli Digital Media companies, helping them structure their business, organizations, and Product Architecture to best fit potential partnerships with larger international partners.
Alex has Bachelors degree in Mathematics, Computer Science, and Engineering from Drexel University in Philadelphia. He has also taught at New York’s School for the Visual Arts. He currently resides in Los Angeles.
Lead Counsel, VP Business and Legal Affairs, MySpace Music
Nancy Taylor serves as Lead Counsel, VP Business and Legal Affairs for MySpace Music. In this role, Nancy oversees the company’s business and legal affairs in the US and internationally with respect to the recently launched MySpace Music. Nancy and her staff work to ensure that MySpace Music maintains its position as an industry leader and innovator while complying with applicable laws.
Nancy is a seasoned entertainment attorney and has held creative and senior management positions with major music companies, most recently as Senior Vice President, Office of the Chairman & CEO of Warner/Chappell Music Inc. Prior to this, Nancy served as Vice President and Deputy Counsel, Business and Legal Affairs, and Head of West Coast Operations for Arista Records. Apart from her professional duties, Nancy sits on various charitable boards and committees, and is active in politics and in the faith community.
Nancy graduated from University of California, Los Angeles with a Bachelor of Arts in History and earned her Juris Doctorate at the University of California, Berkeley. Nancy currently resides in Los Angeles.
Vice President, Product and Operations, MySpace Music
Roberto Fisher is Vice President of Product and Operations for MySpace Music. Roberto is an Internet music and digital media veteran known for his deep expertise in and passion about the space. He has nearly two decades of product and management experience in Internet, media, and rights management products, services and technology. Roberto currently oversees product management, program management, design, and analytics for MySpace’s new joint venture with the music industry.
Prior to his current role at MySpace Music, Roberto was Sr. Director of Product for Yahoo! Music where he drove digital media and connected device strategies, managed key music and technology partnerships, and grew content catalogs and offerings. Roberto played a central role in the successful growth of Yahoo!’s music business from 2001 through to 2008. During that time, he played key roles in building up Yahoo! Music to be the Internet’s number one music destination, and to be the leading provider worldwide of Music Videos and Internet Radio. Prior to Yahoo!’s acquisition of LAUNCH Media in 2001, Roberto was VP of Product for the website and VP Technology and Operations.
Before he joined LAUNCH, Roberto worked on Internet, information, application and automation products and services for Citicorp, CB Richard Ellis and Oracle Corporation. Roberto held various product roles over the nearly 7 years he worked at Oracle in Global Operations, in Product and Product Line Division, and in the Applications Division. During his time at Oracle, Roberto led early efforts to apply database technologies to managing and retrieving rich media with associated metadata, to the use of relational databases for knowledge management, and to the delivery of content to various client types (PC, Internet, email, fax, and mobile). He was also a principal contributor to the launch of Oracle.com and oversaw the build out out some of the first Internet hosted and database driven B2B services.
Education: Roberto graduated with Honors from Stanford University with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Values, Technology, Science and Society.
Executive Director of Strategy & Business Development, MySpace Music
Frank Hajdu is the Executive Director of Strategy & Business Development for MySpace Music, MySpace Inc.’s landmark joint venture with Universal Music Group, Warner Music Group, SonyBMG Music Entertainment, Sony ATV, and EMI Music. As the head of the Strategy & Business Development team, Frank is responsible for formulating corporate strategy regarding deal structure, site monetization, and user- and artist-facing products as well as executing content, e-commerce, technology, and M&A transactions.
As a founding member of MySpace Music, Frank played an integral role in the creation of the business and product architecture of the new venture. Frank’s role is cross-disciplinary, working alongside a broad range of MySpace Music departments including Product, Marketing, Technology, and Finance to create progressive music business models and user experiences which align the interests of labels, artists, and music fans. Frank has been instrumental to the execution of such landmark content partnerships as those with the four major labels as well as leading indie aggregators The Orchard and IODA. He has also brokered MySpace Music’s digital sales partnership with Amazon MP3 as well as its copyright protection solutions with Audible Magic.
Frank’s team continues to explore and consummate numerous content, e-commerce, and technology partnerships while simultaneously developing do-it-yourself promotional and monetization tools for major, independent, and unsigned artists. MySpace Music aims to build upon MySpace’s historically artist-forward approach by helping hard-working musicians to grow their fanbases, market their content effectively, and properly monetize their digital content and physical goods.
Prior to joining MySpace in 2006, Frank held positions within Elektra Entertainment Group’s Artists & Repertoire department as well as Credit Suisse’s Private Equity division. Frank holds a B.A. in Business Economics from Brown University and an M.B.A. from the UCLA Anderson School of Management.