Dave Rocco Leaving Spotify for Universal Music Group: Sources (EXCLUSIVE)

Dave Rocco will be leaving the company to take a role at Universal Music Group, sources tell Variety. While his title was not specified at press time, it will involve digital and streaming promotion and marketing.

Along with Universal’s recent hire of Celine Joshua — who joined the company late in February with the unwieldy title of General Manager, Commercial, Content and Artist Strategy — and Rob Frank in 2015 as SVP of global streaming marketing, the move points to a growing unified strategy of global streaming promotion within the company.

Reps for Spotify and UMG did not immediately comment.

The move comes as a surprise given Rocco’s promotion just weeks ago to the Spotify’s global head of artist & label marketing. He had worked with Troy Carter, Spotify’s global head of creator services (pictured above, far left, with the company’s Tiffany Kumar, center, and Rocco), since shortly after Carter joined the company in 2016. Previously Rocco spent four years as EVP of Music Creative Director at advertising giant Deutsch, as well as stints at MTV and New York radio station Z100.

The comments around Joshua’s hire suggest the larger strategy at work. She will also form a new UMG label called 10:22 pm and lead a staff charged with signing and developing recording artists, social media influencers and digital media creators with a focus on creating multimedia content and advancing new forms of storytelling, according to a press release.

“Universal Music continues to lead the industry in developing new creative and commercial opportunities for our artists and labels around the world,” UMG chairman/CEO Lucian Grainge said. “Our success will only accelerate with the addition of Celine, who has built an exceptional track-record of identifying projects that drive tangible results. I’m looking forward to having her work with our label and territory leaders to find even more opportunities across digital services and platforms, while building 10:22 pm into a progressive home for new forms of digital content.”

Joshua said, “We have only begun to scratch the surface of what’s possible on digital platforms in terms of building the artist fanbase, delivering content for a digital-first audience and driving new sources of revenue.”

Speaking with Variety about his staff last year, Spotify’s Carter said, “Dave Rocco came over from Deutsch [advertising] and he worked at Z100 and MTV, so to [combine] a deep music background with an agency background and working with artists very intensely, he really knows how to launch campaigns.”




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