Ty Roberts, Former Coder at Apple and Gracenote Co-Founder, Named SVP Chief Technology Officer for Universal Music

Ty Roberts 2016
Katy Winn/AP Images for Fender Music Lodge

 Ty Roberts visits Sony at the Fender Music Lodge during the 2012 Sundance Film Festival on Saturday, Jan. 21, 2012 in Park City, Utah.

A year and two months after former president of digital Rob Wells left Universal Music Group, experienced tech executive Ty Roberts has been named as the company's new senior vice president and Chief Technology Officer.

Roberts is a co-founder of Gracenote, the leading entertainment metadata company that was formed in 1998 through a merger of CDDB and ION, the "multimedia music label" that Roberts founded and led. He also worked with David Bowie to develop the Verbasizer, a '90s-era lyric generation program (see it in action below). Gracenote delivers a host of information to content providers data, from song mood to album art.

In a memo to staff, executive vice president Michael Nash, to whom Roberts will report, praised his new hire's experience and "his numerous accomplishments in forging the convergence of media and tech in the music business."

Most importantly for UMG, perhaps, is Roberts' deep list of contact in Silicon Valley and his success in the tech industry, having spent time writing code for Apple in the development of QuickTime, Pixar, for starters, before forming ION in 1992. At ION, according to Roberts' LinkedIn, he "produced the recording industry’s first enhanced audio CD titles, including David Bowie’s Jump and Headcandy from Brian Eno." Roberts clearly likes to be ahead of the curve.

“My goal is to build upon Universal Music’s existing leadership in technology and digital and make sure we’re poised to take full advantage of the vast opportunities that are ahead of us," says Roberts in a statement.


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