Head of music partnerships, Facebook
LAUREN WIRTZER SEAWOOD, 43
Head of music partnerships, Instagram
Last Year's Rank: 54
In 2017, Facebook got serious about music, hiring Hrivnak away from Google. She wasted no time, striking licensing deals with Universal Music Group and Sony/ATV Music Publishing for the social media platform and its subsidiaries, Instagram and Oculus, that will begin allowing users to post music in their videos. It's a transaction that observers say may generate as much as $1 billion for the music industry during the next two years as others follow suit. It's also a signal that Facebook is preparing to take on YouTube. As of third-quarter 2017, Facebook claims over 2 billion active global monthly users, with about 880 million "connected to music pages" says Hull, who worked on an exclusive with Katy Perry's "ticket bot" and launched a "Tours" feature that automatically geo-targets users and since April has been used by "thousands of artists" including JAY-Z and Taylor Swift. Meanwhile, Wirtzer Seawood's Insta-magic has been called music's secret weapon: Of the platform's 800 million users, "350 million follow 10 or more verified artists," she says.
Are you pursuing the full scope of music rights through additional deals with labels and publishers?
?(Hrivnak) Yes. This past year, Facebook has gone from four people doing music partnerships to a dedicated staff of 16 doing worldwide music deals. We're at the beginning of a new journey with music.
Besides the Watch video publishing tab, how else will you leverage music?
There are two buckets: One is users expressing themselves through music and video, and the other is new social features that we will be creating with the industry to launch on our platform. It's too early to discuss specifics.
How does Facebook plan to differentiate itself from YouTube?
Facebook is unlike any other platform in that people share through an array of media. The opportunities we create for artists have community-building and personal connection at the core, and are incremental to music's core business. We aren't just a video service.
How is the music strategy being implemented?
My role is across Facebook Inc., encompassing all our products and platforms – Facebook, Instagram, Oculus, Messenger and WhatsApp. On my team, Michael King leads label business development for the globe; Anjali Southward leads international publishing – ex-U.S. and Canada – and Scott Sellwood leads commercial publishing partnerships, so the deals Anjali’s striking Scott is implementing. There’s also Jonathan [Hull] and Lauren [Wirtzer Seawood], who work on creative opportunities and report in to the partnership units at their respective brands.