StubHub Names New Head of Music Business Development

Jay Harren
Courtesy of StubHub

Jay Harren

StubHub has announced former A&R executive Jay Harren as their new head of music business development. In his new position, Harren will lead a team focused on the secondary ticketer’s North American music partners.

Harren tells Billboard his first responsibility is helping the music industry understand what StubHub has to offer.

“I feel like there is a serious misperception of what StubHub is. I am taking the approach that the first thing I have to do is go out and educate people in the industry of what StubHub is not,” says Harren. “StubHub is not a broker who goes out and uses bots. It is an exchange. It is owned by eBay and it reflects that in its approach.”

Harren joined StubHub in October from Sony Music’s boutique label Descendant Records, where he was vice president of A&R and artist development. The new StubHub exec previously launched and ran the label that was home to the Lone Bellow, Colony House and the Wild Wild.

“I have worked really closely with artists, one-on-one, for roughly 15 years and that experience of getting down in the nitty gritty of what an artist needs, what an artist wants, the way an artist lives,” says Harren, who began his label career in 2006 as A&R manager at Columbia Records/Sony Music Entertainment, where he signed artists like Manchester Orchestra.

Harren has always had a passion for discovering new music and emerging artists. He launched his career in radio at Atlanta’s influential alternative radio station 99X/WNNX, serving as music director and on-air talent, as well as founder and host of the station’s new-music discovery program “Sunday School.”

“I liked having that intimate knowledge of the way an artist lives,” Harren tells Billboard, adding that many mid-tier artists who are regularly selling out 3,000-capacity rooms still feel they need a part-time job once their tour comes to an end. “It is not like they are crushing it all the time just because they are selling out shows. Unfortunately, that is the reality.”

Beginning in 2019, Harren plans to use his platform at StubHub to help artists, especially those in the mid-tier, benefit from the secondary market.

“It is a passion of mine to make sure that we can figure out a way to help artists who are doing well, do even better,” says Harren.

Harren currently works out of StubHub’s New York offices and reports to StubHub’s general manager of music and theater North America, Jeff Poirier.