Executive Turntable: Amazon Music Names Head of Editorial, Wave Sweeps Up Netflix Exec

Raymond Leon Roker
Courtesy of Raymond Roker

Raymond Leon Roker

Amazon Music has hired Raymond Leon Roker as global head of editorial. Reporting to director Ryan Redington out of the company’s Los Angeles office, Roker will lead all aspects of Amazon Music’s editorial content strategy across music, video and voice.

"Raymond is an industry leader, and is coming to Amazon Music with an incredibly valuable perspective for compelling content,” said Redington in a statement. “As we continue to work closely with labels and artists to break boundaries across music and culture, Raymond is bringing decades of experience as a respected, strategic storyteller who will change the way our customers experience music around the world."

Roker joins Amazon Music from AEG, where he most recently led content development across music, sports and facilities as head of AEG Studios. Previously at AEG, he spent seven years as editor in chief/creative director of the Coachella live stream on YouTube and executive produced the 2020 documentary on the festival, Coachella: 20 Years in the Desert. He began his career as co-founder and CEO/publisher of the lifestyle publication URB.

 


 

Interactive virtual entertainment company Wave, which mounted a series of virtual concerts by artists including John Legend and Tinashe this summer, has appointed Tina Rubin as its CMO. She replaces interim CMO Jeremy Welt, who will remain on the company’s advisory board.

Rubin joins Wave from Netflix, where she oversaw marketing activities for the streamer’s young adult and family original TV shows as head of strategy and consumer marketing. Prior to that, she served as vp of marketing at the Disney-owned streaming service Movies Anywhere, held various marketing roles at Amazon and worked in brand management at Mattel.

In her new role, Rubin will oversee the development and execution of global marketing strategies and partnerships to drive brand awareness across Wave’s social, entertainment and gaming platforms. She will also work closely with the product team to build in-platform content for artists and audiences, including merchandise, virtual interactions and ticketing opportunities.

Rubin arrives at an exciting time for Wave, which recently added former Riot Games executive Jarred Kennedy as COO and Gary Shenk of Branded Entertainment Network as president. In addition to its virtual concert series, which drew over 500,000 fans to live digital avatar performances by artists, it recently partnered with TikTok to host a live virtual concert with The Weeknd that was billed as the first "cross reality" event of its kind.

 


 

The National Music Publishers’ Association (NMPA) has appointed Ashley Joyce as senior vp, legal & business affairs.

Joyce most recently served as an associate at global law firm DLA Piper in the Trademark, Copyright and Media Group based in Washington, D.C. During her time there, she focused on trademark and copyright litigation in federal courts around the U.S., as well as at inter partes proceedings before the U.S. Trademark Trial and Appeal Board (TTAB). She handled all aspects of litigation, from pre-suit consultation to pleadings, discovery, motion practice, experts, trials and appeals. Additionally, she counseled clients regarding international conflicts, ICANN domain name disputes and related Internet issues and advised them on identifying, enhancing and exploiting intellectual property assets.

Prior to DLA Piper, Joyce clerked for U.S. District Judge Garland E. Burrell Jr. in the Eastern District of California. Before that, she worked at King & Spalding LLP in New York City and taught English and debate classes at the Paris Nanterre University. She graduated from Duke University and Washington University School of Law.

 


 

Royalty collection platform Songtrust has hired Darren Briggs as global head of technology, a newly-created role. Briggs will report to president Molly Neuman as he oversees the ongoing expansion of the company’s technology stack and leads the development and innovation of its royalty collection and rights management platform.

Most recently, Briggs served as president and chief product officer at Songspace, where he developed products for sound recording and master rights data management and synch licensing request tracking while leading the automation of music data and catalog delivery. He also worked as vp of data strategy and technology innovation at BMI and head of global systems development and technology at Sony/ATV.

According to a release, Songtrust now collects royalties from over 215 countries and territories.

 


 

Halim Rice has been named vp of A&R at Def Jam.

Rice launched his career as a personal assistant and road/tour manager for 50 Cent, a job he held for nearly a decade. He later worked in A&R at Epic Records and as general manager at the Jonny Shipes-founded record label, management and content company Cinematic Music Group. He has worked with artists including 42 Dugg, Yo Gotti, Jim Jones and T-Pain, among others.

 


 

Mairu Gupta is the new director, digital business at Sony Music India. In the role, Gupta will lead the company’s digital business with its streaming partners in the country while also collaborating with Sony Music’s global teams to drive digital revenue and market share.

Gupta hails from the NBA, where he led the organization’s content and media distribution business for over three and a half years. During that time, he goosed the league’s digital footprint by assisting in the creation of localized and original content including the music-driven Hoop Nation series, which centers on basketball culture in India. Prior to the NBA, Gupta worked as vp and business head at Jack in the Box Worldwide.

Gupta’s hire is part of Sony Music India’s strategy to grow its market share in the country. In June, the company hired Jagjit Singh Bhogal as head of A&R.

 


 

FlyteVu, a full-service entertainment marketing agency that connects brands with artists, has named Daniel Dao as executive vp of accounts.

In the role, Dao will lead and develop FlyteVu’s accounts team and oversee all clients, which include Bumble, Cracker Barrel, Barefoot Wines, American Red Cross, Jack Daniel’s, Carter’s, Norwegian Cruise Line and Enterprise Rent-A-Car. He will also work closely with the company’s media, digital and creative teams to develop and implement marketing campaigns and assist in growing new and current business.Before joining FlyteVu, Dao worked as managing director at Havas Sports and Entertainment, where he was the principal executive in charge of four offices. During his time there, he grew the agency’s roster of clients and worked on behalf of companies including Coca-Cola and FIFA.

Dao will sit on FlyeVu’s leadership Team and report to FlyteVu co-Founders Laura Hutfless and Jeremy Holley.

 


 

Donna Lidster has been promoted to vp, marketing – Canada at Big Machine Label Group, effective immediately. She will continue leading all Canadian marketing efforts for the entire roster.

A seven-year veteran of Big Machine, Lidster previously served as director of marketing and, later, vp of marketing at Universal Music Canada, where she worked with the Island Def Jam label group. Before that, she worked in promotion at Polygram.

 


 

Songwriter Jay Clementi has been named to the newly-created role of music director at SongwritingWith:Soldiers, a nonprofit that pairs veterans and active-duty soldiers with professional songwriters to craft songs about their experiences in the military.

Additionally, songwriter and SongwritingWith:Soldiers co-founder Darden Smith is stepping down as creative director, though he will continue serving as a board member and participating in the organization's weekend songwriting retreats and workshops.

Prior to joining the SongwritingWith:Soldiers executive team, Clementi worked as a longtime program collaborator at the organization, which was founded in 2012 by Smith and program director Mary Judd. Since 2008, he has been a full-time songwriter-producer on staff with Warner Chapell and, later Sony/ATV in Nashville. Previously a member of Nashville band The Lucky Bucks, his songs have been recorded by artists including Dierks Bentley, Sara Evans and Darius Rucker, among others.

 


 

Kleopatra Sofroniou has been appointed to the newly-created position of general manager, classics at Deutsche Grammophon, effective Sept. 1. She is currently vp, marketing at the label.

In her new role, the Berlin-based Sofroniou will oversee strategic marketing and release planning for the Yellow Label while developing Deutsche Grammophon’s brand and marketing partnerships. During her tenure, she has played a key role in promotional campaigns for projects by Andrea Bocelli, Luciano Pavarotti and Max Richter, among others.

A 15-year veteran of Deutsche Grammophon parent Universal Music Group, Sofroniou previously worked as a product manager at Amazon Germany.

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