Head of content and business operations, YouTube


Director of content partnerships, Google Play/Android Google

Robert Kyncl and Zahavah Levine may be based in separate offices, with Kyncl in Los Angeles and Levine in San Francisco, but they often end up at the same negotiating table when it comes to forging deals that help expand the global footprint of Google’s music business. The company’s music efforts are woven into its YouTube platform, Google Play download store, All Access music service, Google Music Locker and, sometime this year, a YouTube paid music streaming service. Levine’s negotiating tenacity helped bring Google Play, All Access and Music Locker to 21 countries across four continents. Kyncl, who immigrated to the United States from the former Czechoslovakia in 1992, helped expand HBO’s international distribution and later secured licensing deals for Netflix. When YouTube was founded eight years ago, it was primarily a U.S. platform. Since then, it’s become the launching pad for a diverse set of performers, from K-pop stars PSY and Girls Generation to Norwegian comic duo Ylvis. “Today, YouTube creators see 60% of their views, on average, coming from outside their home country,” Kyncl says. “When you upload a video onto YouTube, you are truly engaging with the world.” —Alex Pham