Former EMI and Apple executive Alex Luke has been hired as Amazon Music's global head of programming and content strategy, a newly created position that comes as the retail/tech giant goes toe-to-toe-to-toe with Spotify and Apple Music in the ever-competitive music streaming space. Luke will be based in Seattle, reporting to Amazon Music head Steve Boom.
Luke was most recently a partner at Silicon Valley venture capital firm The Valley Fund, which has invested in health and tech companies. From 2011 until 2013, however, he was executive vp of A&R at EMI Music, where he worked with artists including Capital Cities, Katy Perry and David Guetta, among others. Prior to that, he spent eight years as director of music programming and label relations at Apple, where his many duties included hosting his own iTunes-driven radio show.
The Texas A&M grad arrives as the company is feeling positively "bullish" about the music space, thanks to the popularity of its Echo smart speaker line and the promise seen in Amazon Music Unlimited, a subscription-based streaming service launched in October 2016. There's also the apparently booming Prime Music, its entry level streaming service bundled with Prime memberships.
"We're pretty optimistic about the future," said Boom in a recent Billboard interview. "I think we’re at the cusp of what I would call the Golden Age here. We're not saying tomorrow it’s going to magically shoot up, but when we look at the long-term prospects of the music industry, we're incredibly bullish."