Julie Pilat, who spent 20 years at Clear Channel stations, joins the as-yet-unlaunched subscription service in a key role. It’s “the opportunity of a lifetime,” Pilat said.
Jimmy Iovine’s music subscription service, Beats Music, has found its curator in Clear Channel veteran Julie Pilat, who has come aboard the Beats by Dre-owned entity.
Pilat, who held multiple titles at Clear Channel — among them: Alternative Brand Coordinator, program director for Los Angeles rock station KYSR (98.7 FM), assistant PD/music director for KIIS-FM and booker of the annual iHeartRadio concert — is heading up music curation and artist development for the service, which still has no launch date (although Beats Music is certainly hiring). As she tells The Hollywood Reporter, “To change the path for the future of music is the opportunity of a lifetime … I couldn’t say no.”
The forthcoming roll-out of Beats Music (formerly called Daisy) has been a well-kept secret among its executive ranks, which includes rapper Dre, Nine Inch Nails mastermind Trent Reznor (who acts as chief creative officer) and former Yahoo Music GM and Topspin CEO Ian Rogers, but Pilat let loose a few nuggets: that a “team of music experts” is already in place — it’s presumed that these elite tastemakers will help program Beats Music’s equivalent of channels. Says Pilat: “I know there will be a lot of geeking out over music.”
As for finding an audience: “It’s about an art for connecting and giving them what they want,” she says. With the infinite amount of music online, Pilat points to “curation” as way to “bridge the gap between that ‘tastemaker’ audience and the mainstream. And give a lot of music context.”
In poaching the 20-year radio veteran, it seems Beats Music wants to tap into the notion that music industry experience, expertise and influence — having guided the playlist for country’s biggest pop station — matters when it comes to making new hits. With that in mind, the artist development portion of Pilat’s title will focus on nurturing new acts. “You need to plant seeds to develop artists, introduce them to the audience and help them grow,” she says. “It’ll be all hands in the middle.”
As for the scores of internet music services offering access to massive libraries with a click, Pilat sees not a surplus, but a lack of options. “There aren’t a lot of choices,” she posits. “If you know what you want to listen to, you pull it up, but if you don’t, you get stuck. Curation will find that community with a true passion for music. That’s what’s going to set us apart.”
Pilat’s official title is head of curation and artist development. Her first day at the Santa Monica-based company was Aug. 6.