Former Rhapsody VP of music programming Tim Quirk is heading to Google, according to a vague message he posted to Facebook and Twitter yesterday (Oct. 18). “First day at Google,” it reads.
Exactly what Quirk is doing at Google is not clear, but speculation is already rampant that he’ll be heading up the music service the company is known to be working on.
Updated: two sources on background tell Billboard he’s taking on a mid-level programming role similar to what he did at Rhapsody, not heading up the service. That position apparently remains unfilled. A third source says his title is director of content programming for music.
In late August, word first broke that Google querying music industry executives on who they thought would be a good person to hire to run such as service. Billboard.biz posted a list of potential candidates at the time, but alas… Quirk was not among them.
Billboard learned more about Google’s music plans in September, noting that
a term sheet making its way to label executives proposes a cloud-based system where users could buy tracks and stream them from any connected device for a yearly fee.
Google has already hired at least one music industry veteran, presumably to help develop the service. Former Davis Shapiro Lewit & Hayes attorney Elizabeth Moody was brought on in July.
Quirk was an early Rhapsody employee, starting with the company prior to its acquisition by RealNetworks. He left the company earlier this year after Rhapsody was spun off into an independent company. But he made headlines late last year while still on board for railing against the label system’s process for paying artists for streaming music. Quirk is the former singer for the band Too Much Joy and occasionally performs with the act Wonderlick. He also briefly worked as a music journalist.
Billboard.biz will update this story as it unfolds throughout the day.