Larry Jackson is exiting Apple Music as global creative director next week, Jackson and Apple have confirmed with Billboard. His next plans have not been announced. Hits Daily Double first reported the news.
“Its been a tough conclusion for me to come to as I have so much pride and passion associated with what we’ve built together here at Apple Music since day one,” said Jackson in a farewell letter to Apple staff obtained by Billboard. “So many major moments and milestones that have truly reshaped the music marketplace and its distribution path over that period of time. More than all, I really, really appreciate the collaboration + partnership that I’ve had with each of you individually in what has easily been one of the most colorful chapters for me professionally.”
Jackson joined Apple Music in 2014 following the company’s acquisition of Beats Music and Beats Electronics that May for $3 billion; he had previously served as Beats’ chief content officer. During his time at Apple Music, he was pivotal in the platform’s transformation into a music streaming destination to rival larger competitors like Spotify. In his more than seven years there, he leveraged his relationships with major music stars including Drake, Taylor Swift, Ye and more — developed during his years at labels like Interscope and Arista — to create exclusive content for the platform.
Jackson’s accomplishments included negotiating a blockbuster deal with Drake that saw the service secure a five-day exclusive window for the rapper’s 2016 album Views. Total sales and streams for the album reached 1 million on the service in its first five days. That same year, he was also key in bringing Frank Ocean‘s back-to-back 2016 albums Endless and Blond to the service as Apple Music exclusives.
Additionally, Jackson co-wrote and co-directed (with Anthony Mandler) Taylor Swift’s iconic 2016 Apple Music commercial, in which she was shown working out to Drake and Future’s “Jumpman,” leading to a massive gain in sales and streams for the track. Subsequent spots featuring music by Jimmy Eat World (“The Middle”) and The Darkness (“I Believe in a Thing Called Love”) also resulted in streaming and sales boosts for those songs. He was also key in negotiating Ye’s deal with Apple Music for three stadium listening parties for the rapper’s 2020 album Donda, all of which were streamed exclusively on the platform. He additionally brought in Nick Minaj to launch the superstar’s popular Queen Radio podcast that recently moved to Amazon’s live radio platform Amp.
Prior to Beats, Jackson was executive vp at Interscope after previously serving as president/executive vp at Sony Music’s Arista Records/RCA Music Group. He has been named to Billboard‘s Power List for several years running.