Roblox vp and global head of music, Jonathan Vlassopulos, is set to leave his current position at the end of April. Announced by Vlassopulos on LinkedIn earlier this week, he revealed that although he would be stepping back from his “dream job,” he’ll continue on as an advisor to help the video game giant continue to execute its music strategy.
A representative from Roblox confirmed Vlassopulos’s departure to Billboard with the following statement: “We are excited about the future of music on Roblox and grateful for Jon’s contributions. We look forward to introducing new ways for music to be consumed and shared as well as finding compelling ways to support and promote a new generation of artists.”
In his LinkedIn post, Vlassopulos fondly reflects on his time at the company, which he joined in 2019. “No one was seriously paying attention to Roblox in the music industry,” he explained, “and no one was really talking about the metaverse.”
Roblox’s role in the music business, however, hit a fever pitch soon after, and Vlassopulos soon became known as one of the industry’s most innovative leaders. In 2020, in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic and the shutdown of touring, Vlassopulos led the company’s cutting-edge virtual concert strategy. In the post, he points to Lil Nas X’s virtual concert on the platform, which he says garnered over 37 million visits, as well as other artist partners like Tai Verdes, Twenty One Pilots and 24KGoldn.
Along with his leadership in expanding concert experiences, Vlassopulos also led Roblox during some major growing pains. The platform was criticized by many music companies for its lack of licensing infrastructure, and it was sued by the National Music Publishers’ Association (NMPA) in a $200 million copyright infringement lawsuit in June 2021. The two parties settled in September 2021 and launched talks for go-forward music licensing deals.
Last year, Roblox also entered partnerships with BMG, Sony Music Entertainment and Insomniac to create new commercial opportunities for artists on the platform. The latter agreement included a deal to stream Insomniac’s EDC Las Vegas festival in the Roblox metaverse.
Though he did not disclose his next move in the post, Vlassopulos seems to have another role lined up, noting, “I can’t wait to share my next adventure very soon.” In his closing remarks, he stressed the “amazing innovation” taking place in gaming, the metaverse, AR, VR and the Web3 space. “The Metaverse is everywhere,” he proclaimed — perhaps an indicator that his next move will still fall within the overlapping worlds of music and technology.