On Wednesday (July 14), SoundCloud announced two new hires for its artist-partnerships initiative: Jessica Rivera, who will lead the department with the title of global senior vp and general manager; and Maurice Slade, who was named head of marketing.
The hires arrive amid SoundCloud’s efforts, over the past two years, to reinvent itself from indie-focused streaming service to full-fledged distribution and artist and label services company, with the ability to support its creators at all levels of their careers.
Rivera will lead SoundCloud’s endeavors to support artists with services and tools, as well as oversee the company’s joint ventures, including one launched earlier this year with Quality Control’s Solid Foundation Management; Slade will lead all marketing efforts. They both report to SoundCloud president Eliah Seton.
“We are so proud to welcome Jessica and Maurice to the SoundCloud family to lead our efforts in working more closely with artists at the highest level,” Seton said in a statement. “Each of them brings a sterling reputation as two of the most well-connected and well-respected creative leaders in music. As we work toward providing a solution for artists at every stage of their careers, we have leadership in Jessica and Maurice that will make SoundCloud an even more attractive home for artists.”
Rivera has a long history in the music business, first at EMI Music Publishing — where she signed Rihanna — as well as at Def Jam, Bad Boy and Universal Music Publishing Group before moving to YouTube as its head of artist relations on the West Coast. Most recently, she was general manager at Mass Appeal. Slade, meanwhile, was previously senior vp of marketing at Epic Records, working with Travis Scott and 21 Savage, a role he took up after a stint in the marketing department at Roc Nation.
“Navigating the music industry can be a complicated and nuanced process for artists and SoundCloud is helping change that with its artist partnerships offering,” Rivera said in a statement. “I’m excited to be joining a company committed to evolving artist solutions and services while leading the next generation of artists to a more equitable future.”
“It’s an inspiring time to join SoundCloud as the team accelerates the company’s revolutionary artist partnerships business,” added Slade in a statement. “This allows us to provide an invaluable opportunity to artists by building custom at-scale marketing and monetization tools, and our goal is to continue building upon these resources to support as many artists as possible.”
SoundCloud’s artist proposition in a crowded distribution market is centered on not just its streaming service, but its user-centric royalty payment model, in which artists are paid according to how many streams they accrue rather than market share, as is the industry standard at most other streamers. That, the company says, gives artists on their platform access to much deeper fan and listenership analytics than they would get otherwise, allowing artists and their teams to reach and market to fans in more nuanced ways.
The hires of Rivera and Slade are just the latest executive moves that the company has made this year, having brought on Tracy Chan from Twitch as its senior vp of Creator and Jennifer Caserta as its new head of people in June.