Saturday, August 10, 2013

Beats Music Beefs Up Curation Team, Says Service Is 'Coming Soon'

Alex Pham/Billboard

Beats Music, while still under wraps, has been methodically building up its curation team over the past year, hiring a team of genre experts and programmers that give clues to how the music service plans to differentiate itself from the pack when it launches later this year.

The team, according to Billboard sources, currently includes former Pitchfork Media editor-in-chief Scott Plagenhoef, former digital content director at XXL Carl Chery, veteran Detroit radio music director Suzy Cole, Recording Academy music blogger Arjan Writes, former Rhino Records A&R Director Mason Williams, Los Angeles hip-hop radio personality Fuzzy Fantabulous, and Ken Tucker, a country music writer.

The group is reporting to Julie Pilat, who joined Beats Music on August 6 as head of music, curation and artist development, according to The Hollywood Reporter. Pilat had been a top executive at Clear Channel Communications, serving as music director for KIIS-FM in Los Angeles as well as program director for KYSR and alternative brand coordinator for Clear Chanel.

"It’s about an art for connecting and giving them what they want,” Pilat told Shirley Halperin of THR. Pilat described her role at Beats "bridge the gap between that 'tastemaker' audience and the mainstream. And give a lot of music context.”

At Beats, Pilat is working with Brian Frank, the Santa Monica company’s global head of content, who had worked with Beats’ founder Jimmy Iovine between 2009 and 2012 as head of alternative rock marketing at Iovine’s label, Interscope Records.

The company, which on Friday unveiled a webpage with a "Coming Soon" message and soliciting emails and cell numbers, declined to comment on the hires. Although most of the recruits were brought on in 2012, they did not update their LinkedIn and other social profiles to reflect their new jobs until recently.

The new page also advertises 13 job openings for engineers and designers to help build out the service.

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