Veteran public relations strategist Brian Bumbery – who has worked closely with Metallica, Green Day, Chris Cornell and Madonna and spent eight years at Warner Bros. Records, before launching his own BB Gun Press firm in 2011 — has joined Apple as Director, Apple Music Publicity, Variety has learned. BB Gun will continue under the leadership of Luke Burland, Bumbery’s former WBR colleague, who joined the firm in 2016 along with clients Fergie, Meghan Trainor, Shania Twain and Josh Groban, among others.
The move comes in the context of a larger transition at Apple Music, as former head Jimmy Iovine recently completed his move to a consulting role this month. Apple Music named Oliver Schusser, formerly in a senior role in the company’s European operation, as its new head in April. Apple chief Tim Cook announced in May that the company had passed 50 million subscribers (including free trials) in May; the company is on track to overtake global market leader Spotify in the U.S. within the next few months, sources tell Variety.
Bumbery’s appointment is not a total surprise, as his firm, particularly longtime associate Sam Citron, has been working with Apple Music for many months.
Prior to joining Warner Bros. in 2002, Bumbery was a partner at the independent PR company Score Press, where he worked closely with Dashboard Confessional, Pet Shop Boys, Saves the Day, and others. He also represented the independent label Vagrant Records.
An announcement of the full BB Gun roster is expected in the coming weeks.