×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Dave Rocco Leaving Spotify for Universal Music Group: Sources (EXCLUSIVE)

He was Troy Carter's first hire in 2016.

Dave Rocco will be leaving Spotify to take a role at Universal Music Group, sources tell Variety. Rocco will report to UMG chairman and CEO Lucian Grainge, an insider reveals. His title will be Executive Vice President, Creative.

Reps for Spotify and UMG did not immediately comment.

The move comes as a surprise given Rocco’s promotion just weeks ago to the Spotify’s global head of artist & label marketing. He had worked with Troy Carter, Spotify’s global head of creator services (pictured above, far left, with the company’s Tiffany Kumar, center, and Rocco), since shortly after Carter joined the company in 2016. Previously Rocco spent four years as EVP of Music Creative Director at advertising giant Deutsch, as well as stints at MTV and New York radio station Z100.

Along with Universal’s recent hire of Celine Joshua — who joined the company late in February with the title of General Manager, Commercial, Content and Artist Strategy — and Jay Frank in 2015 as SVP of global streaming marketing, the move points to a growing unified strategy of global streaming promotion within the company.

The comments around Joshua’s hire suggest the larger strategy at work. She will also form a new UMG label called 10:22 pm and lead a staff charged with signing and developing recording artists, social media influencers and digital media creators with a focus on creating multimedia content and advancing new forms of storytelling, according to a press release.

Speaking with Variety about his staff last year, Spotify’s Carter said, “Dave Rocco came over from Deutsch [advertising] and he worked at Z100 and MTV, so to [combine] a deep music background with an agency background and working with artists very intensely, he really knows how to launch campaigns.”

Variety has obtained both Carter’s and Rocco’s letters to the staff regarding the move. Read them below.

[Carter:]

Dear Team,

I am writing to you about a change within our Artist & Label Marketing team. I am sad to let you know that Dave Rocco has informed me about his decision to leave Spotify to pursue an external opportunity.

Dave joined Spotify in 2016 as my first hire. Together, we built an unbelievable team with a grand vision of what Artist Marketing at Spotify should be. Rocco has been an integral part of changing the sentiment of Spotify with creators, fans and the industry. Dave not only was a trusted partner to creators but a champion of our Social Impact work including Black History, No Moment for Silence, Pride, and spearheaded our support for Manchester.

We are working on identifying Dave’s successor and will keep you informed about our progress. The Artist & Label Marketing team will remain unchanged and report directly to me in the meantime. Dave’s last day will be May 6th.

Please join me in thanking Dave for his leadership and all his contributions to the organization and wish him all the best in his future endeavors.

[Rocco:]

The last two years have been the most rewarding of my professional career. I have learned so much from all of you, and it’s been an honor and pleasure to work alongside each and everyone of you. I am so proud of what we have done together.

I have the utmost respect for what we have created and even more gratitude for the opportunity Daniel and Troy have given me to champion creators around the world. Creators have always been the heartbeat of this company and our most valued partner, to be able to represent that relationship is privilege I have never taken lightly.

Spotify and all of you will always have a big place in my heart and i’m excited to continue to work with you in my new role.

More Digital

  • Google Stadia is a Net Neutrality

    Google Stadia is a Net Neutrality Nightmare

    At the Game Developers Conference (GDC) this year, Google announced that it has taken up the long and ever-lengthening dream of the video game streaming service. Meant to replace the hefty, pricey, altogether confounding experience of buying and using various gaming hardware, Google Stadia will run video games on Google’s own hardware in a server [...]

  • crunchyroll logo

    Crunchyroll Raises Subscription Price to $7.99

    AT&T-owned anime subscription video service Crunchyroll is raising its monthly subscription price from $6.95 to $7.99 a month, it announced in an email to members Friday. It’s the service’s first price increase ever, according to a spokesperson. The new pricing will go into effect on May 1 for new subscribers, while existing members will see [...]

  • StyleHaul

    StyleHaul Shuts Down U.S. Operations, Lays Off About 65 Employees

    The axe is falling on StyleHaul: The fashion, beauty and lifestyle digital media and marketing company owned by RTL Group is shuttering U.S. operations, resulting the layoff of around 65 employees. StyleHaul offices in L.A., with about 55 employees, and in New York City, with around 10 staffers, are closing. RTL said StyleHaul’s U.K. operations, [...]

  • Bandsintown Platform Acquires Hypebot, MusicThinkTank

    Bandsintown Platform Acquires Hypebot, MusicThinkTank

    Bandsintown, a leading platform for letting music fans know about upcoming concerts by their favorite artists, has acquired Hypebot, a news site publishing stories about the music industry and technology, and its sister site MusicThinkTank. “I’m proud to share that Hypebot and MusicThinkTank have been acquired by Bandsintown,” wrote Bruce Houghton, the founder of the [...]

  • Vertigo Games Believes ‘Location-Based Virtual Reality’

    Vertigo Games Believes ‘Location-Based Virtual Reality’ Is Future of VR

    As virtual reality becomes more and more available, many developers are looking for new frontiers to expand the experiences offered by the tech. For Netherlands-based Vertigo Games, that next frontier is what they call “location-based virtual reality.” It’s essentially high-quality VR experiences where players aren’t tethered to a PC or even to the confines of [...]

  • GDC 2019: Google's Play For Gaming

    GDC 2019: Google's Play for Gaming Ubiquity, Rise of Ray Tracing, Store Wars

    The Game Developers Conference finished up Friday evening, wrapping one of the most exciting GDCs in recent memory with Google’s splashy entrance into AAA video gaming, the emergence of real-time ray tracing as a compelling technology for film, TV, and games, and the growing war between two global estore powerhouses: Valve’s Steam and the Epic [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content