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Universal Music Group Hires Gracenote Co-Founder Ty Roberts as CTO

The world's biggest music label hires a digital music vet.

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Peter Kafka covers media and technology, and their intersection, at Vox. Many of his stories can be found in his Kafka on Media newsletter, and he also hosts the Recode Media podcast.

Universal Music Group has been in the digital music business for a long time. But it has never had a chief technology officer before.

Now it does: The world’s largest music label has hired Ty Roberts, a longtime digital music veteran who was most recently the chief strategy officer at Gracenote, the entertainment data company he co-founded.

 Ty Roberts
Ty Roberts
Universal Music Group

Roberts, whose resume includes stints at Pixar and Apple, where he helped launch its Quicktime multimedia format, says he’ll help Universal develop new tech products and work with partner companies like Spotify. He’ll report to Universal’s digital strategy boss, Michael Nash.

Roberts says Nash told him he needed him to join Universal as “the technological equivalent of Clint Eastwood” at the company. Which version of Eastwood? “The silent guy, in the back.”

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