It’s official: Ole Obermann has joined Chinese tech giant ByteDance and its mobile video and live video streaming platform TikTok as Vice President, Global Head of Music.
The confirmation of his appointment comes from his LinkedIn profile, which says he started in October.
Obermann is based in London and will ‘lead corporate development efforts for TikTok/Bytedance music initiatives’.
The exec’s appointment at the firm of course confirms our report in October that he was rumoured to be joining TikTok after leaving his role as Warner’s Chief Digital Officer in June.
Obermann was Chief Digital Officer and Executive Vice President, Strategy & Business Development at WMG.
Sources said at the time that Obermann declined to renew his contract with WMG, writing in an internal email that “these decisions are never easy” and thanked “Steve, Max and everyone at WMG for [their]] support over the last few years.”
The exec joined WMG in 2016, following a decade at Sony Music, where he held roles including Executive Vice President of Digital Partner Development and Sales, and SVP of international.
In the background, TikTok, which recently surpassed 1.5 billion downloads worldwide on the App Store and Google Play, is reportedly poaching Facebook employees as it expands its workforce in California.
Meanwhile, ByteDance reportedly wants to separate the platform from its China-based operations according to a report published by Reuters on November 27.
Citing people familiar with the matter, the report stated that the Chinese tech giant has ‘stepped up efforts’ to do so ‘amid a US national security panel’s inquiry into the safety of the personal data it handles.’
TikTok owner ByteDance is also reportedly considering launching a paid music streaming service this month (December) and could soon become a real problem for Spotify.
Music Business Worldwide