Web3 – including digital concepts covering blockchain, NFTs, crypto and the metaverse – is becoming a big focus at the major music companies.
So much so, that Universal Music Group (UMG) has hired an executive charged with driving its Web 3.0 business forward.
That person is Richard Cusick, who joins the music company as Chief Product Officer, Global E-Commerce.
According to UMG, Cusick will build a product team charged with translating UMG’s business objectives into what it calls “innovative products and experiences across E-Commerce, Web3.0 and direct artist and fan-focused initiatives”.
Cusick – who happens to be a named inventor on two patent applications in the mobile video and connected TV advertising space – will serve as a key liaison and partner between UMG’s executive management team and the engineering organization.
Cusick will be based in Santa Monica and report to Richelle Parham, President of Global E-Commerce and Business Development.
UMG says that he has worked at the intersection of media and technology for more than 20 years.
Cusick’s experience in the music industry started at Gemstar-TV Guide (now Xperi), where he led business development and digital media.
He subsequently managed the entertainment and lifestyle properties at Yahoo!, including Yahoo! Music.
He led the acquisition of six companies that became Gracenote, a data provider to the entertainment industry.
UMG says that Cusick also has a “track-record of innovation”, and has managed large product organizations, including serving as Chief Product Officer of Gracenote.
At Nielsen, Richard’s product team relaunched Grabix, the company’s local TV measurement product.
“To help our artists maximize their creative and commercial potential, UMG continues to expand our mission well beyond the typical boundaries of a traditional music business, particularly in the products, services and experiences that we’re able to provide.”
Richelle Parham, UMG
In making the announcement, Parham said: “To help our artists maximize their creative and commercial potential, UMG continues to expand our mission well beyond the typical boundaries of a traditional music business, particularly in the products, services and experiences that we’re able to provide.
“With Richard joining us in the newly created role of Chief Product Officer, we will accelerate our efforts to bring fans even closer to their favorite artists and music through expanded products and ‘always on’ experiences.”
“Music has the unique ability to cross borders, cultures and languages to build highly engaged global fan communities.”
Cusick said: “Music has the unique ability to cross borders, cultures and languages to build highly engaged global fan communities.
“UMG is already a leader in creating exciting products and experiences for their artists to engage with their fans around the world and I look forward to working with Richelle and the senior management team to help build on that track record of excellence and deliver growth.”Music Business Worldwide