Apple launches global music publishing division, can a record label be far behind?
Less than a month after taking over as new head of Apple Music worldwide, Oliver Schusser has pushed forward with an important division for the company – music publishing.
It won’t be a music publisher, as such, but an entity to manage closer ties with songwriters and music publishers.
Analysts say that Schusser is aware that Apple’s direct relationships with songwriters is not as strong as it is with recording artists, and that publishing is a strong source of music discovery.
The division will be made up of operations, commercial publisher relations and A&R (not to sign them but to help them move their careers upwards).
UK-born Schusser, who is now based in America, has tapped another British executive to run the division.
The highly respected Elena Segal was previously legal director of iTunes International, and also overseen most of Apple’s international licensing deals since she joined in 2006 after four years as an associate at a law firm.
In her new role (her new official title is global director of music publishing) she will divide her time between London and the United States.
The launch of the publishing division has led to speculation that the next step for Apple Music would be to enter the realms of a record label.
After all, Apple Music has made it clear it won’t be operating as a music publisher, but discovering and helping young songwriters at the start of their careers.
So why not extend this to recording artists, entering development deals with them as they start out?
Apple is already taking their approach with film directors and writers with its original video content strategy.
With a subscription database of 40 million, that is one huge ready-made audience to pitch to.