Amazon has poached Rolling Stone’s executive editor Nathan Brackett to head editorial for its recently launched music service.
The hire was reported by Music Business Worldwide and comes just weeks after the online behemoth unveiled its Amazon Unlimited Music offer .
Brackett joined Rolling Stone in 1996 as associate editor before he became senior editor in 2001. He stayed in the role until for six years and then became editor of the title’s site and then deputy managing director of Rolling Stone itself. In 2013, he became executive editor.
Little is known about the hire but it chimes with recent moves by other streaming services to make editorial a core part of what they offer listeners. Essentially, editorial for streaming services like Amazon Unlimited Music and Spotify refers to how they curate the tens of millions of songs they offer into playlists. With many streaming services having similar music rights, there’s more focus on how tunes are organised into specific selections for users to keep them coming back.
One Direction’s manager Will Bloomfield spoke about the trend recently: “Our greatest challenge is breaking artists,” he explained at an event hosted by media consultancy ID Comms. “We’re currently breaking songs in our business world and that’s much harder and it takes much longer [for a potential fan] to buy into the artists proposition, which means we have to look at the trajectory of an artist. It used to be two to three years, whereas now it’s more like four to five years.”
It's such a key trend for streaming services that many of them have splashed the cash this year to get high-profile music media executives. Zane Lowe was among the first this year, when he quit BBC Radio 1 to join Bears 1 radio at Apple Music in California. He was quickly followed by four BBC Radio 1 producers.
Spotify has also raided the BBC when it hired former head of music George Ergatoudis as head of content programmatic for the UK.