EMI poaches key iTunes exec to lead A&R

Apple has lost one of its leading iTunes execs to UK major, EMI, which has announced that Alex Luke – content lead for Apple’s iTunes – has been appointed to a senior A&R position at EMI Music’s Capitol & Virgin Label Group.

During his seven years at iTunes, Luke has been responsible for the digital platform’s music programming, music content acquisition, and artist and industry relationships.

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In his new role, he will be responsible for finding and developing creative talent, reporting to Dan McCarroll, President of Capitol & Virgin Label Group. He will be based in LA, and will take up the position in January.

His major initiatives at iTunes include the development and launch of programs including the ongoing iTunes “Live From” series at Apple retail stores, iTunes Originals, and iTunes’ Single of the Week.

The appointment is the latest step in the rebuilding of Capitol & Virgin’s music discovery team, following the installation of Dan McCarroll to lead the label group in October this year. Michael Howe was last week appointed Vice President of A&R.

McCarroll commented: “Alex is simply one of the best music people I’ve had the privilege of working with. He has a great understanding of what it takes to have a hit and to sustain success, and he is able to work in partnership with artists to deliver the positive outcomes that they truly deserve.

“I am thrilled that Alex is joining the new team that we are building here, and I can’t wait to get down to work with him and Michael Howe to find, sign and nurture the next generation of Capitol and Virgin artists.”

Alex Luke said: “Capitol and Virgin are two of the most storied labels around, and I’m honored to be given this opportunity to work with and develop creative talent for the group. Dan’s appointment has already had an impact on the way that the labels operate creatively, and I’m excited to have this chance to work with him and the whole team at EMI.”

Alex began his career in radio in 1987, with major ratings successes as a Program Director and DJ in Dallas, St Louis and Chicago. He co-founded online retailer spun.com in Chicago in 1999, before selling the business to Pasadena-based Idealab in 2001. He subsequently served as Vice President of Music Programming and Label Relations at both Pressplay and Napster, leading music programming efforts across all output.

He joined Apple in 2003, and has been a key member of the iTunes team that has expanded the music service from the United States into 23 key territories and growing revenues to more than $3 billion annually. Luke established partnerships with labels and rightsholders to add catalogs from dozens of artists, including Linkin Park, Dave Matthews Band, and Radiohead.

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