Here’s something interesting I found perusing the most recent job openings posted on Apple‘s website: the company is looking for someone to grow its iTunes business and manage relationships with the record labels in a number of key markets in Europe.
What particularly interested me in the job listing, is that candidates are required to possess “an ability to understand and work across a number of key European markets, among them Scandinavia and Spain“, and would ideally be based in those countries (the job location is marked Copenhagen, capital of Denmark).
This could well be a huge coincidence, but it just so happens massively funded digital music streaming startup Spotify operates – and is booking early successes in terms of new user growth – in those regions particularly, so this specific hiring effort could potentially mark a move by the Cupertino company to ramp up the competition in those parts.
Here’s the relevant part of the job ad:
The key responsibility is to grow iTunes’ business in key international markets by managing the relationships with our content partners: the record labels.
Possessing an ability to understand and work across a number of key European markets, among them Scandinavia and Spain, the candidate is ideally based in any of these countries. Reporting to Carl Ekdahl, head of Pan EU, the responsibilities will include:
– Manage the growth of the overall business by securing comprehensive and innovative promotions around key releases
– Foster the relationship with the key account managers at the record labels, making iTunes the most important partner in helping the label to drive the digital market
– Make sure all key releases are communicated and set up for the iTunes Editorial team
– Help coordinate and implement European wide projects for iTunes
– Support the Editorial team with strategic information, taking into account chart activity, media coverage, broadcast/release dates etc.
– Research sales/customer activity using iTunes reporting tools on a weekly basis
In addition, cross-functional work with iTunes’ music, marketing, production, legal and finance teams.
SKILLS / EXPERIENCE
– A passion for discovering new music across a variety of territories
– Great knowledge of the local music and media markets
– Experience of music account management in the European music industry
– Strategic understanding of key trends affecting the music industry and emerging technologies (digital music, mobile, digital TV etc.); plus an understanding of their different stages of development across European markets
– Good academic background
In addition, Apple last week posted a job opening for the role of ‘iTunes Label Relations Intern’ in London, UK, where Swedish-British Spotify is headquartered. Furthermore, last March, Gem Woolnough was hired for the role of Pan EU Label Relations & Online Content Coordinator in the United Kingdom, according to her LinkedIn profile.
That’s not all. Last June, Apple had posted a job opening for managing iTunes / record label relationships in Southern Europe, including Italy and Spain, and it looks like someone has already been hired for that job.
All in all, it’s fair to say Apple is clearly staffing up on people to manage its relationships with its music industry partners in Europe, and doing so particularly in countries where Spotify is currently gaining momentum among music fans.
Notably, these recruitment efforts come at a time when Apple is hard at work readying its iTunes-in-the-cloud offering. Regardless of what shape this iTunes.com service will eventually turn out to take, it’s going to require a lot of meetings with record label officials, and that’s what Apple is seemingly staffing up for.