Apple Music has reportedly launched a new division for music publication. According to Music Business Worldwide, the division will work in operations, commercial, publisher relations, and A&R. The unit will be led by Elena Segal, who has been promoted from legal director of iTunes International to Global Director of Music Publishing for Apple Music. Segal has covered a range of legal and licensing issues since joining the company in 2006, such as leading licensing for the global launch of Apple Music.
Since its launch, Apple Music has cultivated some close relationships with artists, close enough to spark questions about whether the company might seek to fill the role normally played by a label for those performers. The debut of a music publishing division shows that those hypothetical musings may have a whiff of reality.
An unnamed source told MBW that the new division is one of the first big statements from Oliver Schusser, who is the head of Apple Music worldwide. “Oliver is well aware that much of the most important artist discovery happening in the music industry today comes from the publishing side of the business,” the source said. “He is also aware that record labels and artists are well served by industry relations teams at streaming platforms – they are in and out of those offices every day – but that publishing hasn’t yet enjoyed that kind of direct relationship. Oliver wants to underline the importance of publishing and songwriters to Apple. That’s what this move is all about.”