Gracenote hires Ethan Kaplan as head of its music business

ethan kaplan gracenote 250wMedia technology and database company Gracenote announced this morning that it has hired music tech veteran Ethan Kaplan as Senior Vice President and General Manager of Music.

Kaplan has held executive music technology roles at Live nation, Warner Music Group, and Warner Bros. Records. In December he left his position at Live Nation, where he was Head of Product, Technology, and Engineering, and where he founded Live Nation Labs, an innovation center.

“When I was 16 I started a fan website for the band R.E.M.,” says Kaplan. “The rest of my career extends from there.”

In Gracenote, Ethan Kaplan “will set the strategic direction for the company’s Music business, develop next generation music solutions and work with Gracenote customers to integrate its data and technology into emerging music platforms and services,” according to a press release.

Kaplan will report to Gracenote CEO John Batter, who joined the company last August. In December, 2013, Gracenote was acquired by Tribune Media.

Gracenote has a long history providing technology to the digital music industry, and is especially noted for providing dynamic music metadata (e.g. artist, song, album) that identifies music coming through a software player.

In November, Gracenote announced Entourage Radio, a digital dashboard in-car listening system that uses Gracenote’s music recognition technology to identify what the driver is listening to, from any source, and build new listening experiences based on user preferences.

Kaplan notes Gracenote’s heritage in digital music: “Gracenote is a music technology pioneer and has been on the forefront of the digital music revolution since the very beginning,” he said. “While the music industry has come a long way, there’s still a great divide between the music and tech industries.  Gracenote sits in the center of that divide and has an enormous opportunity to play a lead role in how tech companies leverage music to drive product innovation.”


Brad Hill