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WHAT’S OLIVER UP TO? (UPDATE)

Oliver Schusser is already starting to put his imprint on Apple Music. The incoming global head of the service (shown with Eddy Cue) reportedly initiated the launch of a new internal division dedicated to music publishing and tapping Elena Segal, previously Legal Director of iTunes International, to head it up.

This according to MBW’s Tim Ingham, who broke the news Wednesday.

As Apple Music’s Global Director of Music Publishing, Segal will apparently oversee a publishing team that contains subdivisions including Operations, Commercial, Publisher Relations and A&R. That last-named subdivision won’t be looking to signing songwriters directly, it appears, but instead to assist with the development of those songwriters the A&R reps identify as key. Segal is said to be exceptionally well liked by publishers.

“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,” a source told Ingham. “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.”

Segal joined Apple in 2006 from Mitchell Silberberg & Knupp LLP. Since then, she’s covered a variety of legal and licensing matters for iTunes and Apple Music. She also headed up licensing for the global launch of Apple Music in June 2015.

On Thursday, Ingham noticed something else Schusser appears to be up to: a revamping of Apple Music’s charts, which have long been overshadowed by Spotify’s charts.

A freshly posted Apple Music classified ad for a Culver City-based Charts & Market Analytics Manager explains that the successful candidate will “define and drive a clear strategy for Apple Music charts, including official charts for music and podcasts.”

This individual will be part of “a new global team [formed] to work directly with the broader music industry to link data with action, [leading to] a clear music industry business strategy for Apple Music data products.”

So it looks like the new guy is determined to shake up the status quo and go on the offense against Apple's biggest rival.

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