Apple is putting Beat Music chief exec Ian Rogers in charge of its ad-supported streaming music service iTunes Radio, reports the Wall Street Journal.
The move comes shortly after Apple finalized its $3 billion acquisition of Beats Audio in Europe and purchased Vivendi’s 13 percent stake in Beats for $404 million, as VentureBeat reported earlier today. Last week, rumors circulated that Apple had notified around 200 Beats employees (of 700) that they would not be rehired under terms of the Beats deal — with Apple primarily interested in the company’s marketing clout and leadership teams.
As for Rogers, he’s got a strong background when it comes to leading music-related organizations. Prior to Beats, Rogers was the CEO at TopSpin, a social marketing platform primarily focused on helping musicians and other media organizations make money and track fan reactions. Before that he was a VP in charge of music at Yahoo.
Rogers will run both Beats Music and iTunes Radio to create “cohesion” between the two teams, according to WSJ‘s sources.
The larger question about this move is whether it’s the first step in rebranding Beats Music under Apple. Beat’s service hasn’t been out as long as main competitors Spotify, Rdio, and Slacker, nor does it have a free ad-supported version. That makes pairing iTunes Radio and Beats Music a pretty logical strategy. But thus far, Apple hasn’t said much about its long-term plans.