Apple Music’s Jay Liepis has relocated to Nashville to lead a team dedicated to being more involved with artists, managers, songwriters and the label community at large. Apple also announced plans to open an office in Nashville later this year.
Liepis has been at Apple for more than 13 years, and has overseen all music programming and relationships across the music business. His career also includes time as an online marketing manager for Sony BMG Music Entertainment.
With the move, Apple will focus on further building its country music audience, but will also cater to Nashville’s diverse music scene which includes singer/songwriter, Christian and Gospel, alternative, rock pop, hip-hop and Americana.
Apple Music’s country audience continues to grow, with Apple Music’s A-List Country ranking as the third most-popular playlist, with a 151 percent year over year growth. Apple Music’s Modern Country radio playlist grew 70 percent last year while the country music category on Apple Music in the US is up 66 percent.
Since launching in 2015, Apple Music’s subscription music streaming has amassed more than 40 million subscribers in 115 countries.
Several of the Nashville music industry’s top executives praised the move.
“Jay has been with Apple for a long time and has a clear understanding of the digital landscape,” said John Esposito, Chairman/CEO of Warner Nashville. “I’m thrilled he’s back in Nashville, he is a great collaborator. The work he’s done most recently for Ashley McBryde is just the tip of the iceberg. Can’t wait to see what else we accomplish together.”
“Jay is one of the brightest minds of our (well, his) generation and we are anxious for him to join our business and personal community,” said Mike Dungan, Chairman/CEO of Universal Music Nashville. “I can’t wait to take him to Arnold’s (Where every meal is our Sunday best) for beef tips and fried okra.”
“Excited, game changing, thanks be to god!” said Sony Music Nashville Chairman/CEO Randy Goodman.
“Jay’s move to Nashville is a reflection of Apple Music’s ongoing investment to our ever-growing and increasingly diverse music community,” says Sandbox Entertainment President/CEO Jason Owen. “The impact that Apple has on our industry worldwide is undeniable, and it excites me to know that Nashville is a top priority. The expertise that Jay brings from his tenure paired with his long-term relationships with our city makes this move ideal on every level. Plus, he’s an awesome hang.”
“Jay’s creativity effortlessly crosses genres and thrives in an ever changing industry… I don’t know of a better suited person to raise the bar in Music City,” says Q Prime South’s John Peets. “Having Jay in Nashville is not only a win for the music industry, it is a win for the city.”
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