Universal Music Group Executive, Digital Music Visionary Jay Frank Passes

Jay Frank

Universal Music Group executive Jay Frank died Sunday (Oct. 13) following a long battle with cancer. He was 47.

In 2015, he joined Universal Music Group as Sr. VP, Global Streaming Marketing, where he and his team were responsible for utilizing data and analytics to maximize the performance of UMG artists across all streaming platforms and identifying new opportunities for UMG artists on those platforms. He also oversaw the curation and management of UMG’s global playlists, coordinating a worldwide playlist strategy across the company’s labels.

Frank authored two music books, including 2011’s Futurehit.DNA, which analyzed the hit-making elements of music in the digital age, as well 2012’s Hack Your Hit, which offered strategies for artists aiming to better utilize various social media and marketing platforms to expand the reach and impact of their music.

Frank also founded the singles-focused music subscription label DigSin, which signs new artists to deals that aim to leverage new platforms, social networks and analytics to expose their music to wider audiences. He also launched the music marketing company DigMark.

Prior to launching the two companies, Frank served as Sr. VP, Music Strategy at CMT from 2007-2011. Frank also previously served as VP, Music Programming and Label Relations for Yahoo! Music, and was responsible for all of the company’s music programming.

Early in his career, he served as Sr. Music Director at The Box Music Network, and worked in marketing/A&R for Ignition Records. His career also included time managing a live music venue, programming radio stations and creating two local music video shows.

A member of the 2007 class of Leadership Music, Frank also served on Leadership Music’s board, as well as on the boards of the Community Foundation of Middle Tennessee, and the Academy of Country Music. He was part of the Tennessee Film, Entertainment and Music Commission, and a consultant at FLO (Thinkery).

As a leader and visionary in the music and digital spaces, he spoke at conferences including MIDEM, SXSW, ASCAP Expo, Digital Music Forum, CMJ, and SF Music Tech Summit, among others.

Frank is survived by wife Linda and daughter Alex.

UMG leader Sir Lucian Grainge released the following memo:

Dear Colleagues,
I’m deeply saddened to tell you that our colleague and friend Jay Frank has passed after a recurrence of cancer. Professionally, Jay leaves an immense legacy. He was a creative and tireless leader who made significant contributions to the evolution of our global marketing efforts. Many of the ways we market our artists and their music in the streaming era stems from Jay’s innovative work. But more than anything else, Jay was a loving father and husband. We send our deepest condolences to all his family. Truly, there are no words sufficient to fully express our feelings. He is gone far too soon and we will miss him dearly.

The Community Foundation of Middle Tennessee has created the Jay Frank Memorial Musical Scholarship Fund in honor of his immense musical legacy. If you’d like to donate, click here.

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About the Author

Jessica Nicholson serves as the Managing Editor for MusicRow magazine. Her previous music journalism experience includes work with Country Weekly magazine and Contemporary Christian Music (CCM) magazine. She holds a BBA degree in Music Business and Marketing from Belmont University. She welcomes your feedback at [email protected]

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