Universal Music Group’s digital strategy team has created new roles to further promote new partnerships and initiatives in the Web3 and metaverse space, as well as with accelerators, start-ups and early-stage companies.
Alvaro Galbete-Velilla, an entertainment executive with two decades of experience at the intersection of music and technology, has been appointed - effective immediately - to senior vice president, new business. He joins UMG from Soundcloud, where he served as director of business development
Galbete-Velilla will work closely with UMG departments and key collaborators to develop opportunities in Web3 and metaverse sectors, as well as other emerging areas of digital business development.
Kristen Bender, who plays a key role in implementing digital business partnerships with UMG operating units and directing the major’s engagement with entrepreneurs globally, has been elevated to senior vice president of digital innovation strategy & business development. Both Galbete-Velilla and Bender are based in Santa Monica and report to Michael Nash, executive vice president, chief digital officer.
Michael Nash said: “We believe our leadership in innovation is a key factor placing us at the forefront of the music industry’s transformation, so we’re excited to have Alvaro and Kristen fulfil these key roles. Here at UMG, we are building a team more focused than ever on harnessing digital disruption to deliver new opportunities for our artists and labels, while influencing the formation of the next generation of music services.”
Alvaro Galbete-Velilla said: “Thanks to the acceleration of technology development, a new generation of artists and fans are creating and discovering music in ways where the spatial and social dimensions play a much more critical role than before. These new platforms, immersive experiences, models, and creator economies represent the next frontier for music and I'm incredibly excited to join one of the industry's most talented teams to build on Universal Music Group's mission in artistry and innovation.”
Kristen Bender said: “Most of the music industry’s biggest partners today started out as an idea propelled by a lot of passion. I’m thrilled to take on this new role to help guide the next generation of entrepreneurs and startups at the intersection of music and technology, and I look forward to nurturing the development of groundbreaking creative and commercial opportunities of the future for our artists, labels and music fans around the world.”