Warner Music Group has appointed Carletta Higginson as executive vice president, chief digital officer.
Higginson has joined WMG after a decade at Google, where she worked in business development and legal roles, across both music publishing and recorded music, most recently as global head of music publishing at YouTube and Google Play. She previously worked as a litigator advocating for record labels, music publishers, artists, and songwriters.
Based in New York, Higginson will report to WMG CEO Robert Kyncl, who was previously at Google as YouTube’s chief business officer. In her new post, she will oversee the full spectrum of WMG’s global digital partnerships, from deal-making to account management, while she and her team will “explore commercial innovation and forge new digital partnerships”, according to the announcement.
Robert Kyncl said: “It’s rare to find someone of Carletta’s multifaceted expertise – who understands the full scope of the music publishing and recorded music businesses as well as the dynamics of streaming, social media, and AI. She has great commercial instincts, a sharp legal mind, and a collaborative approach to building well-aligned partnerships. As we pioneer the future of music with our artists and songwriters, she’ll be an invaluable addition to our senior management team.”
Carletta Higginson said: “This is a very exciting time to be in music with many new avenues opening up. I’ve worked closely with the outstanding team at WMG for many years, and I’m very happy to be joining Robert and everyone at WMG to help chart the future together. Above all, I’m a huge fan of the company’s incredible roster of songwriters and artists.”
She has great commercial instincts, a sharp legal mind, and a collaborative approach to building well-aligned partnerships
This appointment follows Oana Ruxandra’s announcement of her departure from WMG.
Kyncl added: “Oana’s played a key role in the evolution of WMG and the music business, across a wide range of revenue streams and different types of innovation. On behalf of everyone at the company, I’d like to thank her for many achievements and wish her all the best in her future entrepreneurial endeavours.”
As global head of music publishing at YouTube, Higginson spearheaded the platform’s licensing strategy, building relationships with publishers, collection societies and PROs. Her role included negotiating digital licensing and partnership agreements, managing existing partnerships, launching new relationships and driving new business opportunities. In addition, she oversaw the development of various initiatives to help creatively support artists, songwriters, and producers on the platform.
Prior to joining Google in 2013, Higginson spent a decade in the legal profession, beginning her career as a securities litigator before transitioning to specialise in the content, media and entertainment space.
In 2011, she became a partner at Jenner & Block, where she focused her practice on litigating copyright, contractual, and other disputes in the recorded music and music publishing industries. Her work resulted in precedent-setting decisions in copyright law, and the successful defence of copyright owners in a variety of copyright infringement actions.