MySpace Music (finally) names president
MySpace named MTV executive Courtney Holt as president of MySpace Music, concluding a months-long search for a candidate to run the social network's joint venture with the world's largest music companies.
Holt, whose appointment has been the subject of online speculation for weeks, has had a career that bridges music and technology. As executive vice president of digital music for MTV Networks, he oversaw digital initiatives for MTV, VH1 and CMT channels. Before joining MTV, he was senior vice president of new media for Interscope Geffen A&M.
"He was the first person that we really found that had the music experience, both from a marketing perspective and from a music programming perspective, the technical knowledge, and the relationships with all the major labels as well as independent labels," said MySpace co-founder Chris DeWolfe, who said 40 candidates were interviewed for the job. "He’s the only one out there that had all those variables that we could check off."
DeWolfe said he first met Holt in 2005, when he worked for Interscope. Holt was the first label executive to use MySpace's social network as a launch pad for new singles and albums from such major acts as Black Eyed Peas, Weezer and Audioslave, he said.
"In each case, each of those bands sold more albums than they’d ever sold before," DeWolfe said. " He was a visionary."
Despite a career working for a major label and MTV, DeWolfe said Holt brings an appreciation for the independent artists who have long used MySpace as a launch pad. Holt owns The Echo, which DeWolfe characterized as one of the largest venues for independent artists on the West Coast.
Inside image-conscious L.A., Courtney even scored fashion points.
"If you look at Courtney, from the clothes that he wears to the glasses that he may wear, he’s got a very eclectic style to him," DeWolfe said. "A very unique style."
--Dawn C. Chmielewski
Photo credit: Nicole Bengiveno