In this new role, Rocco will advance the company’s industry-leading efforts to leverage artists’ music and brands across established and emerging channels, develop innovative digital campaigns and work with UMG’s labels around the world to accelerate artists’ storytelling through coordinated global strategies with its commercial partners.
Rocco, who most recently served as Spotify’s Global Head of Artist and Label Marketing, will be based at UMG’s global headquarters in Santa Monica and report to Sir Lucian Grainge, UMG’s Chairman and CEO. His appointment is effective May 15.
In making the announcement, Grainge said, “I’m thrilled to welcome Dave to Universal Music Group, where he will build on our ability to connect artists at every stage of their careers with even larger audiences. Dave has a unique ability to create powerful narratives that bring together artists and fans, and I’m confident he will be a great resource for our labels and partners around the world.”
“Universal Music has always been ahead of the curve when it comes to advancing the careers of their artists through thoughtful and cutting-edge campaigns,” Rocco said. “I’m excited to join the incredible team already in place and to help elevate the careers of some of the most artistically and commercially successful artists in the industry.”
During the course of his career, Rocco has worked with superstars and powerful brands to craft award-winning and now-iconic campaigns.
At Spotify, Rocco worked with artists including 21 Savage, Camila Cabello, Alessia Cara, Cardi B, Miley Cyrus, Future, Halsey, Kehlani, Shawn Mendes, Khalid, Julia Michaels, Sam Smith, Two Chainz and The Weeknd to develop successful campaigns to connect with audiences around the world. In addition, he championed initiatives including Spotify’s Pride campaign, Black History, No Moment for Silence and One Love Manchester. Rocco joined Spotify in August 2016 as its global head of artist marketing, before adding label relations responsibilities in February.
Prior to Spotify, Rocco joined the advertising agency Deutsch in 2012 as Executive Vice President, Music Creative Director, where he oversaw music direction for national campaigns and partnerships and created a music program for brands and artists including Target, VW, Sprint, as well as Imagine Dragons, Gwen Stefani, Adele, Beck, Luke Bryan and Charlie Puth, among many others.
Before Deutsch, Rocco worked at the advertising and marketing company BBDO, where he oversaw the OneRepublic/Save The Children campaign in which he created a song supported by the non-profit using the soundscape of children’s heartbeats.
Rocco began his career at age 14 as a producer at the Z100 radio station in New York, answering request lines and later worked as a talent scout at Epic Records and in A&R at Atlantic Records.