Exceleration Music has appointed David Ecker, a former Spotify executive; and Rachel Cunningham, previously of Gimme Radio, to senior roles.

Ecker will serve as Exceleration’s Label Development Manager, managing day-to-day relationships with the company’s label and artist partners.

Ecker previously worked on streaming giant Spotify’s Artist and Label Partnerships team, most recently as Artist & Label Partnerships Manager, US Independents.

At Spotify, Ecker led creative campaigns for the likes of Phoebe Bridgers, Bon Iver, Mitski, Flying Lotus and Porter Robinson. He also developed partnerships with leading independent labels and distributors, and created and co-ran the ‘Digs Jazz’ series, demonstrating his specialism in jazz.

“From the get-go it was clear to me how much the company cares about both music and the musicians who bring it to life. They truly understand what it means to be an independent label and artist.”

David Ecker

“I’m incredibly excited to be joining Exceleration’s passionate, talented, and values-led team. From the get-go it was clear to me how much the company cares about both music and the musicians who bring it to life. They truly understand what it means to be an independent label and artist. I look forward to continuing to serve the indie community in this new role as I work closely with Exceleration’s amazing roster of labels and artists,” Ecker said.

Rachel Cunningham, meanwhile, has been appointed to lead Fan Engagement and Commerce at Exceleration, spearheading the development of audience growth and e-commerce strategy to drive Exceleration’s direct-to-fan business. 

She previously held the role of Head of Fan Engagement & E-commerce Marketing with San Francisco-based Gimme Radio. Her experience includes launching country and hip-hop online stores at Gimme Radio and overseeing marketing for Gimme Metal.

Cunningham also held digital marketing and specialist e-commerce roles with Concord and Hastings Entertainment.

“Exceleration caught my eye because of the incredible team of experienced music executives who are shaking up the industry and growing the value of labels and artists. I couldn’t be happier to add to that mission by focusing on fan engagement, because, in my experience, music fans are the backbone and the future of the industry. I can’t wait to grow my career with Exceleration while helping grow the careers of some of the most brilliant indie artists in the world,” said Cunningham.

“Exceleration caught my eye because of the incredible team of experienced music executives who are shaking up the industry and growing the value of labels and artists.”

Rachel Cunningham

The appointments arrive after the company named Cassie Michel as Digital Operations Associate and Adam Ferrari as Accounting Manager, in January.

Other recent hires include Creative Director David Gorman in October, and former Universal Music Group exec Mike Gillespie and ex-SoundCloud executive Bela Zecker in January 2022.

Darin Soler, Head of Global Marketing and Commercial Partnerships, said: “One of the things that excites me at Exceleration is bringing the best in tech to labels in the independent community. There’s no reason that smaller labels shouldn’t have the same opportunities and expertise that exist at majors across all platforms, and hiring experts like David and Rachel is what makes that happen.

Exceleration was launched in January 2021 with an aim to enhance “the future of independent labels and artists.”

At the time of launch, Exceleration said it is “backed by substantial investment capital” and that it “plans to leverage its partners’ extensive expertise and deep understanding of the independent music culture to make tailored investments in independent music rights and the individuals that create them.”

Its partners include global music industry leaders such as Dave Hansen (former GM of Epitaph Records and Executive Chairman of Merlin), Charles Caldas (the first CEO of Merlin), Amy Dietz (previous GM of Ingrooves) and John Burk (Grammy-winning producer and former President of Concord Records).

Exceleration’s recent deals include Mom+Pop, +1 Records, Bloodshot Records, rights to Justin Townes Earle recordings, and Heroic Music Group. It also recently acquired US indie label Kill Rock Stars and made a strategic partnership with indie label, Sideonedummy Records.

Earlier this year, the company struck a strategic partnership and invested in the catalog of New York-based +1 Records, an indie label that helped launch the careers of The Kooks, Anna of the North and The Heavy, among many others.

Music Business Worldwide

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