Exceleration Music

Exceleration appoints Label Development Manager and Fan Engagement & Commerce Lead

Former Spotify exec David Ecker appointed Label Development Manager. Rachel Cunningham to lead Fan Engagement and Commerce. Follows recent appointments of Cassie Michel (Digital Operations Associate) and Adam Ferrari (Accounting Manager).

Remote, 10th May 2023

Exceleration Music, the global venture dedicated to enhancing the future of independent music, has named former Spotify exec David Ecker as its new Label Development Manager. Rachel Cunningham, previously of Gimme Radio, also joins to lead Fan Engagement and Commerce.

Ecker will play a key role in managing day-to-day relationships with Exceleration’s growing family of label and artist partners. A respected advocate for independent rightsholders, he joins the company after eight years with Spotify’s Artist and Label Partnerships team, most recently as Artist & Label Partnerships Manager, US Independents.

While at Spotify, Ecker led creative campaigns for the likes of Phoebe Bridgers, Bon Iver, Mitski, Flying Lotus and Porter Robinson, and developed partnerships with leading independent labels and distributors. His specialism in jazz saw him create and co-run the ‘Digs Jazz’ series, and take a key role in the creation of Spotify’s improved jazz hub.

He is the latest executive to bolster the Exceleration team’s wealth of music tech expertise, following Creative Director David Gorman (ex-Amazon Music) and Head of Global Marketing & Commercial Partnerships Darin Soler (ex-YouTube).

David Ecker said: “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.”

In her Fan Engagement and Commerce role, Rachel Cunningham will meanwhile lead on the development of audience growth and e-commerce strategy to drive the organisation’s direct-to-fan business. Her role will include the development of online stores, as well as the building and implementation of Exceleration’s marketing technology stack.

Cunningham’s experience includes a previous role as Head of Fan Engagement & E-commerce Marketing with San Francisco-based Gimme Radio. During her tenure she launched the company’s Country and Hip-Hop online stores, also overseeing marketing for Gimme Metal. She has also held digital marketing and specialist e-commerce roles with Concord and Hastings Entertainment.

Rachel Cunningham commented: “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.”

Cunningham and Ecker’s appointments follow the recent hires of Digital Operations Associate Cassie Michel, and Accounting Manager Adam Ferrari in January. The team’s expansion allows Exceleration to serve a growing roster of independents, with signings over the past year including Mom+Pop, +1 Records, and Heroic Music Group.

Darin Soler, Head of Global Marketing and Commercial Partnerships, added: “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.

“We’ve worked with David during his time at Spotify and observed firsthand his commitment to supporting indie labels and artists. We look forward to seeing him bring that same energy and enthusiasm to working with the labels and artists at Exceleration.”

Exceleration Music

Exceleration Music is a partnership of global music industry leaders who have come together to invest in the future of independent labels and artists.