Ex-triple j content boss Ollie Wards joins TikTok as director of music
Just days after announcing his departure from triple j, Ollie Wards has landed a new gig. He is joining Chinese-owned video app TikTok late August as director of music in Australia.
Wards is the inaugural hire in the position as TikTok continues to expand its local office.
He will be responsible for driving TikTok Australia’s music strategy, as well as overseeing emerging and established artists and their role within TikTok’s creator community.
TikTok called the hire of Wards “pivotal” in continuing to establish the platform within the music ecosystem, especially as TikTok continues to prove itself as a legitimate place to discover music.
The proof can be seen on the TMN Hot 100 powered by Radio Monitor, with Jawsh 685’s TikTok hit ‘Savage Love (Laxed – Siren Beat) with Jason Derulo becoming the #1 song at Aussie radio.
As part of his role, Wards will build partnerships with local artists, talent managers, record labels and distributors to execute successful campaigns.
“TikTok has become a real force in music discovery for audiences locally and around the world,” Wards commented in a statement.
“With so much great talent in both Australia and my native New Zealand, there’s a massive opportunity for artists to be discovered and connect with fans on TikTok.
“I’ll probably not be creating my own dance videos though, I don’t think that’d help anyone!”
Wards spent 10 years at triple j, starting as the producer for Tom & Alex on Breakfast in 2010 and working his way up through several programming roles.
Laura McAuliffe will hold the role of acting CD at the youth broadcaster for the next six months.
“Music is a special part of TikTok’s creative DNA and here in Australia, we’ve seen some amazing local artists catch their break by leaning into the platform’s celebration of originality, creativity and our global user base,” TikTok Australia and New Zealand GM, Lee Hunter, said.
“With Ollie’s wealth of experience, I know he’s the right leader to build TikTok’s place in discovery and support of emerging local artists and fostering strong, long term partnerships with the local music industry.
“I look forward to supporting Ollie’s vision for TikTok talent across the Tasman and watching how this further inspires the creativity of our local community.”