Cool Change

Topspin HQ, Santa Monica

Word is leaking out, so I may as well set the record straight…

After four years and three months, I’m leaving Yahoo! for another opportunity. I’ll be joining founders Peter Gotcher and Shamal Ranasinghe as the CEO at a still-mostly-stealth company called Topspin Media. Our mission is to help artists earn a living through software. There’s obviously a lot more to it, but if I dropped it all here the company wouldn’t be so stealth anymore, would it? See this prescient, THIRTEEN YEAR-OLD Wired article for some (way) back-story.

Having started my “career” fourteen years ago working with artists and artist managers, it feels as if this is the opportunity I’ve been careening toward. I couldn’t be more excited. To say you should expect to hear a lot more from us very soon would be an understatement. As I always say, anything worth doing is worth over-doing.

I had a great run at Yahoo! and have nothing but love for my peoples there. I wasn’t looking to leave. On my team in 2008 we released the very cool Yahoo! Media Player, purchased and are integrating the incredible FoxyTunes, released a great new version of Yahoo! Video, and were working on an insanely cool stealth product (I will cry when I lose VPN access because I’ll lose access to my primary music listening vehicle) which I hope still sees the light of day. Scott Moore is a righteous dude and is pulling the Yahoo! Media Division into a cohesive unit. I expect big things. Bring it, yo.

There are *way* too many of you to mention by name, but to all my Yahoo! peoples: I love ya. Like Sly said, “Miss me, see ya soon.” I wouldn’t be surprised to find our companies working together in the not-too-distant future.

Thanks to everyone for their interest in what I’m up to, advice, kind words, criticism, etc. It’s been a hectic couple months of soul-searching and I can’t tell you how much it means to me to have so many smart and caring people around me (Julie, Zoe, Jason, Jonathan, Rob, Dad, and a few others who shall remain nameless to protect the guilty…THANK YOU). Appreciated (even though I know I ignored most of the advice — have to follow my heart and instincts).


ps – Now you know why I’ve been light on the blogging front. Been a little pre-occupied lately, not to mention taking a little “vacation” to my hometown in Indiana in the middle. But I have a backlog of silly blog posts I hope to trickle out in the weeks ahead, please subscribe so you don’t miss any of ’em.

Trackbacks & Pings

  1. Yahoo Loses Their Musical Soul on 02 Apr 2008 at 1:39 pm

    […] Music Vice President Ian Rogers has resigned to join a new stealth music startup called Topspin Media as […]

  2. Estos son cambios en la industria musical « - internet y música on 02 Apr 2008 at 2:54 pm

    […] noticias.  La última eclipsará la lectura, así que mencionemos la menos sonada por delantado. IanCR abandona Yahoo Music y se mete de lleno en un proyecto startup cuya finalidad es ayudar a los artistas independientes a […]

  3. Another Yahoo VP leaves & maybe music space will be better for it « Media - what is it good for! on 02 Apr 2008 at 5:47 pm

    […] 2, 2008 · No Comments Ian Rogers announced today that he is leaving Yahoo to become CEO of Topspin Media.  The company is co-founded by […]

  4. TechCrunch Japanese アーカイブ » Yahoo、音楽の魂を失う on 02 Apr 2008 at 7:23 pm

    […] MusicのVP、Ian Rogersが辞任し、新規のステルス音楽スタートアップTopspin […]

  5. Short Notes: Scalr, funding, job profiles et al « Blue Screen Of Duds on 02 Apr 2008 at 9:23 pm

    […] is a job, a mission, a career: all without a path or a name. And speaking of jobs, Yahoo! Music VP, Ian Rogers has left the company (as expected), to join a start […]

  6. Zygos Community Links on 03 Apr 2008 at 4:48 am

    Yahoo Loses Its Musical Soul…

    Yahoo Music Vice President Ian Rogers has resigned to join a new stealth music startup called Topspin Media as CEO.This is a blow to Yahoo – Rogers is one of the few music industry insiders who have a clear vision for what the future of music should be…

  7. » Yahoo! also Loses Rock Star; Music VP Ian Rogers Moves to Start-up on 03 Apr 2008 at 5:09 am

    […] FoxyTunes, and setting in place a bold new plan for Yahoo! Music, Vice President Ian Rogers has resigned from Yahoo! Music to join stealth start-up TopSpin Media, which aims to use software to help […]

  8. Yahoo Music exec leaves for startup « IT Spot on 03 Apr 2008 at 6:44 am

    […] Ian Rogers, vice president of video and music applications at Yahoo, is leaving the company to launch a startup, he said on his blog. […]

  9. Ian Rogers Leaves Yahoo To Start His Own Gig on 03 Apr 2008 at 7:53 am

    […] music applications, has left the company to launch a startup of his own, according to a post on his personal blog. Ian has joined forces with Peter Gotcher and Shamal Ranasinghe to launch the new company which is […]

  10. Music Managers on the Move « Changing Way on 03 Apr 2008 at 8:08 am

    […] takes a rather religious tone. Yahoo loses its musical soul is how Mike Arrington described the departure of Ian Rogers to become CEO of Topspin Media. Can Doug Merrill Save Music? asked Stephen Wildstrom, reporting on […]

  11. JamsBio Biolog | Hustle Nation on 03 Apr 2008 at 8:56 am

    […] of music & technology, Ian Rogers, is leaving his position as head of Yahoo! Music for a startup… do good things, […]

  12. Ian Rogers Leaves Yahoo To Start His Own Gig « ShortNet on 03 Apr 2008 at 9:16 am

    […] music applications, has left the company to launch a startup of his own, according to a post on his personal blog. Ian has joined forces with Peter Gotcher and Shamal Ranasinghe to launch the new company which is […]

  13. SEO Tuts » Blog Archive » Yahoo! also Loses Rock Star; Music VP Ian Rogers Moves to Start-up on 03 Apr 2008 at 7:16 pm

    […] FoxyTunes, and setting in place a bold new plan for Yahoo! Music, Vice President Ian Rogers has resigned from Yahoo! Music to join stealth start-up TopSpin Media, which aims to use software to help […]

  14. Aloha, Mr. Hands: What I would do with EMI’s new music business at FISTFULAYEN on 26 May 2008 at 11:35 pm

    […] one of your artists off/on for the past 14 years I was GM of Yahoo! Music for a bit (I recently left to join a startup you’ll hear more about soon, Topspin). I commend you for having the guts to take on the EMI challenge. While I know everyone is beating […]

  15. TopSpin ajuda a cauda longa da música a ganhar dinheiro na Web | Remixtures on 23 Jun 2008 at 12:13 pm

    […] no início de Abril Ian Rogers saiu do Yahoo Music para ocupar o cargo de director executivo de uma startup chamada TopSpin Media, a notícia foi […]

  16. Topspin » The Last of the Gift Guides: The Obligatory “Best of 2008″ List on 24 Dec 2008 at 10:49 am

    […] proud and (I admit truthfully at the risk of sounding like a sap) brought a little tear to my eye. I left Yahoo! Music to join this great team at Topspin in April and since we’ve released albums by Byrne/Eno, Paul McCartney, Lou Reed, and a documentary […]

  17. Industry Moves: Yahoo Media Executive Ian Rogers Leaving; New Startup in Music Space — Tech News and Analysis on 04 Apr 2012 at 8:57 am

    […] Ian Rogers, known for his progressive views on DRM-free downloads, is leaving the company. As he describes on his blog, “I GA_googleFillSlotWithSize("ca-pub-3457929887116739", "gigaom_ros_post_footer", 300, […]


  1. Fullman wrote:

    That’s awesome man, congrats! The office space looks amazing :)

  2. Bobby wrote:

    Congrats Ian! Sounds like a great opp, was curious when you were going to breakout on your own!

  3. Scott Schnaars wrote:

    Ian, sounds like a great opportunity. Looking forward to seeing what comes out of TopSpin.


  4. Vince Koser wrote:

    reminds me of the old diggs in Santa Monica, good luck to you

  5. Daniel Holter wrote:

    Following your heart is always a good idea. Best of luck with your new venture… sounds exciting!

  6. Clay Ver Valen wrote:

    Best of luck on the new job!

  7. Justin Davis wrote:

    Congrats on the new gig Ian. I know you’ll be missed at yahoo. Thanks for inspiring so many music nerds and helping industry big wigs to start getting the web. I’m a bit envious that you’ll have a drum set in your new office!

  8. SteveR wrote:

    Congrats! Glad to hear you are joining the Santa Monica startup scene. looking forward to catching up.

  9. Kristian wrote:

    Sad for us. Happy for you! :)

  10. Todd Beaupre wrote:

    I was hoping you had posted this yesterday so it wouldn’t be true, but alas! Congrats on the new role. You will be sorely missed at Yahoo!, but I’m happy you are focusing on your passion. It was a privilege to work with you, and I hope it won’t be the last time we collaborate. Stay in touch!

  11. Dawn Martin wrote:

    Congrats Ian! A friend of mine from DivX is also starting at that company soon. How exciting!

  12. Andy Baio wrote:

    You sly dog. Congratulations.

  13. Mick O wrote:

    Good luck! Keep following your vison and changing the industry for the better!

  14. eD wrote:


    wow, great to hear that you are going joining the independent artist scenario.

    Would love to contact you and discuss, as we are running pretty interesting projects in Spain around this subject. Please please!

  15. Mike Fine wrote:

    Congrats Ian! I think this sounds like a really great match…or you are just trying to further Zoe’s aspirations to become an independent recording exec?

  16. Joe Lazarus wrote:

    Congrats Ian. We never met while I was still at Yahoo!, but I admired what you were doing. I’m sure you’ll be missed. Looking forward to hearing more about Topspin in the future.

  17. Cody Simms wrote:

    Congratulations, Ian! We’ll miss you.

  18. brian cors wrote:

    Ian, you’ve been blazing trails in this online digital music world since I have known you – and this new gig sounds COMPLETELY up your alley. Congrats, and good luck my friend! -b

  19. Robi Ganguly wrote:

    Awesome! Congrats Ian – looking forward to seeing what comes next. Glad I got to meet you briefly in person before we both left the ‘Hoo :).

  20. Michael Pilla wrote:

    Congrats Ian! Sorry to see Y! lose another great talent, but best wishes on the new biz. Looking forward to hearing more about it.

  21. Fred McIntyre wrote:

    Ian – who says no one makes it out alive. Congratulations. Best of luck. Hope to see you soon…

  22. Char wrote:

    Congrats Ian –
    all the best at topspin. i am sure you can make the industry we love…much better… -c

  23. Dan Polfer wrote:

    Very nice, Ian. Congratulations, and I wish you all the best at TopSpin; I’m sure it will be a big win for the artists and fans alike.

  24. Greg Cohn wrote:

    Wow – you’ll be missed here, but it sounds like a very cool opportunity, and something that needs doing by someone who gets it.

    Congratulations and good luck!

  25. Scott Haynie wrote:

    Glad you took this on, my man. TopSpin are true winners in this deal. Congrats and hope to work with you again soon :)

  26. Jeff Bonforte wrote:

    Congrats on move Ian. Nice work.

  27. Samantha Saturn wrote:

    Ian – great news! I can only imagine how happy those artists will be when they get to work with you. Good luck and talk soon.

  28. m2 wrote:

    Good luck, amigo. TopSping’s gain. Ping me when you get to the other side.

  29. Bradley Horowitz wrote:

    ian, congrats! I’m so happy for you and excited to see what you’ll do next. All the best… (and Zoe’s going to MIT right? When she gets there I’ll hook her up with my peeps!)

  30. Mike Manning wrote:

    Congrats! Hopefully I´ll be back in SM at some point this year to catch a party with you at the new office (been there!). Oh, and let me know if you need a roving agent in South America… 😉

  31. Mark Collier wrote:

    It’s great to see you coming down on the side of empowering artists (as if there was ever any doubt) which sadly is not the first instinct of many players in this game.

    You and Shamal are going to tear shit up, no doubt!


  32. Wally wrote:

    wow. good luck to you man. Y! will definitely miss you. wow.

  33. Robyn VanTol wrote:

    Congrats Ian. Glad to see you following your passion. I loved working with you at Yahoo! Music and wish you all the best.

  34. Andy Magoon wrote:

    awesome. congrats and good luck starting the next revolution.

  35. Adam Singer wrote:

    Good luck !! Topspin sounds very exciting…you have my interest peaked for sure

  36. John R wrote:

    You have been a lighthouse in an industry that can’t see through the past.

    Change is coming. Read this article today as well:
    Will Googler have a hand in saving the music industry?

  37. Josh Blum wrote:

    feeling the drum kit in the middle of the office. congrats.

  38. Smokey wrote:


    I’m one of those artists that will be looking into what Topspin can do for my community of artists here in Dade County,FL. Good Luck.

  39. Vishal Agarwala wrote:

    change is an inevitable part of life. i’m glad to see you’re grabbing it by the balls and having a good time. best of luck!

  40. David Gratton wrote:

    It was great working with you, Ian. And we really appreciate all the support you gave our little company in Vancouver. I hope we will have the opportunity to still work with you in the future.

    All the best!

    – David

  41. Rob Lord wrote:

    Oh no you didn’t.

    Wait. I get it.

    Excellent move.


  42. kjh wrote:

    Best of luck Ian, it’s so sad to see you go!

  43. Sachin Rekhi wrote:

    Congrats dude! This is very exciting. Looking forward to seeing what comes out of your new gig!


  44. Gordon wrote:

    Congrats, Ian. Best of luck on the new project! Hope to see you around the southland sometime.

  45. Koz wrote:

    you will be missed, amigo, but you will, i am sure, continue to tear shit up.

  46. jeff wrote:

    Can’t wait to see where this one goes!

    What a trail thus far.

  47. Koshi wrote:


  48. Aaron wrote:

    Holzy crap. Congrats! Can’t wait to see what you’re up to.

  49. mike grishaver wrote:

    Ian, you rocked Yahoo for over four years.

    Congrats on the new move. Looking forward to seeing what you cook up when it comes outta stealth.


  50. Ged wrote:

    Congrats on the new role, keep rockin’ the free world

  51. Ethan Bauman wrote:

    You say you want a revolution…

    Congrats Ian. TopSpin is the epicenter of media value chain disruption.

  52. Adam B wrote:

    Congrats Ian. Glad that I had the privilege to work with you!

  53. Jeremy Zawodny wrote:


    Nice move! Congrats…

  54. Gerd Leonhard wrote:

    way to go Ian! Sounds like a good goal…. Cheers Gerd PS: look at 😉

  55. Tyler Suchman wrote:

    Hey, big congrats, Ian. Love the swanky new digs.

  56. Duke wrote:

    Congrats Ian. I’m sad to see so many of us leaving Yahoo! at the same time.

  57. dugsong wrote:

    punk rock move, ian! \m/

    get some!!!

    vkoser is right – it’s got that biggun vibe, down to the kit in the office:

    just need some bungie cords from the ceiling, a ramp, and some matching jumpsuits now. :-)

  58. Michael wrote:

    Ian – we’ll miss you man. Rock that shit with Shamal. You guys are going to do some awesome stuff. We’ll keep the vision alive here.

  59. Mike Salisbury wrote:


    congrats. best of luck with the new gig. i’ll miss your influence here.


  60. dave drake wrote:

    heeeee haaaaw. good to hear you’re still stirring the pot. best of luck and stay in touch holmes…

  61. Faramir wrote:

    Good luck bro! I’m always supportive of anyone jumping to new shores. The world is so wide! We should keep exploring new ground and evolve. Keep us updated!

    Fara –

  62. jonathan wrote:

    Yeah boyyyyyy!

    Sylvia and I send you mad love and congrats from BsAs.


  63. Brendan wrote:

    wow. congrats. best from Jamie and Brendan.

  64. Kay Gabaldon wrote:

    Ian! This is the best news that could have happened for artists! Congrats dude…you did the right thing…. for music!

  65. Janis Braslins wrote:

    Thats awesome Ian. Best of luck to you and your new venture :)

  66. Lew wrote:

    So good.

    Keep on keeping on. Looking forward to following the story you are writing with your actions. The world needs more people like Ian C Rogers.

  67. Daniel Raffel wrote:

    congrats on your next steps, ian! look forward to learning more about topspin, bring the noise.

  68. Mary Chen wrote:

    Finally. I can’t wait ’til you run the whole industry.

  69. Dave Allen wrote:

    Yo Ian, nice! I just had a look through Topspin at SXSW with your guy Jason Kadlec – I liked what I saw. Congrats

    Dave Allen

  70. Chris wrote:


  71. cristobal wrote:

    So are you really on week 11 or that’s been delayed too? Is there a space in the new digs for LL to come and do some onsite coaching?

  72. vince broady wrote:

    I love a man of words…and action! Following your heart is always the right idea.

    Let me know when you want to get together to celebrate – ramen and pinkberry both on me.

  73. Aaron Ray wrote:

    Ian- Congrats on the new digs. Max Burgos and I were going to come see you next week anyway. A LOT of stuff that you will be interested in (from our clients, etc). Shoot me back an email or whatever, but I def want to discuss Linkin Park.

  74. Tom Coates wrote:

    Ian – very very sorry to hear you’re leaving Yahoo. We never got a chance to work together but I was always holding out some hope that we could at some point…

  75. Satisfied75 wrote:

    cheers man…that sounds super cool. look fwd to reading more about it in the coming months.

  76. Jason wrote:

    Congrats Ian. So great to see you getting back to your roots – as always, I am excited to see the product and the vision you bring to it.

  77. Nick Turner wrote:

    I want to hear more Mister. Always been partial to a little back spin myself!
    All the best.


  78. money mark wrote:

    wow!…thats great ian!….love to know more and love to be involved somehow…..keep me posted… to the fam!!…..changing diapers!!!!!!do i miss it??….Hmmm…maybe

  79. Jim Dinda wrote:

    Ian … Congratulations!… sounds like the perfect project for you (and sounds like it will be a hell of a lot of fun)! Hope to see you soon …


  80. Noah Stone wrote:

    Congratulations, Ian! And, I’m ready for you to change my life.


  81. Marty James wrote:

    YEaah Ian stays doin it real HUMUNGO

  82. Susi wrote:

    Go out there and change the world through music – you continue to awe and amaze.

  83. Chris Newman wrote:

    Congratulations, Ian! And now people will stop thinking I’m you around campus :)!

  84. John Ash wrote:

    Congrats, Ian!! I wish you the best. You will rock it! Now come on down to Austin…I owe you lunch at Las Manitas.

  85. zephoria wrote:

    CONGRATS! I’m stoked for you. That’s waaaay awesome! {{hug}}

  86. Sean Bonner wrote:

    So awesome Ian, congrats!! Can’t wait to see what you are up to!

  87. rachel brown wrote:


    my name is rachel, noah kagan sent me over an email about topspin since i myself am involved in the music scene (artist management, marketing services, promotional campaigns, tour planning, the whole 9 yards) and the web 2.0 world (grew up on the internet and have since been invovled in a number of start-ups) – he thought it would be right up my alley, and he is corect! i’m very interested in learning more about what you all are up to.

    congratulations, it seems like you have hit the jackpot. i’m hoping we might have a chance to connect and talk more about the project and possibly even ways we may be able to collaborate. it sounds like you are quite busy, but if you get a chance to shoot me an e-mail, i would love to hear from you.

    keep kicking ass!


  88. Robb Gardner wrote:

    London Calling! Way to go Ian, i’m over here in London England working on a Film Project at Framestore. I’ll be back to L.A. in June and i would love to stop by and see the new digs.


  89. neal casal wrote:

    such a movement in the brain of a doer – congrats on the new move ian, stoked to hear more about it and get in on it, thanks for the tip – thankful n’

  90. Rani Cohenn wrote:

    Ian, good luck and looking forward to work with you soon.
    Rani – and the TuneWiki team

  91. Bob M wrote:

    Ahoy, Ian! Mary Chen sent me word of this move. Very curious about it – both as a working indie musician and an early adopter. Holla when you need a guinea pig.

    And congrats!

  92. Karen B wrote:

    Cheers on this move, man. When I saw the note from Scott – I was both sad and happy. But most happy knowing you were hooking up with Shamal and following your passion.

    You’ll be busy – but hope to catch up with you soon.

  93. Bill Fishkin wrote:

    Way to go – congrats on the move.

  94. Sol Young wrote:

    Congrats Ian, definitely not shocked – Best wishes there – can’t wait to hear about the new digs as you turn up the volume.

  95. bethany wrote:

    Damn! As it sucks to hear. But good for you!

  96. BenFox wrote:

    Congrats! Could this be the move that puts Radon on the (Internet) map (after only 15 years)?

  97. dad wrote:

    Congradulations!!! Happy, proud,excited!!!
    (for the music industry too)

  98. jenz wrote:

    Congrats! I look forward to seeing the new company develop!

  99. Shravan wrote:

    Congrats Ian….always admired your creativity, passion for Music and out of the box innovative ideas….we will miss you here…

    Good luck!

  100. Paul irish wrote:

    Good luck with you sir. You brought a lot of influence to Yahoo Music. I’m looking to see that power and precision continue.


  101. Andrew Violette wrote:

    Hey Congrats Ian! Hope you keep blogging, otherwise where am I going to learn about new music in the Chicago burbs?

  102. Chuck Miller wrote:

    Congratulations! That sounds awesome, exciting, and a good fit for you!
    Looking forward to seeing/hearing more!
    Peace & Love,

  103. david hyman wrote:

    here’s another one. congrats! let me know if there ways mog can help you.


  104. John O wrote:

    RR is a cool and very awesome dude, and I am all for his subscription service philosophy, hey the cable companies even like it. How that will help the up and coming bands and expand the industry, I am uncertain, how the bands will make money, other than pennies for songs, hmmmm… I guess we will see. Our gig is MAJOR and we have a new and awesome program including a tech launch that has some serious leverage and value, building dollars for artist, exponentially growing hits to the “onlinemusic” source. I really think we should talk… Hey, I love Santa Monica and can be there in 60 minutes! My skateboard is faster than you can say ryan sheckler John

  105. Dawn Ash wrote:

    Congrats Ian!! Couldn’t be prouder of my nephew!! Enjoyed your visit – don’t want to wait another 4+years to see Lucinda – what a treasure! Dawn

  106. Philip TSE wrote:


    I am seeking information which may be useful to a legal action against Yahoo, or actually Musicmatch Music Store, which become wholly owned by Yahoo in 2005, for infringement of a DRM patent 6665797.

    As you may know, the Giant technology companies are used to using other’s patent without paying for a license.

    They labell us as a nuisance or troll. indeed, Yahoo’s attorney is only willing to pay me a nuisance fee, but in return, he demands unlimited use of all my patents, not the one in issue in the action, and also the right to sublicense to any third parties, at a time Yahoo has closed down Musicmatch (September 1, 2007) and about to close down Yahoo!music.

    This means all my efforts in seeking the patents for my inventions will come to nothing.

    Gentlemen, I need your help. Yahoo declared that they have 300 Musicmatch servers at Burbank Data Centre on March 27, 2008. For detail, please refer to my website

    Do you have any information about the Musicmatch 300 servers after its closure on September 1, 2007 ? Are there 300 idle Musicmatch servers being kept in Burbank or be transferred for other purposes such as servicing Yahoo!music Store since then?

    Your information may help us to prove if there is any breach of court order or spoliation of evidence.

    Philip TSE.

  107. Philip TSE wrote:


    Same as you, I want to help someone else to earn a living through thru’ diligence, particularly, in creating digital contents.

    My friend, there is no need to ditch DRM. Apple takes the lead to do this only to find it destroys iTunes itself.

    This world needs one single open DRM platform. The Entertainment Industry can tolerate unlimited distribution of non-DRM low resolution audio video, such as MP3, to be played on any portable devices, and they can benefit a lot from DRM protected high resolution contents that can only be played with a bigger machine.

    One successful example of My DRM patent is the “computer authorization” that the infringers use to allow users to move digital contents to different machines of their own. It is a wonderful user experience, it harms no users.

    If the US legal system allows the patent to be enforced, this will come true.

    Philip TSE.

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