Roxi, a music-streaming business with a raft of popstar shareholders, has appointed Rupert Howell, who left Reach earlier this year, as independent non-executive chairman.
The platform gives subscribers advertising-free access to millions of tracks, including radio stations, karaoke tracks and music games. It aims to take on streaming giants Spotify and Amazon, and works by plugging into TV sets via an HDMI cable. Subscriptions cost £99 a year.
Roxi, founded by entrepreneur Rob Lewis, is planning an initial public offering in 2020. Its advisory board includes, among others: Rob Dickins, founder of the Brit Awards; David Munns, former chief executive of EMI North America; Paul McGuiness, former manager of U2; and Ron Dennis, who founded McLaren Technology Group.
Howell joins from Reach, where he worked for six years until September, most recently as group development director. He is also a founder of HHCL and ex-managing director of ITV.
"The TV is about to be at the centre of the next generation of music entertainment experiences," Howell said. "This is the only British music-streaming company challenging the might of Apple, Google, Amazon and Spotify with a truly unique suite of entertainment services.
"With an impressive group of shareholders and an outstanding board, I’m looking forward to helping guide Roxi through its next period, which will see rapid international growth."
Roxi's shareholders include Robbie Williams, Sheryl Crow and Alesha Dixon.
Lewis added: "With his extensive branding, media and plc experience, we are excited to have Rupert join the management team at Roxi. His expertise in publishing, technology and entertainment spheres, along with his enthusiastic approach and deep understanding of mainstream consumer audiences, makes him a perfect chairman for Roxi as we prepare for growth and flotation."