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Work Diaries: Head of Music in Korea, prepping for BLACKPINK’s 'THE SHOW'

Featured today: Sun Lee is Head of Music (Korea & Greater China) and Artist Relations (APAC) at YouTube, and she works with cross-functional teams, music labels and artist management companies to grow music partners’ content, globally.

We’re peeling back the curtains with our series, Work Diaries, where you can experience inner workings of YouTube. How do decisions get made? What goes into a product, feature or policy? We’re asking YouTube employees to give us the low-down during a five-day period. 

Featured today: Sun Lee is Head of Music (Korea & Greater China) and Artist Relations (APAC) at YouTube, and she works with cross-functional teams, music labels and artist management companies to grow music partners’ content, globally.


9 a.m. - Start my day with coffee. Check emails received over the weekend. I used to check my inbox Sunday night, but changed my habit since I began Work From Home (WFH) due to COVID-19. Otherwise, I feel like I work 7 days a week, day and night.

10 a.m. - Represent YouTube at a Google Korea leadership group meeting. This meeting is for Google Korea’s cross-functional leads to share updates and discuss key topics. I learn a lot from this meeting and get to see what’s happening beyond YouTube.

12:30 p.m. - Asia-Pacific Music Leads weekly for 1.5 hours. We discussed YouTube’s Shorts product, which is currently in beta and being built out and tested in India.

4 p.m. - Two back-to-back meetings to discuss artist strategies in Australia and India. I am in charge of Asian-Pacific Artist Relations on top of music partnerships in Korea and Greater China, which is another fun part of my job.

Today’s highlight: BLACKPINK’s THE SHOW viewing tip video was released. Love their care for fans :)

Yangjae cheon

Yangjae cheon


9:30 a.m. - Meeting with BLACKPINK’s management team, YG, about “THE SHOW,” an exclusive livestream concert experience for BLACKPINK delivered through Channel Memberships on YouTube. Over 20 people across teams, from both YG and YouTube, join and discuss action items to make “THE SHOW” successful and big. 

10:30 a.m. - Cross-functional Greater China team meeting, where a big part of the agenda is discussing how we work with our Chinese partners to reach YouTube viewers overseas.

11:30 a.m. - Asia-Pacific YouTube internal offsite (Day 1) for 4.5 hours. This is a yearly event for all Asia-Pacific YouTubers to come together, share professional (as well as personal) experiences with the team. It’s for team-building and fun. Due to COVID-19, the offsite is held online and I really miss the time when we met offline.    

4:30 p.m. - Two 1:1 meetings with my team members: one from Taipei and the other from Seoul. We chat about partner-related topics and personal lives. The team’s mental health and well-being are getting more and more important as the period that we work from home gets longer. 

6 p.m. - Internal sync to discuss a number of product, partner, marketing and PR topics related to BLACKPINK and “THE SHOW.” As multiple teams work on the BLACKPINK project, it is critical for us to check our progress and make sure we’re 100% aligned. 

7 p.m. - Walked at Yangjae cheon, a stream near my place. It’s a bit cold, but the autumn leaves were beautiful. 

Today’s highlight: It was great seeing Asia-Pacific YouTubers via Google Hangout, but I missed the time when we met offsite. When will COVID-19 end?


8:30 a.m. - I had a meeting with Product and Engineering teams to discuss BLACKPINK’s concert technical specs. Since “THE SHOW” is YouTube’s first purchase-to-access online concert, we’ve learned a lot along the way. 


11:30 a.m. - Asia-Pacific YouTube internal offsite, Day 2. Turia Pitt’s story was very touching. Turia was caught in a grassfire while competing in a 100km marathon and more than 50% of her body was burned. She had over 200 medical procedures but overcame hard time and rebuilt her life. The message from her speech, “Champion your life,” meant a lot.

4:00 p.m. - Sync with a recruiter. Thanks to partners’ growth, I am hiring an additional partner manager for Greater China music labels. (Originally, I wanted to find a trilingual person who can speak English, Chinese and Korean and help partners in Greater China and Korea, but realized it might not be possible.) We shared our opinions about candidates in the pipeline.  

Today’s highlight: Champion your life! 

A pic from last year’s Asia-Pacific offsite

A pic from last year’s Asia-Pacific offsite


9:00 a.m. - Meet on BLACKPINK’s concert policy. The more meetings I attend,  the more I’m realizing exactly how complex it is to organize an online concert.

11:30 a.m. -  Asia-Pacific YouTube internal offsite, Day 3. Overall, sessions were so informative and fun. I also felt the power of internet connectivity --- COVID-19 can’t prevent us from connecting with each other.   

4 p.m. - Chat with a Googler who is interested in my open position. When we have an open position, we post it on both internal and external sites. Googlers can freely transfer internally (of course, if the person passes interviews) --- If someone is interested, the person can chat with a hiring manager and ask questions. Managers should support team member’s internal transfer, if the person wants. Thanks to this culture and system, I was able to transfer to the Japan office and work for Asia-Pacific regional marketing prior to my current role.    

Today’s highlight: Hiring is the most important task for a manager. Hope I can find the right person for my team. 


10:30 a.m. - Korea YouTube cross-functional team bi-weekly meeting. Over 20 people from various teams share what they did and discuss key topics. It is great to see that so many people have the same goals.  

11:30 a.m. - APAC Music team weekly. We hear updates from the global team and share our highlights and challenges. It is always good to hear and learn from each other. 

2:00 p.m. -  Brainstorming session for 2021 Korea music strategies. We reviewed 2020 highlights and lowlights, and talked about this year’s goals and initiatives. A long online session for 3 hours, but everyone was so engaged and focused.  

Today’s highlight: 2021 is still challenging with COVID, but we will overcome and make it a great year.

Interested in a career at YouTube? Peruse through open positions here.