What does a label manager do?
A label manager handles the digital and physical distribution of music and merchandise for record labels. They also advise on release strategy, including marketing, socials and press. The other key part of the role is maintaining sales to shops, wholesalers and overseas distributors, as well as keeping them up to date with new releases that are available.
What makes a great label manager?
Being open to new genres is a must, a great label manager is willing to do their research and understand the world that each release fits into. Being a great communicator is also very important due to the volume of labels and stores that we act as the go-between for.
Organisational skills are also very important - the day to day role varies a lot but usually consists of overseeing a busy release schedule, communicating with stores and answering label queries - all which need to be managed quickly and efficiently.
Do you have any tips on becoming a label manager? What are the professional requirements?
Previous music industry experience, such as working for a record store or a label, is extremely useful. Experience in other areas such as marketing, PR and publishing are also beneficial for this role.
A keen eye for detail is a must. A label manager is the last person to check release metadata before it reaches stores and streaming services, so it’s important to spot any mistakes as these can be difficult to amend once a release is out.
What are the common misconceptions about the role of a label manager?
Apart from being mistaken for someone who runs a record label, the most common misconception is that we can bend metadata rules on streaming services to appear how labels, artists and managers would like it to. The reality is that we have to abide by strict rules and style guides in order for a release to be accepted by online stores and streaming platforms.
What changes would you like to see happen within your sector and the music industry in general?
I’d love to see more women, non-binary and trans people running labels and owning record stores, with more incentives and pathways to help them to do so!