Industry Insights

The world of electronic music is shaped not only by artists and fans, but also by thousands of independent businesses, from clubs to booking agents, publishers and promoters. It is the network of these companies on which the vitality of our scene depends. Doors Open aims to be more than a job board, helping people to understand what kind of roles are available in the music industry and how they can start their careers.

For this, we created three content series that shine a light on professionals doing exciting and meaningful work within the electronic music community: Behind The ScenesBTS Live and The Glossary.

What does a Label Manager do?  A Label Manager is a jack of all trades but is mainly responsible for coordinating and delivering releases - on time, on budget and on brand. What makes a great Label Manager? Professionalism above all. This is a holistic attitude to the role - to name a few key examples: good work ethic, diplomacy, responsiveness, flexibility, ability to manage expectations, and a keen eye for detail. Even small mistakes or bad relationship management can turn a potentially successful release into a total disaster. What are the basic professional requirements for a successful Label Manager? I'd like to say it's anyone's game who's hard-working (I had no prior experience working in a record label before this job) but to grow a label and succeed, honestly you need strong project management experience, plus good written and administrative skills, and the ability to understand budgets and profit-and-loss statements. It's an administratively heavy job and needs at least basic financial understanding. For instance, it's your responsibility to forecast how much the release will cost and how much income it will potentially bring in if all goes to plan - otherwise the label could get into real financial trouble. Or if your release data/copy is riddled with typos, not only will the artist/label look less credible, but if metadata is also wrong then payments to the artist, label and publisher could potentially not be received. Not only that, but you are juggling multiple parts of a release - from production, to artwork, manufacturing, marketing, PR, social media and potentially also physical and digital distribution. You need to make sure all the parts are scheduled and delivered well in advance, because you won't be able to last minute order a vinyl pressing or book a busy PR company. What are the common misconceptions about the role of a Label Manager? A Label Manager doesn't necessarily have the final say on everything as there could be owners or directors who are steering the label. And not all Label Managers are in charge of A&R, marketing, production or distribution. It depends on the size of the company as to the scope of your role and how much authority you have. But if you're not the one in charge of those areas, you'll still be closely liaising with whomever is and making sure they deliver everything correctly and on time according to the release schedule you've planned.
What does a Studio Manager do?  We sit in-between A&R’s, producers, engineers and technicians to ensure that artists have the best possible experience in the studio. What makes a great Studio Manager? Patience, the ability to communicate with the whole spectrum of music industry professionals and see the bigger picture across the past, present and future all help! What are the basic professional requirements for a successful Studio Manager? I’m in charge of the day-to-day running of the 12 studios and looking after the seven companies based onsite here - bringing in bookings, managing the studio team and handling tenants - so being able to multitask is essential. A passion for music and the creative processes is also vital so that decisions are being made for the right reasons. What are the common misconceptions about the role of a Studio Manager? Everyone thinks you’re in the studio, hanging out with artists all the time. But there is, unfortunately, a lot of admin work involved, trying to keep on top of everything that is going on!
What does an Artist Manager do? Artist managers act as a central hub for every part of an artist's business. They work collaboratively with a musician to help achieve the artist's goals by navigating opportunities that arise from their music.  What makes a great Artist Manager? Everything stems from the music, therefore a great artist manager needs to have a good set of ears on them as well as being able to put personal taste aside and listen subjectively. Also multitasking goes with the territory of artist management, so one needs to be able to work on lots of things at the same time. Beyond that, a great artist manager is able to take an artist's vision and plan in the short, medium and long term to make them a reality. What are the basic professional requirements for a successful Artist Manager? Basic requirements are people and communication skills as well as being able to problem solve effectively and work with a huge range of people doing all sorts of different things.  What are the common misconceptions about the role of an Artist Manager? A common misconception is that an artist manager books the gigs. When the truth is that it's the booking agents who are the ones who actually do the bookings. Artist managers work with them and assign time periods to the different agents territories and work collaboratively to create tours without actually being the ones to book the individual shows. 
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