Building A Record Label

Record labels continue to consolidate and internal departments continue to merge. However, it is important for future record industry executives to have some idea of the internal mechanisms that exist within a major label. In fact, independent labels have to incorporate many of the same responsibilities within their infrastructure in order to compete in todays marketplace.

Some of the departments may seem obvious to some of the more experienced readers. However, even you can benefit from knowing what tasks need to be tackled and accomplished in order to be a fully functional recording labelindependent or major.

It is important to remember that a record company is defined by foundational concepts:
1. Equity in the copyright of the sound recording
2. An ability to promote
3. An ability to distribute

Keeping these underlying concepts in mind, a label can then be about anything the owners want it to be about. Many people hate to concede to the idea that a record label is ultimately about making money, then hopefully about making great music. Although, the latter has been falling farther and farther behind in todays marketplace.
Suffice it to say, the labels departments must also be working toward the common goal in their own ways. Below is a general list of departments within a record label and the responsibilities of each department. Remember with smaller labels, departments are smaller and therefore, many tasks are accomplished by fewer people.

1. Crafts strategy and implements agenda of corporate parent company
2. May not be involved in day-to-day operations
3. May be responsible for the business affairs of all affiliated labels under the corporate umbrella
4. Reports to executive at corporate parent company

1. Responsible for entire record label
2. Reports to CEO
3. Less removed than CEO and may be involved in day-to-day operations and high profile signings

Responsible for all contract negotiations and legal affairs

Responsible for all financial functions, payroll, royalty accounting and financial reporting

1. One person or a small group of people
2. Serves as liaison between record companys distribution company and the record company
3. Helps decide when to release an album and makes sure it doesnt conflict with any other labels the record company owns

1. Finds new artists (works with a research team to uncover important market research statistics/numbers)
2. Finding artists material
3. Liaison between artist and all other departments of the record company
4. Coordinates across departments for projects
5. Product Manager (your manager within the label)

1. Primary function is to service radio stations with product and secure airplay
2. Manages independent promoters and contractors
3. Works closely with radio stations on contests, concerts, giveaways, etc.
4. Works closely with new media and marketing

1. Primary function is to service retail with product and oversee retail initiatives
2. Services national and independent accounts
3. Instrumental in planning release schedule, initial unit volume, and solicitation strategies
4. Works closely with marketing and promotion to track radio airplay

1. Creates strategic marketing plan for the company as well as, specific artists and their releases
2. Instrumental in seeking strategic alliances for the label (Consumer Products, advertising, radio/tv/film)

1. Gets the word out
2. Writes press releases
3. Helps secure personal appearances radio interviews, television exposure, featured articles
4. Works with artists independent publicist if applicable

1. Responsible for dealing with some of the newer aspects of the music business
2. Creates Online Presence social networks, online reviews and feature, blogs, website, streaming music, etc.
3. Responsible for producing and creating music videos for the artist

1. Coordinates
2. Pressing
3. Packaging
4. Shipping
5. Warehousing and Inventory Management
6. Digital Distribution
7. Rack Jobbers, One Stops, Record Clubs

The aforementioned departments and their tasks are for general reference only. Each specific label has their own way of accomplishing tasks, assigning names to departments, and ultimately selling product. However, note the information, use it to perhaps build your labels infrastructure or to possibly look for a position in the music business, and then build upon it for further success in the music business.

The Academy Of Business Strategy – The Closely Guarded Recruitment Secret

The recruitment industry has always been reactive by nature. This is not intended to be a criticism in any way, it is just considered to be convention within the industry. An employer advertises a vacancy, a candidate advertises their CV. Prospective candidates are forwarded onto the employer and prospective vacancies are similarly forwarded onto the candidate. This will invariably result in thousands of candidates applying for each individual vacancy and success is ultimately determined by the efficiency of each individual employer’s recruitment procedure. Candidates are always powerless throughout this process. The introduction of online job boards through the internet has only served to exasperate this problem. They tend to identify success in terms of quantity rather than quality. They will proudly advertise that they have thousands or even millions of candidates registered with them. They will also have hundreds or thousands of vacancies listed too. The implication being of course that if they serve this many customers then they must be good. Having said this, online job boards do provide an important service now within the recruitment industry. They provide portals where both candidates and employers can be introduced to each-other and the service which they provide is far more cost-effective than traditional offline advertising and in most cases they provide a more efficient service too. Unfortunately it does not really do very much to help candidates gain better employment and it is still rather like looking for a needle in a haystack. This is because the service which they provide merely ensures that more and more applicants apply to each individual vacancy. It is also widely accepted within the recruitment industry that any vacancy which we may see advertised is always a peripheral vacancy. What is meant by this is that they tend to be general vacancies which arise from prescriptive change such as expansion, or a merger or acquisition. The very fact that the organization does not have anyone in mind for this vacancy who could be promoted from within tells you that the vacancy is probably a peripheral one. Core vacancies are never advertised. The organization will already have internal candidates in mind for these positions and they are too important to risk employing a candidate who is considered to be an unknown quantity. Consequently core vacancies are always the ones we should be targeting. They are the vacancies which constitute power, influence and life-changing personal benefits. A senior manager or partner at a major financial institution, retail organization or manufacturing company will earn an annual salary amounting to several hundred thousand dollars for their services. A senior Director or Executive Officer at the same company will earn an annual salary amounting to several million dollars for their services. How many jobs do you actually see advertised with annual salaries that exceed 250,000.00 USD? There are traditional recruitment companies who practise what is commonly known as head-hunting, but these still tend to be for peripheral positions. The reality is that anyone who achieves a core vacancy within a major global organization will have developed and implemented a successful career management strategy over a sustainable period of time. It is quite literally the difference between success and failure. Recruitment companies and online job boards alike are already thinking of innovative ways in which they can provide better services. Improving online technology is to some extent gradually enabling them to do this. There are growing improvements in terms of the search engines that are used to pre-qualify candidates for employers and conversely to pre-qualify employers for candidates. However the more recruitment companies or online job boards which choose to move in this direction the more they will have to charge candidates and employers for the services they provide, whereas registration, particularly for candidates has been largely free of charge and candidates have grown accustomed to this of course. It is already clear that those recruitment companies who are starting to charge candidates for the service that they provide, tend to provide much better services. The old adage that “you always get for what you pay” tends to apply here. Ultimately these changes while providing some improvement in the professionalism of recruitment companies and online job boards over time will not change anything at all concerning the type of vacancies advertised. Advertised vacancies will always be peripheral. Candidates who have the most successful careers are always those who are proficient at managing their own career management strategy. It is true that we cannot all aspire to be the CEO of Microsoft, General Motors, HSBC Bank, or Mittal. But we can still ensure that we at least have the opportunity to achieve as much as we can with our careers and we will not achieve this if we are reactive by nature and if we do not take personal responsibility at some point for our own career development. After all an individual’s career development surely constitutes a core activity, not a peripheral one!

Pros And Cons Of A Federal Auto Industry Bailout

Pro 1: Eco Cars
If the bailout money works the way it is supposed to and pulls the big three out of the hole, good things could potentially come of it. One proposal is that after being saved the automakers could be pushed to manufacture and sell cars that are both good for the environment and economy.

Con 1: Taxpayer Cash
Perhaps the most obvious con, it is no secret that we will all be helping bail these companies out. Although it is still unknown where the money may or may not come from, taxpayer cash will be included for sure. Bloggers, business leaders, and experts are expressing their frustration about this all over the Internet.

Pro 2: Recession Woes
While most are already feeling the effects of a recession on their wallets and gas tanks, it could be a lot worse if something else big happens. Some experts feel not bailing out the big three could result in a much deeper and more severe recession then we are already in. With thousands of jobs connected to the auto companies and stocks across the board, their downfall could have a large effect on our economy.

Con 2: Bankruptcy
One of the only other options for GM and the rest of the big three is to file bankruptcy under chapter 11. It is true that we have already assisted these companies financially this year and it helped them for few months. For this reason, some economists feel another bailout would just be like bailing out a sinking ship that is going to sink no matter what we do. Bankruptcy however, could be their only salvation, and many experts claim that it could be their best option. Michael Levine of the Wall Street Journal claims, the cost of terminating dealers is only a fraction of what it would cost to rebuild GM to become a company sized and marketed appropriately for its market share. Contracts would have to be bought out. The company would have to shed many of its fixed obligations. Some obligations will be impossible to cut by voluntary agreement. GM will run out of cash and out of time.

Pro 3: Prior Success
As history tends to repeat itself, I think it important to consider the Chrysler bailout of 1979. In the mid 70’s while our country was going through a gas crisis, Chrysler refused to stop making their biggest most gas guzzling luxury cars. This mistake led them to requesting a bailout in late 79. However, to the surprise of the watching country, Chrysler came out with the “K-car” that sold like hot cakes and pulled the company out of a financial crisis. Chrysler then paid off their debt to the government 7 years early, and the government made over $660 million in profit from the bailout when all was said and done. Many people claim that if given another bailout, the auto companies could pull themselves out from near bankruptcy, and the federal government could generate revenue as well.

Con 3: Private Jet-setting
Unfortunately, when the CEO’s of the big three traveled to Washington D.C. to request billions from taxpayers early this week, all three CEO’s took private jets with round trip travel costs totaling of over $40,000 per CEO. This ostentatious show of wealth was considered highly disrespectful to the taxpayers about to consider bailing them out and created tons of bad publicity for the potential bailout. If companies are going to get taxpayers money, then we need to know that they are being frugal with it.