Record Label Roles
Business Affairs Department
takes care of label finances; bookkeeping, payroll, etc.
handles all contractual issues and other legal responsibilities
A&R (Artists and Repertoire) Department
Locates and signs new talent. Work with the artist in song selection, ensure all paperwork and accounting issues involved with the actual recording of an act’s record are setup properly. Serve as liaison between artist and other departments of the label.
takes care of all the art work. album covers, advertisements, store displays.
The Marketing Department is responsible for creating the overall marketing plan for every record the label is releasing. They are also involved in coordinating all the promotion, publicity, and sales campaigns that the label is committed to.
arranges for any feature stories, interviews, or record reviews in local and national newspapers, magazines, web-zines, as well as the broadcast opportunities for such coverage on radio stations and television. They may also co-ordinate any of these publicity opportunities with an artist’s own Publicist.
New Media Department
produces and promotes the music videos for the label’s artists that are shown on MTV, VHl, etc. This department also oversees some promotions and marketing opportunities on the Internet that use the audio and video technologies available from online hardware and software sites that support music..
Artist Development Department
usually oversees the career planning of artists signed to the label. This department coordinates a consistent marketing and promotion presence for an artist throughout their career with the record label. The Artist Development Department has changed over the last decade. Many labels no longer have such a department. Others have changed the name to Product Development and concentrate more on “breaking,” or promoting artists quickly in order to try to speed up the return on their financial investment. The pressure to return a profit to shareholders has changed the face of the music business dramatically in recent years, so the emphasis has been more on Product Development, and securing a hit as fast as possible.
The Sales Department
oversees all the retail activities of the label, and concentrates on building relationships with the key record store chains and other mass-market retailers. The Sales staff coordinate their efforts with the major label’s distribution company, as well as communicating regularly with the Promotion and Publicity departments at the label.
is the person who coordinates the business of the major label’s distribution company with the needs of their parent record labels. Street dates, (the date that a new release goes on sale at music retailers), must be approved by the label’s distribution company
primary goal is secure radio airplay for their company’s new releases. These days that means not only traditional FM radio stations, but select Internet stations and satellite radio as well. Their ability to get songs played on the radio is central to the success of the whole company. The Promotion department is closely connected to and constantly communicating with other departments within the label to make sure that all strategies being used to market and sell an artist’s record are working together properly. Soliciting videos to MTV, VH1 and other music oriented television networks and programs may also be the responsibility of this department. At some labels this job is a separate department, or part of the New Media department.
responsible for finding new talent, signing it to a label, and then overseeing all aspects of the process that leads up to delivery of all finished recordings.
works on behalf of distributors, artists, writers, copyright societies, and record companies. May specialize in copyright, royalties or licensing.
Responsibilities may include reception, dealing with mail, faxes and deliveries, acting as a personal assistant. May involve providing administrative support for events, and sometimes helping to organize and promote them.
works on behalf of groups or artists to promote the artists’ careers and run their business affairs. May include: negotiating contracts and fees, finding and booking events at venues that match the artists’ career strategy, advising on career decisions, publicity and promotion.
books performers for concerts, gigs, and other live music performances. Works with the artists to arrange terms, contracts, dates and fees.
responsible for carrying out strategy to develop the business, their profile, or their organization in line with what they want to achieve.
responsible for the overall accounting department of a company. This includes generating and distributing financial reports, maintaining financial records, defining company budgets, and ensuring fair and legal practices of all company financial reporting.
oversees the macro financial operations of a company or corporation.
Human Resources Manager
management for all company personnel. Handles complaints, suggestions and acts as the mediator for any issues amongst office employees.
ensures that the owners of copyrights on musical works are compensated for certain uses of their work, such as broadcasting on Radio or Television. Monitor and pursue license fee collections, processing fee payments and maintaining synch license databases.
Media Relations / PR
runs the public relations and media relations arm of the company. Responsible for maintaining the current state of the department, as well as bring in new ideas to support it’s growth. Liaison between label and the media outlets.
responsible for ensuring that songwriters and composers receive payment when their compositions are used commercially.
maintenance of quality control and outgoing editorials and other print, build and maintain relationships with other media outlets, and come up with new and improved strategies to boost and grow the business.
generally responsible for ensuring that licensing deals are tracked and that payments are timely and in accordance with agreements.
responsible for designing and/or implementing wardrobe, hair style and over all physical image of artists and groups.
oversees the making of content for websites and other online properties. Responsibilities include creating, editing and arranging text, video, audio, images and other materials that may be included on a website.
Social Media Specialist
responsible for managing, expanding, and coordinating all social media for the company.
work with performers in a recording studio with the assistance of a sound engineer. Oversee production of songs to benefit the artists’ career.
handles the process of choosing, negotiating and incorporating pieces of music into visual media (such as television, movies, etc).
uses digital media, including social media, mobile, video, etc, to boost company earnings, build relationships with consumers and affiliates, and exploit the company in the digital world.
responsible for coming up with marketing concepts, working with the creative department on images and advertisements, develop marketing strategies and plans, and present findings to company executives.
creates words that are sung to a particular tune.
works with department professionals and may be asked to do mundane or tedious tasks for the benefit of the company.
also referred to as an organizations CEO or Chief Executive. Strategize, conceptualize, and execute company wide policy and business plans.
strategic planning of transport of products. Monitor shipments and ensure the products are delivered in a timely manner.
create works of music that can be performed by orchestras, voices, groups of musicians and soloists.
duties involve supervision of staff, business operations, and budgetary recommendations.
makes the transmission and translation of sound, atmosphere, and music possible. Record, synchronize, mix or reproduce music, voices or sound effects.
pick acts that will be successful, and then work with the act to find the right producers and writers.
processing both accounts payable and accounts receivable, preparing monthly and annual financial projections and reports, and any other job related tasks assigned by their superiors.
rewrites existing piece of music with additional new material or flesh out an idea for a singer, a group of performers or other music ensembles. Will work collaboratively with the writer with the aim of bringing out what the writer was trying to convey.
Assistant Tour Manager
helps organize the administration for a schedule of appearances by a musical group or artist.
help create and implement marketing campaigns to maximize the sales of music from a particular record label, artist, online music service, radio station, or other music product.
may devise, implement, and maintain management systems for the catalog and help promote and publicize the catalog.
provides design for marketing, advertising, promotion and other media related arts of the company.
reviews and approves proofs submitted prior to publication. Develops a story or content ideas, considers reader appeal, oversees publication production, including artwork, layout, computer typesetting, and printing.
responsible for the overall operation of the record label. Gives the label direction and purpose daily, and serves as the team leader for final decision making.
providing the CD, vinyl, or DVD for an artists’ release, creating and pressing the master, stamping reproductions, finishing with art designing and packaging and distribution.
one skilled in the practice of taking audio that has been previously mixed in either the analog or digital domain, and preparing it for use in distribution, whether by physical media, or some meth of streaming audio.
represent musicians by putting together deals, negotiating and reviewing contracts and protecting against copyright infringement.
responsible for managing accounts in social media, video sites and any other newer media used by the company. Are required to stay on the cutting edge of all media, and integrate the company as soon as it seems pertinent.
brainstorm new ideas for promotional campaigns.
an organized group of people who promote an event, band, artist, or company.