A record label’s main source of income is going to be around its artist. The record label generates income through album sales, merchandising, concert ticket sales, performing rights licenses etc.
In order for a record label to function at its optimum level it needs an incredible staff working hard to ensure its success. I have put together a list of the job positions in a record label. These employees in a collaborative effort work to achieve the same goal, and that’s to make sure the record company becomes a lucrative, reputable, and successful entity.
The executives of a record label are the ones who make the decisions. Many of the same functions required of non-media companies are performed at the executive level, as well. In general, the executive branch at a record label is arranged like any other corporation.
The CEO acts as the overseer of the business, while the presidents and vice presidents are in charge of overseeing the function of the various departments within the label.
The A&R department (artists and repertoire) finds new talent, acquires material for the artists to record and arranges the recording schedules of artists, musicians and producers. A job in A&R involves scouting for new talent, setting up studio time, working with artists on material or handling some of their other personal arrangements, and communicating with other departments in artist-related aspects.
A new artist on the scene who wants to get signed to a record label needs to do one through an A&R. An A&R is your link to getting your demo in the eyes of the label’s executives. The demos you send into the record label are thrown into the garbage; they have no time to listen to it. The key is to get your demo into the hands of an A&R who will, if he likes your music, present it to the big shots at the label.
Many jobs in the art department of a record label do require a background in a related art form, such as graphic design and print layout. Yet other positions are more administrative in nature and would require a background in business. Advertising is key aspect of this department, and those with experience in this industry are qualified to work for a record label.
The publicist plays a very important part in helping promote and advertise the record company and its artist’s. The publicist is often referred to as the ”face” of the record label, because she/he is always interfacing with the media and keeping them informed about new things that are happening with the label and their artists.
Those with experience in public relations (PR) and interfacing with media outlets can find work at a record label. An advertising background is also relevant, and a person who has ad copy writing or copy editing experience, for example, may be able to secure a position with a label.
Marketing and Promotion
Although similar in function to publicity, these departments handle the details of “selling” the product to the public. Network television and the Internet are the two largest outlets for recorded media and artists beside radio, and experience in these industries is an asset. Those with experience in radio, TV promotion, social media promotion and advertising, Internet marketing and mobile media would be able to work in this position.
The Business Affairs Department
This department as you guessed is pretty straight forward, it takes care of label finances, bookkeeping, and payroll. It’s also the department where you can find the artist’s business managers and the labels financial advisors. These individuals help you with you make sound financial decisions by making sure you invest and save for the future. To sum it all up they make sure you don’t blow all your money on spinning rims, diamond chains, 3 mansions, 10 cars, and making it rain at strip clubs lol.
The Legal Department
They also look over any contracts that and agreements forms for the company and its artists.
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.
The Label Liaison
This is the department that 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.
So there it is, these are the positions at major record label. An independent label will have fewer positions and operate on a more basic scale, but still can be as powerful as a major when it comes to promoting their artists.