UNDER THE LABEL
Distribute and promote a record to international markets through licensing deals, international streaming distribution, radio, promo tours …
The International department (also known as International Marketing) usually works only with artists that have audiences in multiple countries. They are responsible for the manufacturing, copywriting, and distribution of records in non-native markets, as well as the promotion of an artist or an album through marketing campaigns, radio, and promo/press tours.
The international department is different from the other departments in the label. First of all, in certain record companies, one international department takes care of one or two labels (example: in Sony, there is one International department dealing with both RCA and Arista). Second of all, the international department is composed of different individual sections, similar to the ones of the domestic label. For example, they have their own international product managers, digital marketing, and sales team.
INTERNATIONAL PRODUCT MANAGER
Their role is essentially the same as the domestic PM but for international markets. They promote music around the world, schedule interviews, plan the radio promotion overseas, liners, TV advertising...
Inspired by the marketing plan of the domestic team, they adjust the strategy by creating adapted campaigns to other countries/cultures and amplifying the promotion internationally.
The radio department creates relationships with international radio stations to promote their new releases. They prepare drivers with an artist's stats and sales to incite them to play a song.
They make sure the record has been distributed to DSPs around the world; Spotify, Apple Music but also Gaana and Jioaavn (India), KuGou and QQ (China), etc.
*sometimes the part of the international sales is centralized for all labels under one group*
For example, Sony's Global Digital Business & US Sales record division deals with international sales for all Sony Labels (RCA, Arista, Columbia, etc.)
A DAY IN THE LIFE OF AN INT. MARKETING MANAGER
International Marketing Manager @Sony Music UK
THE TASKS UNDER THE INTERNATIONAL DEPARTMENT
Whom they work with and what they do
- Coordinate with the domestic marketing team to inspire international campaigns from domestic ones (amplify the campaigns rather than start from scratch)
TOURING & LIVE EVENTS
- Use analysis of international radio and streaming date to establish the audience/markets of an artist and plan the tour routing accordingly
- Deal with international ticketing
- Negotiate and sign licensing deals with foreign record companies so that they can manufacture and distribute in their native territory.
- Keep in touch with the number of sales overseas
INT. RECORD COMPANIES
- Organize the promo/press tours to develop the artist's profile in other countries and raising awareness to increase sales
- Travel with the artist globally on promo tours to oversee radio and press interviews
- Make sure the music is distributed to all international digital platforms such as Gaana, JioSaavn, KuGou…
Very good skill for international students who have a natural
understanding of the consumer behavior of people in their home country (popular genres, the way people listen to music, etc.)
Analysis of a lot of radio and streaming data
"When there is no covid I travel a lot so I am divided between being with the artist on tours and promotion - with visits to my offices for strategy and planning meetings around the world and in London with my team on a day-to-day basis when we are not traveling. My boss travels much more than I do so we are used to working remotely and maintaining constant communication."
Is a degree required?
Is a degree recommended?
The recommended majors for the international department are marketing, data analytics, and management.
Liners (also called Sweepers)
Short pre-recorded samples are used by radio stations as segues between songs that give listeners a brief station identifier or promo. Generally, 20 seconds or less: “My name is Dua Lipa and you are listening to my new single Don't Start Now on BBC Radio 1”.
Drivers are one-page documents created by the label to showcase an artist's stats such as the number of streams and sales, or press updates. They are shared with radio stations to induce them into playing the song.
Written by Louisa & Ixe
Published June 17th 2021
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