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Record labels are founded based on passion – people who have a genuine
passion for music and want to be able to influence the landscape. W!ZARD
Records was set-up by James Gilmore, his useful qualities to set-up a record
-Experimentation Time (spent 2 years before official launch working with
artists to discover the different skills he can bring to the table)
-Connections (both with major labels, independent labels and like-minded
individuals who may be interested in the project)
-Outlet (operating the UK’s Most Popular Online Teen Radio Station,
managers and labels find it difficult to target the core 13 to 19 demographic
which James owns)
A label is run by a team of people, in the case of W!ZARD Records, James
Gilmore acts as the Managing Director with Fraser Frengley acting as the
When finding your first artist to sign, it is important that they are local so that
you can easily communicate with them and build hype around their act.
In the case of W!ZARD Records, we discovered that we had really strong
managerial skills so we launched a strong International Talent Management
department whereby we focus most of our efforts and resources on
managing artists from outside of the UK, growing their UK fan bases and
generating new revenue opportunities and publishing music territorially.
The current artist roster is on the following slide.
Different Departments In A Label
- New Media
- Product Management
- Business Affairs/Legal
- International Development
- Publishing and Distribution
Some of these will be given out to third parties, others will be shared by
Artist & Repertoire
A&R is made-up of talent scouts who source new talent and nurture the talent
from when they are signed.
They work creatively with the artists to launch their record and develop them
as a marketable character.
Talent scouts work closely with management companies as well as searching
on social media (YouTube, Vine, Facebook, etc…), going to gigs, reading
blogs, talking to pluggers, etc…
This is an over-hanging branch which co-ordinates promotions, publishing
They will work to get music into stores and onto digital sites – working with
the label’s distributers and with physical stores in order to make sure the
music gets sold.
There are many online distributers who will aid in this process, others will do
distribution entirely in-house.
Sales will often work extremely closely with the promotion and publicity
departments for a release.
Key differences between Advertising, Promotion, Publicity, PR and
If an artist is releasing an album and you paint a sign saying, “Album Release
Coming Soon” – that’s Advertising
If you put the sign on the side of a van and drive that through town – that’s
If the car makes headlines for saving someone’s life – that’s Publicity
If the person in question says nice comments about the incident – that’s
If you planned the whole campaign from beginning to end – that’s Marketing.
This is one of the most creative, inventive and organised departments.
Making records stand out.
Promotional videos, campaigns, merchandise, etc…
Online promotion, radio pluggers, TV pluggers, print pluggers, etc…
This team work to get records exposure on as many platforms as possible.
They also act as a liaison between the record label and outlets.
Product managers are in charge of bringing all the other departments
together (sales, marketing, promotion, etc.) to work together on the artist’s
This ensures that everyone is in sync and on track to release a successful
They also work to ensure that the general output is of a high quality.
Need to be a good manager, very motivated and able to inspire and rally
other people and teams.
This is a more quaternary department.
Searching for new ways to promote, advertise and deliver music to different
markets depending on the goals set with the artists themselves.
Looking for new, inventive and creative ways of delivering music to a mass
audience with a personal approach.
This is a really crucial part of the label – if a new, intuitive way of delivering
music is discovered it can lead to an extremely successful release and make
a record’s sales soar.
Documenting, updating and paying artist royalties.
They also keep track of the label’s income and expenses.
For W!ZARD Records, this is dealt more by our publishing house, Show:Me
Publishing, which works on the physical and virtual distribution of music
through publishing contracts.
This team is responsible for the company’s contracts, not only with the
artists, but with digital service providers, foreign licensees etc…
Business affairs people negotiate the deals, and in conjunction with other
executives, make the decisions as to what to give and what to hold.
The legal department gives legal advice and drafts the contracts.
Crucially, W!ZARD Records is split into two different sections:
W!ZARD Records – this is the record label and international talent
management arm. They deal more with managing talent, long-term
promotions, PR, marketing and A&R.
Show:Me Publishing – this is the subsidiary which deals with publishing
deals and distribution. They generally work on short-term contracts, working
with an artist for only a few releases and then dealing with the royalties and
rights on that music.
A major advantage of signing with a major record label is
that there are very solid systems in publishing to ensure
that no artist is taken advantage of and all money is
shared as it should be. This system does not exist so
solidly in the world of independent music, which is where
we come into the picture.
Show:Me is the global music publishing arm of W!ZARD
Records and is home to some of the most talented
independent artists and songwriters producing today.
Show:Me provides networking and publishing expertise
across a range of essential services and tools for our
The services provided by Show:Me:
Placement (including synchronization, radio, TV, print,
Licensing (including copyright, royalties and other
Networking (the ability to access our network for
Publishing (including full distribution services)
Promotion (PR and press for releases)
Unlike a record deal, a publishing deal is a tool for the
artist to manage. Whilst with a record deal you have a
manager who plans and schedules your release, etc…
with a publishing deal you plan, record and execute your
tracks but come to us when you want to release them –
then we can look after all of the above services for those
This is very common practise in the world of major record
labels, with the likes of Warner Chappell being a prime
example. We are now the independent alternative.