Given that my role as an intern is limited to the retail marketing bubble, I’ve taken it upon myself to create learning and networking opportunities with people from around the office.
The first thing I did when I arrived at The Orchard was reach out to the HR people for suggestions on who to meet with over the course of the summer. They were nice enough to give me a list of names and their corresponding divisions. One person on the content acquisition immediately caught my eye. My first thought was, “that’s like a talent scout,” and I sent her an introductory email to set up a meeting.
I wanted to connect because I didn’t know much about what an A&R or a record label does below the surface, let alone how one would function within a distribution company. The idea of an internal label intrigued me, and made me wonder how I could get involved.
Upon sitting down for our meeting, I came to understand the primary difference between a distribution company’s content acquisition branch and a record label: money. As opposed to signing artists or sub-labels based on a certain sound, style, or sheer potential, a company like The Orchard needs to see existing metrics in order acquire content. Monthly Spotify listeners and social media engagement are both important factors in determining the profitability of a recording artist or a label.
By combining an innovative music palette with this newfound knowledge, I’ve been able to help the content acquisition team this summer as a side project. This interview allowed me to build a bond with this young professional, and she now asks me to help find trending and/or budding indie record labels.
My willingness to help out all around the organization is something I’m carrying with me throughout my internship. I’m not going to isolate myself in the realm of marketing before I know what I really want to do. I’m going to use these months to learn and contribute whatever I can.