Can you describe your responsibilities as Senior Label Relation Manager GAS (Germany, Austria, Switzerland)?
My role is pretty much all about connecting Spotify as a tech company: with the creative industries and the musicians. So we are kind of the bottleneck between us, as a very tech and data driven company, and the creative sphere out there. I am here to drive education within the music industry and to artists about what Spotify can do for artists and labels and how they should use it from a promotional and sales standpoint. Also, what my department is doing is development of artists campaigns on Spotify, which means that our users are able to discover new artists and new music and engage with it on Spotify in a special and unique way.
What is your background and what led you to work for Spotify?
I think I was a pretty obsessed music listener when I was a teenager, like a lot of people. I started to work for festivals during my school years already and after that I studied music business with a major in Marketing at the POP Akademie in Mannheim, Germany. I spent my last semester abroad in Sweden, where Spotify was just being launched at that time. I decided to write my bachelor thesis about Spotify and its market, which was fairly new back then. After my return to Germany I was eager to work at a streaming service and I applied at Simfy which was the first German music service at that time. The whole landscape was very different back then. I joined Spotify in 2012 and we have come a long way since then. It has been pretty exciting and very challenging.
15% of Billboard’s Power 100 list are women. The male-domination of the music industry obviously did not stop you from pursuing a career in this field. What has been your motivation to start your position at Spotify?
I always wanted to be part of something significant and something that really meant change. Starting a job at a record label would not have given me the same opportunity and the ability to really influence what digital music consumption could look like. There have been some days where it was quite devastating to sit in a meeting being the only women in the room and I am still a bit confused when I find myself in a meeting surrounded only by males. Also in a way that men tend to use their networking and exclude women from business what still happens in the music industry a lot. But still I hope to role model this in a way and I think women should not be anxious about entering a male dominated field. Just don´t allow others to judge you just by your age and sex. I think it is very important to fall into a specific role. Stay bold and let your results speak for you!
The list of most-listened to female artists among female Spotify listeners worldwide includes – amongst others – Beyonce, Rihanna and Lorde. Do you see similarities between these artists that have lead to their success and placement on that list?
All these female artists use their digital channels in a very creative way and connect with their fans on a deeply emotional level. So I think every song they release has a special connection to their mostly female fanbase. I’d say mainly Beyonce and Rihanna have been around for a while and they have been established artists long before Spotify was born. Lorde is bit different. She is coming from a generation of global artists that have really benefitted from the power of playlists within Spotify and quickly gained global attention through playlists, especially through the one that Sean Parker made, which was one of the kick-offs of her success. So I think that Lorde is a great example of the new generation of artists that became big through Spotify.
Are there any new female artists that are currently having success on Spotify that you are personally excited about?
One artist I am very excited about that also has huge streaming numbers on Spotify is Sia, she has been a producer and songwriter for a long time and now, after many years, it seems like she has finally reached a worldwide mainstream audience for her own songs. She is constantly reinventing herself an emerging a lot as an artist and a writer. For me personally, Chandelier was one of the best songs of last year!
What are the three key skills one should have to climb the ladder in a very competitive company like Spotify?
I wouldn’t describe Spotify itself as a competitive company. We are part of a very competitive landscape but that doesn’t mean that we are competitive within the organisation itself. What makes Spotify a unique workplace is the ability to really influence things, a lot of responsibilities and opportunities.
The 3 key skills are
- Curiosity – stay interested, in every part of the business
- Courage – be brave and try out new things that you haven’t done before
- Ability to adapt to fast and ever-changing surroundings – the product never stays the same and it changes from one day to another. If you work at Spotify you need to keep up with the speed and need to be a person that likes change
What is the best part about working in the music industry?
When you are starting off to work in the industry you will probably enjoy all the glamour and the booze. I enjoy most the ability to work with creative minds and to create experiences together with artists that helps them to connect with their fans. It affects yourself and your own work when you are surrounded by people and not only by products. The music industry is a people industry, and all characters in the industry are different and challenging in their own way. This makes each project unique and very interesting.
What is your advice to people who are interested in working for the biggest music streaming service?
If you are still completing your studies I’d recommend you to apply for our yearly summer internship program, which takes place in all of our offices worldwide. That’s a great opportunity because you will gain a valuable insight and a good overview on the company.
When you are seeking a position in the product department, a university degree in a tech-related field is helpful. Mainly we are looking for quick thinkers and are eager to take responsibilities and able to adapt to all kind of challenges because even we at Spotify don’t always know what our next week will look like. All we know is that we want to be the first to do things. We want to be inventive and creative. This is what makes working at Spotify so interesting!
Go follow our Spotify playlist #girlsonstage to keep up with what’s new and hot!