A&R stands for Artists and Repertoire. The is the division of a record label that is responsible for talent scouting and the artistic and commercial development of the recording artist. It also acts as a liaison between the artist and the record label.
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The marketing department creates an overall marketing plan for every album that the record company releases. It helps coordinate the plans of the promotion, sales and publicity departments.
Th promotion department’s main purpose is to make sure that an artist is being played on the radio. It must get an artist’s new songs on the radio in order to ensure the future success of the record company. This department makes sure that all the other departments are communicating about the best way to sell the artist to the public.
The publicity department is responsible for getting the word out about a new or established artist. Publicists work with the media, seeking out press opportunities upon an album’s release or when the band goes out on tour.
The video division handles video production, including the budgeting and creation of the artist’s video, usually in cooperation with an outside director. It may also handle the promotion of the videos to the various local and national video outlets, such as MTV and VH1.
A record company’s legal department is responsible for all the contracts that are made between the company and the artist. The label’s team of attorneys will draft the recording contracts and do the final negotiations with the artist’s manager or lawyer.
Distribution is the one aspect of the music industry that is going to change faster and more often than anything else. This has as much to do with new technologies as it does with listener tastes.
A record company’s art department is responsible for everything relating to visual imagery and graphic design. This includes designing album covers, company logos, print ads, sales posters and displays for music stores.
The often unseen side of a record company is the business affairs department. As in any large organization, this department takes care of bookkeeping, payroll and personnel, finance and various other day-to-day functions.