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Inside Atlantic Careers: Product Manager

Inside Atlantic Careers: Product ManagerDo you know what a product manager does? Chances are you don’t, however they are one of the most important people here when it comes to making sure the release of an album goes according to plan and in the course of their job they deal with nearly every other department at the label. In this installment of Inside Atlantic Careers we sat down with Chris Stang, product manager for everyone from Cee Lo Green to Rob Thomas, to find out how he got his job and why product managers are so vital to the Atlantic Records team.

How did you get started in the music industry?
I started in college radio and eventually became a music director there but I was really into the whole label side of things. From there I got a job as a college rep for Elektra in Denver and for a period of time there wasn't a radio rep for Denver so they would call me and tell me to pick up Staind from the airport and take them to KTCL or stuff like that. I did that for about a year and a half and then when I graduated one of the guys I knew at Elektra moved over to Lava and I got a job as his assistant, so I moved from Colorado to New York for that job. Eventually I was looking to do something a little different and there was a job opening up at Atlantic and I made the move here three years ago.

How would you describe the role of a product manager?
A product manager works as the hub of a wheel: We're the person that operates closest with the artist and management and basically we're the ones that set the agenda with the executives at the label to make sure the plan we set for the release gets executed. We'll sit down with the artist and start brainstorming about what our strategy is for the rollout of the album and the sort of key things we want to happen over the course of the project. As product manager it's your job to make sure that everyone is pulling in the same direction and everyone has the tools they need to achieve their goals.

What artists do you represent as a product manager?
I represent Cee Lo Green, Rob Thomas and Matchbox 20, Lykke Li, Pendulum and I do Gnarls Barkley as part of the whole Cee Lo thing as well. I also look after Chop Shop, so releases like the Twilight Soundtrack, Anya Marina, Scars On 45 and a bunch of the new artists they're working on.

What's the best part of your job?
The ability to be super creative. This job is all about coming up with ideas of how to do things in new and different ways and finding creative ways to expose your artist to the audience they're trying to reach. It's also nice to have a lot of interaction with the artist and be part of the discussion as to how they see their music being marketed and exposed. I really like the fact that I get to deal with all aspects of the building because you really learn a lot working with every different department here.

What advice would you have for someone who wants to get into product management?
I think more than anything if you look around this building in any department almost everyone interned on some level either here or at a different label. I also did things on campus through the college rep program that Elektra had at the time and there are still some of those programs in different markets. It’s hard to say, “I want to study marketing” and then end up with a job at a label doing marketing. I think it’s more about just getting yourself involved in the music industry in one way and figuring it out from there.

What are some of the key skills of your job?
Definitely creativity. Organization is a huge one just because there's so much coming in and going out and so much of what we do is making sure every little detail has been attended to whether it's copy on a CD package or making sure that the way you're messaging something between all your forward facing assets is consistent down to size and font. It comes down to having the ability to think strategically and to communicate with people so they understand what you're looking for when it comes to the campaign objectives.

What are you listening to right now?

Obviously the Kanye West album like everyone else on the planet. I also can’t stop listening to the New Lykke Li album which comes out in March, I'm really excited about that. What else? Young The Giant, the Lonely Forest, I still love the XX and I've definitely been listening to some Huey Lewis And The News lately from the Sports album — and, yes, you can put that in this article.

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David Bermudez

im a college student currently pursuing a career in the entertainment business as a booking agent for artists always looking for new talent on the rise i was just hoping if there was any opportunity of meeting an agent or even working for you at any level

Posted Jun 14, 2012

David Bermudez

im a college student currently pursuing a career in the entertainment business as a booking agent for artists always looking for new talent on the rise i was just hoping if there was any opportunity of meeting an agent or even working for you at any level

Posted Jun 14, 2012

David Bermudez

im a college student currently pursuing a career in the entertainment business as a booking agent for artists always looking for new talent on the rise i was just hoping if there was any opportunity of meeting an agent or even working for you at any level

Posted Jun 14, 2012

@awade15

what are some ways or outlets into the music industry?

Posted Dec 20, 2011

@jonzin234

I am planning on pursuing a career as a product manager for one of the labels. I would appreciate further insight ...

Posted Jun 16, 2011

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Posted Apr 05, 2011

@doncan62

i we like to send me demo to atlatic record pls u can email me doncan62@yahoo.com am young pac flow so hard i we ne...

Posted Apr 05, 2011

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