This panel will explore the importance of brand recognition, identity, and loyalty in the current music marketplace. Bringing together representatives from some of the most identifiable and important record labels of the last 50 years, we will discuss how catalog management, A&R strategy, merchandising, and brand marketing can position a label for success in the ever-changing music marketplace. We’ll also at how the reemergence of vinyl has created opportunities for brand-based label exposure and how 'passive' marketing or artist endorsement (such as the Bloodshot Records sticker on Ryan Adams’ guitar) impacts a label’s position. In all, the panel will be a far-reaching, well-rounded discussion of how and why the public image of a record label matters in the current climate.
STEPHEN BROWER has worked in marketing and A&R development for the Welk Music Group, home to Vanguard and Sugar Hill Records, since 2002. During that tenure, Brower has signed artists such as Greg Laswell, The Watson Twins, Camper Van Beethoven, and Nellie McKay, among others. Brower has also produced numerous compilations and anthologies for the labels, including acclaimed tributes to John Fahey (with co-producer M.Ward) and Doug Sahm. As marketing director, Brower has crafted national promotions with companies such as Whole Foods Market and Marriott Hotels, amongst others, receiving notice in the Wall Street Journal for those initiatives.
Senior Director, Online Marketing
EMI Music North America
As Senior Director of Online Marketing for EMI Music North America’s Catalog division, Ervin oversees the company’s online marketing strategy and execution for catalog artists and new catalog releases, as well as core recorded catalogs managed by EMI Music labels Capitol, Capitol Latin, Capitol Nashville, Virgin, Blue Note, Manhattan, and EMI America Records.
Ervin manages EMI Music’s Los Angeles-based online marketing department, representing the recorded catalogs of a diverse artist roster, including The Beatles, The Beach Boys, David Bowie, Dean Martin, Pink Floyd, Poison, Radiohead, Bob Seger, and Frank Sinatra, among many others. His responsibilities include all online promotion, artist and project website management, viral marketing, online sales maximization and negotiations with third party marketing resources to advance the online presence of the company’s artists, releases, and core catalogs.
Ervin has an extensive background in the music business. While still in high school, he began his career as an intern at KLON radio’s "Nothin' But the Blues" program. He later booked events on the campus of Cal State Long Beach University, working with artists including Black Eyed Peas, Keb'Mo and Incubus early in their careers. He also worked as a college marketing representative for EMI Records and Polygram Films.
In 2000, Ervin joined House of Blues Entertainment, producing digital content for the company, including webcasts and internet radio broadcasts. As the online community continued to evolve, he moved into a new marketing role at HOB Entertainment, managing tour marketing efforts for a broad range of artists, including Dolly Parton, The Fray and Mos Def.
Ervin joined EMI Music in 2006. In addition to his day job, Ervin has produced all of KROQ's online webcasts for the station's Weenie Roast, Acoustic Christmas and Inland Invasion concert events for the past five years.
DAHLIA AMBACH CAPLIN currently serves as Vice President of A&R at Verve Music Group. She has been involved in signing and developing a broad range of artists and genres with a mission of honoring the Verve brand's legendary status while continuing to move the brand forward. She conceived the landmark Verve Remixed series. In 2007, she pitched Herbie Hancock on a concept record that would eventually become the first jazz album in 40 years to win the Grammy Award for Album of the Year. River: The Joni Letters, executive produced by Ambach Caplin, is one of Herbie Hancock's most acclaimed recordings to date. Some of the artists she has worked with include the Brazilian Girls, the Verve Remixed Series, R&B singer and three-time Grammy Award nominee Ledisi, Bebel Gilberto, Lizz Wright, Melody Gardot, Nellie McKay and Trombone Shorty. She is currently working on forthcoming albums by Daryl Hall, Trombone Shorty and Ledisi.
STEVE KNUTSON is General Manager at Rough Trade North America. He's also owner of Audika, which was created to release the musical archive of Arthur Russell. Steve's career began at Denver's famous Wax Trax. After moving to New York, he joined Tommy Boy, where for eighteen years he witnessed the rise of Hip Hop.
CARRIE COLLITON is the "Crew Chief" for Record Store Day, handling detail organization and the flow of information to stores and the public. She has worked for indie record stores since college, and her day job is Director of Marketing for Music Monitor Network, a coalition of indie record stores.
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