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Monday, June 25, 2012
Mark Foster, managing director of music streaming site Deezer’s, talks to Vincent Ryan about his working day, from waking the children to going to gigs
Unless I’m making a ridiculously early start to take the Eurostar to Deezer’s head office in Paris, or a plane to a crammed day of meetings in Dublin’s fair city (which I never have enough time to hang out and enjoy, by the way) I get up at 6.30am or so. I make sure the kids, who are perfectly capable of responding to their own alarms on their mobiles, actually do start moving their limbs in time to make their train, bus or lift to school. Then I can concentrate on getting to the office in west London, handily located within minutes of all four majors, and quite a few indie labels.
Of course, by the time I get there I’ve already read most of the emails that accumulated overnight, but I try and arrive before the rest of the UK and& Ireland team, to be able to respond before there are too many distractions.
We’re a small group for now, but there’s a lot going on — labels, media, artists’ managers, promoters, to talk to on both sides of the Irish Sea — as we expand our portfolio of partners.
The great thing about a fast-developing company like Deezer, in a dynamic industry like the music business (despite what you might have heard about its demise), is that there is always something new — artists, releases, marketing projects, industry forums (mostly on the growth of streaming as a business model).
Lots of people to talk to, to explain, encourage, cajole, reassure, motivate, perhaps even inspire.
An occasional business lunch (on the wane these days — who has the time?) but definitely more meetings, conference calls, often with North American artist managers who have heard about Deezer’s global expansion, Facebook integration, heavy artist focus, but as we’re not open in the US yet, need to understand how Deezer works and how our 50-territory reach, and growing, might help their artist promotion. Always a pleasure to evangelise.
Gigs (I still love live music), networking drinks or dinner, presentations, the train or plane home — never the same twice in a row. Occasionally I even get to have dinner with the family or watch the football.
On the face of it, then, a pretty typical business day.
The marvellous thing is, though, I work for a young, fast-moving company, at the cutting edge of a music business that is, in many ways, reinventing itself, with passionate, energetic people employing innovative technology to enhance people’s discovery and enjoyment of music, my lifelong passion.
How great is that?
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