Rising Star is our monthly column in which we meet the industry’s brightest new talents. In the latest edition, Jasmin Charles, senior product manager at Warner Music, talks us through her music business journey so far...
Did you have any idea of what to expect before you got your first job in music?
“Joining Warner Music was my first foray into the industry! I didn’t come from a particularly musical background – I studied photography at university and always knew I would find my feet in a creative industry. I started out at a junior level and I’m now working as a senior product manager, with a roster that ranges from new signings to established acts across all Warner Music labels. I’ve seen the landscape shift a lot during the last six years: we’re now seeing tour merch sales stronger than ever, with artists wanting to put out more eco-conscious merch.”
What does a typical day at work look like?
“I work alongside artists and their management teams to develop new products, supported by in-house creative and production teams. The products we make drive revenue to all areas of the fan experience business, which includes touring, e-commerce, retail, licensing, VIP, ticketing and the digital and gaming space. The most exciting part is seeing the fans connect with the merch, whether they’ve queued for hours at a pop-up shop or after a show at the merch stand. Seeing it come to life is so special.”
Why is merchandise important for developing artists’ careers?
“In a world where streaming overshadows physical sales, merchandise revenue means more to the artist than ever! A successful album merch bundle has been proven time and again to help secure a No.1. But artists can sometimes come up against it on the road, with venues taking high commissions from merch sales. The Featured Artists Coalition are compiling a directory of all UK venues that don’t take a cut of the merch sales – it’s so important that we champion these venues and educate fans on how much of their spend is actually going back to the artists.”
In a world where streaming overshadows physical, merchandise means more to the artist than ever
How did you find working on Liam Gallagher’s partnership with Selfridges?
“We have a great relationship with Selfridges after partnering with them for an exclusive Grateful Dead in-store collection last year. The brand collaborations were such an organic fit for Liam as [clothing brands] CP Company, Nigel Cabourn, Snow Peak and Finlay have always been part of his style. If the artist already loves and wears the brand, you’re halfway there. Leading up to his Knebworth shows, we launched store activations in London and Manchester alongside his new album. The end result felt like such a celebration. It’s so exciting pulling together so many brand collabs to create a great moment for the campaign.”
What have been some of your other highlights so far?
“It’s really fulfilling working with developing artists and helping them grow their brand through their merch offering. Starting from the beginning and seeing the artist grow, and how their merch evolves with them, is always a proud moment for me. Right now, I’m excited to be working with Fred Again – we’ve got a lot lined up for the rest of the year as he builds up to his third album.”
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