Meet The Team: Sony RED

A division of Sony Music Entertainment headquartered in New York, RED offers 70+ independent labels distribution plus a suite of other services including digital account management and physical sales, marketing, D2C, radio promotion and product development.

Dubbed ‘an artist development company’, RED’s independent label roster in the US includes the likes of BMG, Cooking Vinyl, Downtown Records, Fat Possum, ie: music, Mom & Pop, Nuclear Blast and Thirty Tigers.

The founder of another RED partner, Fat Possum’s Matt Johnson, told The Independent Echo last month that the Sony company had helped create “platinum artists that have been taken from zero, really”.

“It’s kind of wild,” added Johsnon. “It used to be that you couldn’t do that on an indie.”

RED also runs its own full service marketing agency specialising in music, ‘stache media.

‘stache media provides marketing services in advertising, college and lifestyle marketing, digital marketing, publicity, brand/strategic marketing, licensing, retail marketing, art direction + design, and consumer insights.

The Independent Echo caught up with some of the RED staff to ask what they love about working at the company and helping power independent success stories…

 

Alan Becker, SVP, PRoduct development

* What’s the coolest thing that’s ever happened to you at RED?

Each time I look at a plaque on the wall signifying a commercial breakthrough from an artist we started working with playing for pizza in our conference room is just the coolest thing. Helping a new artist build a career in our industry is what its all about and the coolest thing to happen to me.

* What does RED mean to you and why are you proud to work there?

RED means loving to go to work each day for the best group of independent labels in the business alongside the best team of indie industry execs with the trust and respect from our amazing corporate music partner, Sony.

* What do you hope to achieve at RED in the future?

Continuing to create, preserve and expand the music culture at RED.

To do it with the respect of my peers and trust from my bosses, to keep it consistent with what brought us here and lucky enough to be doing this for a living.

Liz Snair, VP, Digital & Physical sales

* What’s the coolest thing that’s ever happened to you at RED?

The coolest part about working at RED is that I get to work with so many of my favorite bands and labels.  When I started my internship in music at 18 years old, I never imagined that I’d be able to have a career that including so much music I personally love.  I just got back from Maryland Deathfest where there were over 20 RED distributed artists performing and I got to see so many of our label partners.  It makes it exciting to come to work every day.


* What does RED mean to you and why are you proud to work there?

To me RED means expanding the reach of great music.  Our mission is helping our partners get their music heard by and bought by as many people as possible.  We work with all different types of labels and artists and find ways to do more than they could do without us.  I am proud to work at a company where the standard is set so high.  Our team works so hard to work with our labels to come up with new ways to further their projects.  And we genuinely like doing it.


* What do you hope to achieve at RED in the future?

In the future, I want RED to continue to find new ways to evolve to serve amazing music.  We are always looking for what’s next and what else labels and artists will want and need.  I want us to continue to work with the best labels in the industry and to continue to keep our customers as happy and excited to work with us as we are with them.

 

Billie Jean Sarullo, VP Marketing

* What’s the coolest thing that’s ever happened to you at RED?

I was given the opportunity to help create ‘stache media, a full-service marketing agency within RED that provides services in advertising, college & lifestyle marketing, digital marketing, publicity, brand & strategic marketing, licensing, retail marketing, art direction & design and consumer insights.
* What does RED mean to you and why are you proud to work there?

RED means everything to me! I started my music career at RED right out of college and I’ve been here ever since. I’m proud to work here because RED is creative & innovative, we are CONSTANTLY changing what we do.

 

* What do you hope to achieve at RED in the future?

I hope to continue to grow ‘stache media’s services in order to support RED’s many AMAZING independent labels.

 

Shealyn Anderson, Director, Label Management

* What’s the coolest thing that’s ever happened to you at Red?

The coolest thing about RED in general is getting to work on so many different records and with so many varying artists. No project is the same and every release requires adapting/utilizing knowledge built from working across so many types of music. Also, I got to take a picture with Tom DeLonge of Blink-182 while wearing fake mustaches. That was pretty cool too.

* What does Red mean to you and why are you proud to work there?

RED, for me, has been the best place to learn the fundamentals of the music industry. Due to the nature of the company and its connectivity with Sony as well as so many impressive independent labels, you’re given some real big picture perspective on all the factors that go into successfully marketing and selling an artist/record. RED is the first place I’ve worked out of college and I’ve been very lucky to kick off my career at a place that remains challenging but fun. Also, working amongst the fun and smart people here doesn’t hurt.


* What do you hope to achieve at Red in the future?

I hope to continue to learn new things specifically in digital marketing. New platforms are emerging everyday providing more and more openings to develop and market artists. It’s the space I feel there’s most opportunity to be creative.

 

Zac Mantell, Label Manager

* What’s the coolest thing that’s ever happened to you at Red?

One of the more recent records I worked on (and continue to) was a really great experience.  We were able to execute some really unique campaigns leading into the street week that saw fantastic results – creating both excitement and demand from consumers and accounts.

Seeing the idea through from its’ inception to its execution, with the results we had hoped for was pretty awesome to see.  We ended up debuting really high on multiple album charts, out-selling the artist’s previous record’s debut by nearly eight times.

Then there was that time I ran into RZA in the break room when I first starting working at RED – I cracked a bad joke which got a (pitty) laugh from him…so making him laugh was pretty awesome.


* What does Red mean to you and why are you proud to work there?
A ton of records I grew up listening to came out by way of RED Distribution, so being able to work at the company that I unknowingly admired is pretty cool, in a full circle sort of way.

Like I said in the previous question, being able to actually see the direct impact that we as of company can have on an artist’s release is always something we take pride in.  And without sounding too cliché, I am really proud of the strong history and track record RED has as an artist development company.

Tons of artists, past and present from all different genres, have gotten their start through a RED distributed label.


* What do you hope to achieve at Red in the future?

I hope to continue getting better at my job.  Each day is different from the next as a label manager.  It’s a very fun/challenging position to have, as you need to be wearing every hat in the company at all times – no shortage of surprises on a given day.

I’ve been in this position for a year now, and feel that I’m exponentially better now than I was last year, but I still have plenty of room to grow and get better each day.

 

Allison Lawton, digital marketing representative

* What’s the coolest thing that’s ever happened to you at Red?

There have been many cool moments for me at RED. I would say one of the coolest was meeting Dave Davies from The Kinks.

I have grown up listening to them and to meet him was a full circle moment for me.

 

* What does Red mean to you and why are you proud to work there?

RED is synonymous to artist development. We are in it for the long haul, we are looking at the artist and the label in a long term way and vie to grow careers and break artists. I am proud to work at a company that supports independent artists, labels, and retail.

The culture at RED is also a huge source of pride.

When I started I had no idea that along with getting a great job I would also be gaining lifelong friendships and mentors.

 

* What do you hope to achieve at Red in the future?

I hope to someday be a manager of a team that helps to break amazing independent artists either from a sales or a marketing perspective.

One of the greatest things about RED is how much progress is made every year.

I have learned so much already and look forward to furthering my education & career here.

 

Sam Gable, Advertising Manager

* What’s the coolest thing that’s ever happened to you at Red?

After 4 years of booking advertising at RED, I still find it really cool to see our ads up and running. We’ve booked a few billboards in Times Square and seeing those ads for our artists alongside ads for blockbuster movies, TV shows, electronics, etc. is really rewarding.


* What does Red mean to you and why are you proud to work there?

To me, RED represents development. The marketing department at RED not only helps to develop the artists we work with but the services and employees that make up ‘stache media. We’re constantly adding new marketing services and growing the careers of our staff.

* What do you hope to achieve at Red in the future?

I hope to continue to grow the advertising and influencer marketing services within ‘stache media to where we are the leading agency within the music industry.

 

Anna Mrzyglocki, Marketing Coordinator

 

* What’s the coolest thing that’s ever happened to you at Red?

In November we put out the first Copeland record in 6 years. They’re my favorite band of all time, I almost cried at my desk when I heard we were working that record.

* What does RED mean to you and why are you proud to work there?

I get to work with so many of my favorite punk and pop punk labels and bands that started my music obsession, it’s a dream come true. My 14 year old self would never believe what I get to do at work every day. I love the collaborative environment at RED – any and all ideas are welcome, and we’ll figure out a way to make them happen.

* What do you hope to achieve at RED in the future?

I want to keep bringing more emerging labels into RED that are making a mark and be a big part of launching those new acts. It’s exciting to help get great new music out into the world.