Whether you are an executive looking for something new, or a wide-eyed B-School student looking for a career in one of the most exciting fields in the world, know that there are plenty of Corporate level opportunities in the entertainment business. Entertainment is business first, and with the confluence of new media platforms, and the increasing reliance on data, statistics, and advanced predictive models, the executives of tomorrow will need to be more well rounded, accomplished, and versatile than ever.
Studios are always looking for new ways to capitalise on their catalogues, improve risk assessment, and get greater returns on investment. And this is why they are always searching for the best and brightest talents, both on the screen or in the studio, behind the camera, and in the C-suite. Here are some great corporate level employment opportunities in the entertainment industry.
Strategic planning groups usually consist of teams of around 40 people who work as an in house consulting team. As a matter of fact, many of those who work as strategists have a consulting background. Strategists are involved in:
- Evaluating and negotiating decisions for acquisitions
- Creating plans for new ventures
- Expanding and sometimes creating new business lines
- Building forward-looking financial plans
- Forecasting and evaluating the future of divisions and the business as a whole
Since they will be working on matters that can affect the overall health of the studio, media group, or production company, they will often be involved in power meetings with COOs, CFOs, and CEOs. Being able to be in close contact with these individuals can be an advantage, but it can also be very challenging.
You’ll be responsible for processing large amounts of data, research, and information, and spinning it into a story prior to meetings. You’ll have to be able to condense and present it in a way that will allow you to get your point across at different levels. You’ll need to make sure that each player understands the importance and the direction in which each decision could affect their departments.
In many cases, these spots are reserved for high ranking MBAs, though getting a DBA could be enough to put you over the edge. This is especially true if you don’t have prior experience. A DBA could open the door wide open to a variety of other executive positions.
However, it’s very important that you go for a DBA and not a PhD and understand the difference between both. While a PhD might give you the credentials, the knowledge base is more conducive to research, which might not make you as valuable to a studio or media company as a doctorate. So, if you want to learn more about what differentiates the two, we strongly suggest you check out this page.
Music Business Executive
Some of the most successful entrepreneurs in the world today came from the music industry, and this is one of the most glamorous positions in the entertainment industry. But, at the same time, it is a very difficult industry to get into, and one that requires a very unique set of skills and experience.
“The industry is definitely downsizing,” said executive Kevin Lyles. “But there are also tons of opportunities. All these new independent artists need executives. The best thing you can be today is be a curator. Get close to an emerging talent and help them curate their brand to the world.”
However, there aren’t that many programs that provide the training needed for these positions. Your best bet would be to get a bachelor’s in a field like business, talent management, or music technology. Having a law background could also help. Here are some of the skills and knowledge you’ll need to be a music business executive:
- Technical knowledge of musical instruments and recording equipment
- Understand budgets, forecasting, and financial statements
- Corporate law
- Contract law
- Contract negotiation
- Merchandising and marketing
Not only that, but you’ll also need to have a good understanding of the current climate of the business and a certain eye for talent. These jobs are usually given to people, both with the formation and a track record in the business. This may be achieved through internships, or by working closely with musical acts as managers or agents.
Strategic planning and corporate finance are sister groups that work together. But while strategic planning works in the interim, corporate finance is the link between the company and financiers.
It’s the job of corporate finance to investigate options, price deals, and also plot the journey of a company through acquisitions. Most major media and entertainment companies have grown through mergers and acquisitions over the last few years, which has made the job of corporate financiers even more important.
This is how giants like Disney have been revitalised and managed to turn things around. “We intend to be disciplined in our investments in core structure,” said former Disney CFO and now CEO Bob Iger. “This extends to how we view acquisitions […] We aren’t trying to acquire new assets just to be bigger. We want to move wisely and quickly to make rapid and strategic changes in response to the market.”
Corporate financiers have to be able to foresee new players in the industry and help investigate acquisition opportunities. They will also be responsible for:
- Compiling, analysing, and interpreting competitive data
- Determining synergies
- Negotiating acquisition and merger deals
- Divesting undesirable business
- Determining risk
In most cases, those who work as corporate financiers in the music industry have some sort of background in banking or accounting. Others are either ex CFO’s or CFOs to be.
If you are interested in an executive career and don’t know where to start, we hope these options will be an inspiration. No matter what direction you decide to go in, make sure that you know in detail what the position entails. Also, make sure that you understand both the academic and professional requirements that will be needed to be an attractive and sought after candidate.