Rochelle Flack is a broadcaster, content coordinator, and music loving extraordinaire! When she’s not looking after artist support and content operations for Ditto Music, she’s managing Casual Band Blogger and supplying the best tunes when lending a helping hand to community radio.
Rochelle was recently a speaker at CHANGES festival held in Melbourne, sharing the ins-and-outs of digital distribution and the important steps of launching music careers globally. She was kind enough to bring us along for a week in her (very busy) life which can be read (and treasured) below!
A job description in your own words:
My day-to-day involves looking after artist support and content operations for our legendary Australian and New Zealand clients. I am the voice at the other end of the phone, email, tweet and support ticket – lending a hand to our artists when they need it! Metadata rules my life, as the other major part of my role is sending content to digital store platforms via our delivery server.
Dodge traffic on the Eastern Freeway on my way into the office. Once I’m there, it’s time to get stuck into emails and see what happened over the weekend while the UK and US offices were working. I then check our releases for the week and do a few content sends before jumping on a phone call with my colleague Sarah and a huge Papua New Guinean label we’re ingesting the catalogue of. After that meeting, Sarah and I have a catch-up and chat about new music we’re excited about and will potentially work on.
Once I’m home I work on my music website Casual Band Blogger, replying to emails, subediting a review that’s going up in a few days and picking a shortlist of tracks for the CBB Best playlist. While scouting out new tunes, I also take the opportunity to review a couple of tracks on triple j Unearthed.
I bring myself up to speed with emails and sign-offs from all the other territories. Then it’s content all day, baby. I input all new orders into our tracking sheet and do a release stock check – logging what and when content has been sent and quality check (QC) releases that are going out in upcoming weeks. At the same time, I’m also monitoring our support queue and emails to help out Australian clients that need help with things such as (but not limited to) URLs for releases, metadata revisions or artist pages on platforms.
That evening consists of finishing a half-written transcription. I interviewed HalfNoise (Zac Farro of Paramore) not too long ago and have been working on a big ol’ visual feature for Casual Band Blogger. Two hours of tapping away on the keyboard and I’d finished the final 20 minutes.
Nothing like a little problem solving to start your day. We have a release that isn’t accepting updates despite delivering and redelivering a few times. I’d linked up with our UK content manager and Spotify’s content operations department to figure out what was happening, and I came in to my inbox with a couple of leads and contacts to get in touch with. Wednesday is a soft release day, so there was heaps of content going live around the world. I check it all off and start to gear up for Friday – which is going to be an even bigger day. Picked up a few support tickets from mostly AU clients, but I also assisted a few internationals with wrong artist pages (a common problem) as well as some other quick fixes.
Caught up for a Smith and Deli lunch/Very Important Business Meeting with my pal Xavier, he’s a writer for CBB and plays in a few great local bands like Self Talk and Kelso. While back at work I got to press send on an exciting new track from an artist I’d seen live at Baker Boy’s show the week prior.
My evening plans change significantly when I get a last minute call up to fill in on radio. The SYN Hip Hop show needs a cohost, so I head in and present from 8-11pm playing tunes from the likes of Nardean, JSPA, Miss Blanks, Midas.Gold before an interview with lovely human T.Soko.
If you’d like to know the best ways of sharing your music have a nosey through our ‘Releasing Your Music‘ course!
One of the great highlights of the job is working on the releases of your pals, so I’m excited to start the day with Frida’s new track out in the world. It’s then time to get stuck into emails, where I find myself assisting with licensing, payout and ISRC code queries. A large portion of my day is then spent working on iTunes Connect, getting a pre-release album set up with instant gratification tracks. Changing price tiers across 118 regions for 11 tracks required many clicks and a lot of patience.
In the afternoon I continued working on the ingestion of our big PNG label. It’s a big job but I’ve been tackling the QC’ing incrementally every day. I send a bunch of these releases to stores before making a final loop around my inbox, making sure everything is all set to go for Friday.
Most Thursday evenings I’m up until 12am to watch releases tick over, but tonight I give myself an early mark and sleep at 11pm.
First port of call on Friday morning is Spotify to check on our new releases and of course, who’s made it into New Music Friday. One of our global priority releases, Profiteroles by Starling, is representing and I’m stoked. My colleague Sarah and I have been singing that chorus all week.
With Friday being the main release day for many of our clients, today is largely spent monitoring the support queue and my email, on standby to lend a helping hand. I send off multiple requests to switch over artist pages and deliver quite a few express deliveries for clients who’ve been caught and forgotten to upload their music until the day of release. While the week is almost over, the afternoon is spent QC’ing releases and getting all of our content ducks in a row for next week. Digital distribution, it never lets up. But that’s why we love it.
Challenges and accomplishments in your week:
It’s very satisfying to see releases go out into the world and take on a life of their own. This week I was particularly stoked to see my friends in Moaning Lisa deliver an amazing new single after a release I had the privilege of working on, ‘Carrie (I Want A Girl)’ went absolutely wild, sneaking its way into playlists and radio stations all over the country. Same goes for the inimitable Eilish Gilligan, another dear friend who’s catalogue I’m lucky enough to work on. Her new music is arriving in the near future and will blow your socks off.
Highlights of the job:
Playing a part of the artist journey – it’s such a privilege to get music out on a global scale. I’m also super chuffed to be working with independent music. It’s really cool to be a service that’s accessible to artists of all genres, experience, and quality. It feels like it’s opening up the floor for everyone to be heard, and that’s awesome.
I also really enjoy problem-solving and troubleshooting, so working in a space where technology and music intersect is perfect. You’ll never be bored.
Lowlights of the job:
The volume of releases and pace of the role means that there’s not really any downtime. You also find yourself constantly thinking about work – particularly when you’ve clocked off for the day and you’re trying to absentmindedly scroll your newsfeeds. That’s no such thing because you’ll see your bands pop up and your mind will race to think about their status of their release. I’ve never really mastered the art of ‘work-life balance’, which definitely presents its challenges.
Words of wisdom for people considering a job in your field:
Prepare to follow your curiosity. It’ll open up unique learning experiences and you never know where it’ll take you next. Also, value yourself and your work. This industry can feel tricky and unforgiving sometimes but you need to not let that affect your sense of self-worth.
If you found Rochelle’s week intriguing why not check out our Music Publishing and Digital Distribution courses to learn the ins-and-outs of launching your own music industry career! Or if you wish to find out what other exciting hats the industry has to offer, have a squizz through our previous WITLOs!