Jocelynn is the Head of Marketing for AMPED Distribution. I’d heard her speak on a panel at Making Vinyl, and wanted to learn more about her and her role there.
AMPED stocks over 85,000 unique titles from over 25 countries and carries exclusive offerings from breakthrough artists. They provide distribution services; both domestically and internationally. Backed by the Alliance Entertainment a worldwide distribution network, AMPED is directly available to thousands of independent stores, all major chains retailers and mass merchants, online retailers, specialty retailers, global marketplaces and other wholesalers. The unique distribution model combines global reach, world-wide sales, label marketing and advertising and more suited to vendors, labels, artists and studios of all sizes.
In her free time Jocelynn is an arts advocate on the Arts Council for the City of Long Beach, CA. She loves a great live music show the more intimate the venue the better house shows being her favorite. She is also traveling abroad whenever she can and is a “bit of a foodie”.
How did you get into your industry / What motivated you?
I started in high school at a record store and quickly worked my way into management. After dealing with the corporate office and realizing there were a bunch of people there that made careers out this business I aspired to do just that. Eventually, after being in the corporate environment for some time and meeting all the distribution folks I decided to leap over to their side of the fence.
What is a day in the life like?
No two days are the same, I’m often traveling and speaking at conferences, or meeting and making deals or working with retailers both large and small to set up campaigns.
Speaking of campaigns, what do those look like for AMPED?
AMPED works with many different labels including Epitaph Records & Anti-, Kobalt including Glassnote Records, Better Noise (formerly Eleven Seven) and SO many more. Right now I am working on setting up go-to-market plans for releases that will be coming in Q1 and Q2 of next year, many of which have not yet been announced otherwise I’d be name dropping like crazy, lol!
This includes planning what the strategy down to the account level of who we are going to approach and with what (like co-op marketing set up, exclusives, promotions, in-stores, etc.). All of this goes into a big master plan for each release and then we slice and dice it and execute the plan. Distribution is the place where the rubber meets the road. We take the labels and artist management plans, advise on them, and even challenge them if they are not solid enough, make them concise and then we put them in front of the retailers and DSPS. We pitch, we urge, we prod, we plead, we bargain, occasionally shed a tear or a throw a tantrum but we make DANG sure the product is in the market the day and time it’s supposed be. All the marketing in the world means nothing if we don’t have the product in the right place at the right time and our goal is to deliver that 100% of the time. There are so many hoops to jump through and considerations to be made in getting product from point A to point B, especially nowadays, the world over. Each DSP/retailer has their own process of ingestion and delivery and salability and it’s our job to know ALL of them.
What has been your favorite / the coolest thing you’ve worked on?
Oh that’s like asking me to choose my children. I loved working the Ziggy Marley, Bad Wolves, XXX Tentacion, Natasha Bedingfield or any Linda Perry project for that matter, I’m currently working on setting up the new Lauv, David Gray, Joe Perry and so many more.
What has been / is the most difficult part of your job?
Time. Time is NEVER on my side. There is always more work to be done. There is so much opportunity in the music business today it’s a matter of narrowing down and deciding what I will work now and what is being kicked down the road.
What advice do you have for someone wanting to get into pursuing what you’re doing?
Proximity principle and be a sponge, learn everything you can from each person the business you encounter. It WILL come in handy one day. Also, never burn a bridge. Your name is all you have.
Are you a vinyl collector yourself? What drew you to it?
Yes. But I’m not fanatical like some. I have always loved vinyl since I was a kid and listening to my parents extensive classical collection on vinyl. But I mostly love that that format is the ultimate in fan engagement and after all isn’t that what we all want/need.
What types of things are happening in your industry / with vinyl that you’re excited or worried about? i.e. innovation, or trends you’re seeing.
Timelines are ridiculous right now. This needs to be standardized and planned for by all parties starting with artists, managers, producers and labels.
Tell me more about what you’re listening to right now:
Favorite music genre is not a real thing. I love music that bends genre labels. But I do love the old jazz female vocalists, I love a great opera aria from a deep alto or baritone voice, I love old country and shake my thang to 90’s rap regularly. I’m a big fan of Middle Eastern Music as well as African and Chinese.