BEHIND THE SCENES: IRA BRIAN MILLER
Tell us a little about yourself. What’s your current job title? Have you had any other titles since you started?
My current title is Social PR & Promotions Manager at AEG Live / Goldenvoice. I started off as Office Manager/Online Marketing at AEG Live in the New York office in 2007, and then eventually got offered a promotion to come out to Los Angeles to take on social media marketing on a large scale.
How did you know you wanted to work in the music industry?
I have been into music my whole life. I was in a pop-punk band in high school into college, and I enjoyed booking us gigs and promoting our shows/album releases. Then started interning at record labels and concert halls while I was in college, which made it clear that I enjoyed working behind the scenes in the industry.
Describe a typical day. What exactly are a Social Media Manager’s/ Promoter of music festivals person’s duties?
No day is the same. In a nutshell, I develop social media campaigns for our national tours and festivals, I create/maintain/oversee tour Facebook/Twitter accounts as well as all of the accounts for our festivals. I also oversee the regional offices accounts and provide best practices for NY, San Francisco, Vegas, etc to make sure that they’re doing their posting/tweeting correctly. And I work with blogs/sites to make sure they’re posting about our tours, and I run social ticket giveaways on various sites too
What classes/degree did you take to get ahead in this field?
I majored in Marketing & Management with a concentration in Music Industry at Northeastern University in Boston, MA. Some courses that I took were artist management, music history courses, economics, accounting, etc. The overall combination of my classes definitely played some part in my career, one way or another.
Who do you think changed the music industry? Why?
Shawn Fanning (who actually went to my university) when he created Napster. This changed how people view music and how people consume music.
What does music mean to you?
Everything. It plays a role in every aspect of my life... and I feel fortunate that I'm able to revolve my career around it.
Social Media Managing is a new job for the music industry. How do you think social media changes/ effects the way people listen to and find music?
I think that social media has changed the industry in a substantial way. It has affected the way people find out about music, and how they listen to music. Back in the late 90s, when a band wanted to get their name out there, they would hit the streets hard flyering their releases/shows (which still happens today, but not as much), and this was the only way that they could get heard. Now, all bands have to do is create a Facebook page, a BandCamp account or something similar, and contact perspective fans online. It's a lot easier now than it used to be.
What is the biggest lesson you’ve learned working in the music industry?
This is an ever-changing business, so you better keep up!
What’s the biggest surprise about working in this field? Was it what you thought it would be like?
No surprises - it's pretty much what I thought from my internships and past experiences.
What’s the best and worst part about working in the music industry?
Best part is that it's constantly changing, especially in my sector of the industry - there's always some sort of new technology out there, or a new social network, or a way of marketing on these social networks, a contesting platform, etc. The worst part of the industry is that... well, I can't seem to think of one - I enjoy what I do.
Is there a moment that sticks out in your head that made you realize that this is the perfect job for you?
While live-tweeting during Coachella this year under the Twitter handle @Coachella, I thought to myself "wow, this is a really cool job." I kept everyone informed as to what was happening, when it was happening, and even if you weren't at the festival, I was able to make everyone at home feel as if they were there.
What inspires and motivates you to still pursue a career in music?
I love seeing how good some of these new bands are. I love to work with such good music.
If someone was interested in being a Social Media Manager/ or doing a related field; what education/ experience would you tell them to get? Does one need a college degree to work in social media?
I would say to get acquainted as much as possible with social media platforms, and to meet AS MANY PEOPLE AS POSSIBLE. This industry is all about connections and relationships.
Lastly, what are your favorite album releases, so far, from this year? What album releases are you most looking forward to be released this year?
Hmm... do I have to start from January 1? I happen to love St. Lucia's new EP. I think that band is going places. The new Purity Ring album is cool. Frank Ocean is great! I dig the new Japandroids album. I throw on the new Beach House record a lot. I like the new Grimes record too.