A former record store salesman, sales representative and then key account manager at Warner Music France, David Dutreuil is now the catalog marketing director for the recording company. With his team, he ensures that Warner Music’s artist catalog is correctly managed.
In a few words, can you introduce Warner Music?
D.D: Created in 1970, Warner Music Group is the third biggest major recording company in the world and is represented in 50 different countries. Warner Music France, a division of Warner Music Group, is currently comprised of three local labels, an international label, and a transversal label that includes the catalog, classical music and compilations.
What is your job?
D.D: I oversee a team of brand managers. I’m in charge of marketing and promotional strategies aimed at developing Warner Music France’s digital and physical catalog. Once an album has been released for more than 18 months, it goes into our operating account. The goal is to continue to promote our artists’ music and generate exposure for both digital and physical formats. This is done by creating and releasing new products, launching marketing operations, producing remixes and creating playlists, among other things. Anything that means the media talks about our artists and/or that the general public listens to them. Each year we launch around sixty specific operations and over 300 new releases, physical and digital formats combined.
How is turnover structured?
D.D: The transition towards digital is ongoing with streaming playing an increasingly important part. However, physical formats remain crucial, especially during the holiday period when box set sales are key.
What are the main releases for the end of the year?
D.D: Chronologically, the re-release of Etienne Daho’s album Eden, the David Bowie Conversation Piece box set, the Later Years Pink Floyd greatest hits box set, the re-release of Prince’s album 1999 and the MUSE Origin of Muse box set. Most of these box sets include rare or previously unreleased material and are available in CD/vinyl and digital versions. Many of our local artists will also be in the spotlight at the end of the year, with box sets from Véronique Sanson, Christophe Maé, Frank Michael, Julien Clerc, Alain Souchon and Kids United. We will also be releasing a lot of new vinyl references, including a collector’s edition of Johnny Hallyday’s On Stage concert. Concerning digital content, we have elaborated a marketing strategy for Christmas songs and albums, and we will be celebrating Tina Turner’s 80th birthday.
What do you think are the key factors for success in your business?
D.D: Creativity is essential, both in providing content and promoting it. Then, having a disruptive approach whilst maintaining a close-knit team of people who are passionate about their job and the industry and who enjoy their work. Lastly, constant attention to detail as well as the ability to manage multiple projects and operations at the same time.
How do you think the music industry and music formats are going to evolve?
D.D: At the end of 2018, there were 5.5 million subscribers to a paid streaming service in France (source: SNEP, the economy of music production 2019). In relation to the French population, the margin for growth remains high. At the same time, there is a unique physical distribution network in France with more than 4,000 retail outlets. The challenge is therefore to continue structuring our strategies to ensure the longevity and emergence of our streaming content while maintaining a strong physical presence. On the professional side of things, I think we need to learn to develop operations that aren’t systematically linked to a timetable of releases. The emergence of streaming content requires permanent and varied promotional and marketing campaigns.
How do you listen to music and what hi-fi equipment do you own?
D.D: When I’m on the go I use both my smartphone for streaming and a FiiO X7 DAP for formats with little or no compression. I have a pair of Bose Q35 wireless headphones. For listening at home, I have a small living room system comprised of a TEAC CR-H101 CD receiver and Dali Spektor speakers. I have a second, more high-end system that includes an Atoll CD100 and IN100, DALI Mentor Menuet speakers and a GD R2R11 audio DAC (2017). My turntable is a Rega P1. I also have a dedicated home theater room with a 9.1 Atmos system: Elipson Infinite speakers, Yamaha RX-A3070 receiver, Panasonic Blu-ray player, Elipson A1000 subwoofer amp and SONY VPL-VW360ES projector. For listening to music in the garden, I have installed some Cambridge YoYo wireless speakers on stands, which is very convenient!