Courtesy of The Orchard
Trevor Davis is a senior at William Paterson University majoring in Popular Music and minoring in Music Management and Legal Studies. He is a current Performance Rights/Copyright Services intern at The Orchard, an independent distribution company owned by Sony Music Entertainment. Davis gives readers advice on how to stay involved, his current internship and future plans in the entertainment industry.
|Where are you currently interning and how long have you been there?
I am currently interning at The Orchard, one of two music distribution companies under Sony Music. I began my current internship for the company in mid January working in the Performance Rights/Copyright Services Department, however I was previously an intern last summer for the same company in the Video Services Department.
What is your major and minor? Do they have anything to do with what you’re doing at your internship?
My major is Popular Music and my minors are Legal Studies and Music Management. They correspond well with my internship because the course structure is based around the music industry, how it works, and how to navigate it whatever your approach, be it Songwriting or Entertainment Law. I steered towards the business aspect of the industry and am interested in things like revenue flow, royalty management, and copyright which led me to The Orchard.
What is a day in the life of an intern at The Orchard? Do your tasks vary or stay the same on a day to day basis?
There are about 4-5 tasks that I have been assigned, but most of them are ongoing projects involving global collection societies and the royalties they pay to our artists. My assignments are generally to find revenue discrepancies, update our database, or analyze data about our artists music and where it is being streamed, bought, stolen, or otherwise heard. These issues are being tackled by the entire team, which means that I work on different aspects of the process. I will generally work on a project for 1-3 days before beginning a project with another country’s collection society. The Orchard has a welcoming but professional atmosphere where employees are friends and are constantly collaborating. It is business casual and high energy environment where creativity is key and where people care about the music. Many are players and actors and writers and brilliant minds that share a common passion for the industry and the music that it revolves around, which shows in the faces of everyone there and in the success the company has worked so hard for.
How exactly did you pursue this internship? What was the process like from applying to then getting the internship?
My cousin is a software developer and website function designer for The Orchard so I reached out to him last spring about the possibility of interning. He said he would put in a good word if I applied online so I did, got a phone interview with the head of Video Services , then an in person interview, and they brought me on for the summer. I kept in contact with them the following semester and decided I wanted to do another, but in a different branch of the company. I decided on Copyright Services and the process was identical.
I have no specific end goal as of this moment. I know I want to work in the industry and help to lift artists to greater heights. I have been working in the technical side and I enjoy it, but I am thinking about a switch to a Talent Agency program and pursuing that. I was always very intent on learning the specifics of cutting a deal, whether it is with an artist getting signed, an actor getting placed, or any other type of deal. Another part of me wants my own business in the future. I am not entirely set or specific on a career path yet, and although it is daunting to be facing real life, I am confident I will find where I need to go. This internship has shown me a perspective that I never had and gave me the opportunity to work with great people on interesting and meaningful projects. It gave me confidence and experience in the industry and although I would like to work there post graduation, I know they helped give me skills I can take anywhere.
If you could have any job you wanted after you graduate, what would it be and why?
I would love to work at The Orchard with any of the artist services teams, they all seem fun, smart, and like they enjoy the company. I like working with the cogs in the wheel that make the industry go, and being there would be a very beneficial and interesting way to begin my career.
What advice would you give to a student that wants to pursue a career in entertainment copyright law? Is there a specific path they should take?
Do internships. Go out and do things in the industry because when you do, you find the things you like, and you also find the things you don’t, which is just as important. Finding out that what you thought was cool is actually uninteresting, is a huge favor, and getting a taste of things you like makes you curious and inspired, gives you experience, and provides a new network to connect with. And always stay passionate, if you lose that, you lose everything.