JMC ENT Graduate talks about working with International Artists

Entertainment Business Management graduate James Biddle has had great success since graduating JMC Academy working a variety of high profile roles including starting his own business. He talks you through his journey and his advice to current students wanting to make it in the industry. 

I left JMC Academy in 2007, having attained my Advanced Diploma in Entertainment Business Management, and took up the position as National Sales & Artist Relations Manager at RØDE Microphones, the Australian Microphone manufacturer. My experience in real estate sales, combined with my studies at JMC, opened the door to this opportunity.

I stayed in this position for 4 years, overseeing the sales and marketing of 3 product lines: RØDE Microphones, PreSonus and Event Studio Monitors, growing the market substantially.

I was then transferred to RØDE’s US office in Santa Barbara, CA, in the role of Western Regional Sales Manager, overseeing all accounts west of the Mississippi River, and grew the business by 300% in 3 years.

In 2014 my family and I moved back to Australia, and I finished up with RØDE Microphones, and started my career with ClickView, which is one of the world’s leading providers of digital video content and solutions in education. My role was newly created in order to penetrate the tertiary market in Australia. Starting with 0 accounts, we now count the majority of TAFE institutes, 12 universities and many RTO and government departments as customers.

In late 2015 I secured the exclusive US distribution rights for the new British microphone manufacturer, Aston Microphones. I have an office in Santa Barbara, CA, and a warehouse in Wisconsin Rapids, WI, and employ a small team of who handle sales, shipping and accounts.

We started shipping Aston Microphones in the US in late January, coinciding with NAMM. We have signed on America’s leading pro audio dealers, including Vintage King, B&H, Full Compass, Sam Ash, Amazon, zZounds, Guitar Center, Performance Audio and Alto Music. Aston Microphones can be found in over 400 retail locations in the US.

Some of the artists I have worked with include; Nine Inch Nails, Radiohead, Foo Fighters, RHCP, The Arcade Fire, Bon Iver, The Afghan Whigs, Against Me!, Queens of The Stone Age, Eagles of Death Metal, Them Crooked Vultures, Iggy Pop, Blondie, DevilDriver, Faith No More, Soundgarden, Pearl Jam, NeYo, LL Cool J, You Am I, The Drones, Black Rebel Motorcycle Club, Band of Horses, Billy Idol, Alain Johannes, Ben Kweller, A Perfect Circle, Fear Factory, Dave Catching, The Delta Spirit, The Black Angels, Israel Nash, Midlake, The Hives, Heart, Deftones, Palms, Phantogram, The Ting Tings, Stone Temple Pilots, Guns N’ Roses (real line up), Scott Weiland, St Etienne, Linkin Park, The Strokes, Har Mar Superstar, Poliça, Florence & The Machine, My Jerusalem, The Twilight Singers, Birds of Tokyo, Cog, Karnivool, Faker, High Tension, UNKLE, The Duke Spirit, Peaches, PJ Harvey, Yes, and many more.

My proudest achievements to date are launching my own business in the US and achieving success so quickly within such a competitive market, having Stevie Wonder come to our booth at NAMM this year and love our mics,  and getting AAA back stage passes to Radiohead concerts…

My favourite things about JMC Academy were being taught by industry legends such as Ian Miller, and having access to their knowledge base, as well as being to study with like-minded people, who wanted to work in the music industry. It creates an excellent network of contacts for the future.

Advice for current students: 

  • Get experience in sales (ANY industry) and combine it with your JMC qualification to push through for a job in the industry. 
  • Be open to working in industries associated with the music industry (for example – manufacturers, distributors of instruments / equipment, etc).
  • Don’t be afraid to contact artists directly – I have successfully contacted some of the biggest bands in the world via social media. 
  • Get to know band managers, and look after them
  • Don’t burn your bridges
Find out more about studying Entertainment Business Management or Enquire now.

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