Job of the Month #12: Global Music Editor

New episode of our Job of the Month series to discover the many facets of the music industry. This month, Georges Derval tells us about his job as Global Music Editor at Deezer.

Each month, IDOL presents a job in the music industry. Or more than a job, a person! Because behind the same job title, there are significant differences from one structure to another. Each person can define the scope of his or her position according to his or her professional background, qualities and skills! Meeting with Georges Derval, Global Music Editor at the French streaming platform Deezer.

What does a Global Music Editor do?

A Global Music Editor at Deezer is a music expert that leads the editorial strategy for certain music genres globally, making sure it’s relevant for Deezer key markets. I’m in charge of Alternative and Electronic music, which means that I work within the global editorial team to enhance the alternative and electronic music offering and provide the best music curation for Deezer’s users. In other words I provide expertise on everything related to these music genres by curating playlists, programming albums and other types of content on the platform to allow our users to discover the best music and get the most engaging listening experience.

What are the qualities required for your position?

First, I would say curiosity because we always need to be aware of what’s going on in the music world. We have to know as much as possible about our music genres, from the classics to the latest trends.

Then autonomy because we spend a lot of our time on our own, listening to new music, doing some research, or analysing the performance of the content we program.. Then, based on this work we make editorial decisions, build strategies and apply them.. To do so we need to be independent, proactive, and well organised.

Finally, teamwork is key as we share a lot of knowledge within our team and work closely with other teams. We are involved in many projects where we provide music expertise and communicate our needs. For example we work a lot with the Product teams on improving the recommendation tools like Flow.

Can you tell us a little about your career path?

I got into the music industry through journalism by contributing to music magazines. Then I entered the music streaming industry via digital distribution at Idol and Believe where I was part of the Platforms relations teams. Then I decided to switch sides and join a streaming platform, Deezer, in 2020. After coordinating projects within the editorial team, I became a Global Music Editor in 2022.

How is your daily work organized?

My time is divided between managing the huge stream of new releases and curating already existing content, while staying attentive to new curation opportunities and challenges. Therefore I don’t really have a daily routine but maybe more of a weekly one.

New music comes out all the time but Friday is the busiest day as most of the albums still come out on that day. This is why frontline playlists are usually updated on that day. To program these playlists every week, I need to listen to all the new releases in my genres, and make sure that the relevant ones are programmed at the right place. On top of this weekly cycle I program mood, seasonal and back catalogue content that is relevant for my genres. I also work on many other topics that can vary a lot depending on the week. For example I often meet with other teams to help them build better tools, improve recommendations, get better insights on music consumption, etc.

What do you like about your job?

Music is at the core of everything I do and it’s probably the best thing that can happen to a passionate music listener like me. I love that a big part of my job is to keep track of everything that is coming out in my favourite music genres, and find the best way to showcase it on Deezer. Focusing on Alternative and Electronic music also allows me to discover so many amazing new artists and help them grow an audience on Deezer, and it’s very rewarding. I feel very lucky about all this.

Why did you choose to work for Deezer?

When working at IDOL and Believe, I worked closely with Deezer teams and got to meet their music editors. Discovering their role was an instant eye-opener for me and I quickly realised I wanted to become an editor. The music streaming industry is very competitive and there are not many streaming platforms, but we’re lucky to have a French one based in Paris, so it was an obvious choice for me.

What is your connection with IDOL?

I did an internship in the Platforms relations team at IDOL in 2019 and kept very good relationships with many employees. In my job at Deezer, I keep working with IDOL and I keep a close eye on IDOL releases.

What's the strangest task you've ever done as a Global Music Editor?

One of the craziest experiences I’ve had is probably the time I met Gorillaz and Phoenix in the studio to listen to their upcoming albums, 10 days apart. As editors we spend a lot of time listening to music, but we often do it alone so getting the chance to have such influential artists playing us their new music in a studio was a bit surreal.

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