Music Business student graduates with a job at PPL PRS

Note: This article refers to Leeds College of Music (LCoM), the former name of Leeds Conservatoire

By Kath Hartley


Meet Niall O'Connor, who has just graduated from LCoM's Music Business Course and landed a job with "saviours of the music industry," PPL PRS. Niall has had a busy three years at LCoM, launching the Rhino Sessions, and also developing an online booking agency app called Goobie. 

We spoke to Niall about his new role, and how LCoM set him up for the next stage in his career... 

Congratulations on landing a job with PPL PRS - what does your new role entail?

Thank you very much! In recent years PPL & PRS have launched a new joint venture in Leicester (my home town). I have got the role of New Business Advisor, which involves various sales and research orientated responsibilities. I'll be researching various UK company sectors and identifying copyright infringements. It will be my responsibility to promote PPL PRS's music license benefits to these companies and promote and protect the value of music. 

What made you decide to pursue this career path?

Both PPL and PRS have been labelled as "saviours of the music industry" due to the work they do to make sure artists, writers, composers, producers, performers, record labels and publishers receive their deserved royalties. One of the main reasons that I applied to work with PRS was due to its reputation - it was often praised by LCoM tutors and visiting lecturers during my time at LCoM. Carly Snellgrove from Bucks Music Limited told me that it would be the best place to start with regard to building a good foundation of knowledge and experience, as PPL PRS are so involved with various sectors within the music industry. 

What was the most important thing you learned at LCoM?

I feel the Enterprise module at the end of my third year broadened my knowledge and skill set the most. Some of the areas covered were business management, academic writing, marketing strategies, contingency planning, research methods and selling a brand. Having knowledge of these areas has already played a part in me landing my new job, and will definitely benefit me in the future when wanting to run my own business.

On the subject of the music industry in general, I feel collaboration has been a huge eye-opener for me in terms of being successful within the music business. Being friendly, reciprocating nice gestures, learning from others and making the most of what is available around you is definitely a massive learning outcome from my time at LCoM.

Rhino Sessions - Music Business

You’ve always had your own businesses on the go whilst studying at LCoM, like Rhino Sessions and Goobie – do you still plan on working on your own ventures too?

With regards to the Rhino Sessions it made sense to pass it on to existing members who are both still situated in Leeds. Even though I will no longer be a part of it, all activities will continue in the new academic year alongside some new faces. Rhino Sessions was something we didn't want to see die out and so passing on the baton to other past and present Leeds College of Music students seemed like the best idea.

The Goobie platform is back under development and even though the initial launch did not go as we were hoping, I definitely took a lot from the project with regards to general business knowledge and experience. We hope to launch the platform again when we know the product is ready.

What was the best project you worked on whilst studying Music Business?

I feel I will be forever thankful to the Rhino Sessions, because it made me realise that in order to make the most of your time in higher education (no matter what you are studying), you have to apply what you learn to a real world situation.

It was definitely not easy to develop projects such as Rhino Sessions and my app, Goobie alongside full time studies. However, I feel that a combination of the experience gained from these projects and my knowledge acquired through the Music Business course is the reason why I now have a job in the music industry.

What advice would you have for anyone thinking about taking a Music Business degree at LCoM?

I think you can already see how thankful I am for the knowledge and experience gained from the Music Business course, but LCoM as a whole has played a massive role in kick-starting my career in music.

Make sure you study hard, but at the same time start planning out various avenues you wish to explore. Experiment with being a booking agent for example, or start up a promotions company and run your own events. Look into what is happening both at LCoM and across Leeds - see how you could introduce something which could potentially disrupt a music industry norm and become a success story. A huge part to discovering what you are interested in and what you are good at is exploring the various avenues available to you and having a trial and error approach during those three years of studying.

The conservatoire is full of people willing to COLLABORATE so get stuck into everything that LCoM, your course and the city has to offer. If you do this there is no reason why you will not be successful after graduation!

Want to find out more about Music Business at LCoM

By Kath Hartley

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