Amanda Marks
Amanda Marks

Global head of digital accounts, Universal Music Group

Taking Digital Global
Amanda Marks, global head of digital accounts for Universal Music Group, is an early record-label innovator in the digital space and, today, the highest-ranking major-label female executive in the digital arena. The past 12 months, Marks says, have provided the industry with the largest digital expansion ever. UMG's digital sales force now deals with accounts in 157 markets, up from 77 this time last year.

My Mentor: Julie Swidler, executive VP of business affairs/general counsel, Sony Music Entertainment and, like Marks, one of Billboard's top Women In Music honorees for 2012. "She was my boss at Mercury Records in New York City, which was my first job in the music industry. Julie Swidler not only taught me how the music industry worked, she was an incredible role model in how to balance a challenging and interesting career with having a family."

Marks' team sits in between UMG's operating companies and the accounts, including the industry's most important digital players, such as iTunes, Spotify, Google, Vevo and Amazon. "We help our operating companies with strategic decisions regarding our accounts around the world," she says. In turn, Marks says she has maximized UMG's global sales by supporting the company's digital music partners with their international expansion efforts. When digital music players enter new markets, her team advises them on repertoire, marketing opportunities and the particularities of each market. "We try to help our accounts grow their business as best we can from our vantage point," she says. Worldwide digital revenue for UMG experienced double-digit growth in the same period, including sales from many countries that previously didn't generate significant digital revenue. "It is enormously exciting as digital achieves the true globalization of the music business," Marks says. "The real story for 2012 is the incredible growth of the digital business, even in some markets which individually might not be enormous but in aggregate are producing significant revenue."