Roz Mansfield - YouTube Music

Roz Mansfield, Head of Artist Partnerships, YouTube Music


What first led you to work in entertainment?


I have always been into music - mainly pop when I was younger, then as the world opened, I became interested in most genres.  Having not grown up in London I had no idea it was possible to get into the music industry without connections, nor make a decent career out of it, so initially I went down a more academic route, studying Law and Marketing at university.  Once I had graduated, I wasn’t quite ready to leave Bristol and I had become quite involved in the local music scene, so I decided to stick around and see what opportunities I could find.  The wonderful Hope Music Group (now part of Red Light Management) were offering a management assistant internship, so I jumped at the opportunity and haven’t looked back since!


How long have you been at YouTube Music and what's your role?

I’ve been here for almost four years, and I head up Artist Relations for YouTube and Google in the UK, so, amongst many other things, I oversee our partnerships and relationships with the artist and management community, as well as other industry bodies such as the MMF and our newly announced partnership with LIVE.  Job titles aside, you have to be a jack of all trades here, as we love to get involved and support the music industry in any way we can, and as we all know, the landscape can change so fast, global pandemics or not!


 If you didn’t have your job, what do you think you would be doing today?

I got a first in Law, so probably a barrister or solicitor.  Both routes appealed to me initially, although the prospect of working 12-hour days for very little pay for years did not appeal at the time.  I didn't really consider that it would be the same in the music industry, but at least there were lots of gigs and festivals to go to!


What do you love most about your job?


There are so many wonderful elements of my job, but I will never get tired of discovering a new artist, meeting with them and helping to understand their huge potential success on YouTube - and in turn, across other platforms and areas of their careers. Then even better if they graduate on to our prestigious Artist on the Rise programme, then onto world domination.  You can't beat that! 


We are about to enter the fourth year of our partnership with the MMF on their Accelerator programme for emerging artist managers. It has been one of the most rewarding projects I've ever worked on.  Paul, Annabella and the team there have created a unique and truly impactful incubator that has made a huge difference in over 65 managers and 150 artists careers so far.


What is the biggest challenge the industry is facing today?


I think it’s fair to say we are all still grappling with COVID and how that impacts us all on a daily basis - the chaos and disruption is very real and whilst we can see that live is returning, the new variant is throwing travel and live plans into question once again.


Who is your favourite entertainment retailer or service and why?


Hopefully goes without saying that would be YouTube and YouTube Music.  We have made leaps and bounds over the last couple of years and recently hit 50m subscribers, which is a huge and very exciting milestone for us.


Which non-entertainment retailer or service do you admire and why?


There are lots of ethical and sustainable retailers that I admire, but when I think about which retailer I frequent the most and admire for continuing to survive despite the many challenges facing it, it’s my local bookshop, Chener Books on Lordship Lane. I was always popping in there to get recommendations and get myself a new book, and now I also have the joy of picking books for my young daughter. During the first lockdown, they took orders over email and hand delivered them to houses in the local area. They also became part of, so now if I don’t have time to pop down in person, I will order from Chener’s storefront there.

What was the first ever film, album and game you owned and where did you buy them?


We had films in our house since before I can remember; the first one I remember buying myself, with saved up pocket money, is Speed. I watched it every day for 2 weeks straight and can still pretty much recite it word for word.  Suffice to say I’m a lifelong Keanu fan.  Album - it depends on how you define albums - I was an avid collector of the NOW compilations when I was younger. I used to pop down to Our Price on a Saturday with my pocket money and get the latest one, along with a single, if I could afford it. In terms of artist albums, I would love to be able to say Nevermind or something cool like that, but I distinctly remember buying East 17, Take That and Britney Spears tapes before I discovered Nirvana. I was never really that into gaming, other than the old classics like Sonic the Hedgehog, which I think everyone was back then. I was also really into a PC platform game called Commander Keen, but no one else seems to remember it!


You’re stuck in a lift. Name the album, film, book, game and person that you would like to have with you.


Album: Any of Kendrick Lamar’s albums, including the Black Panther soundtrack! Damn, if I was forced to choose one

Film: Point Break - I warned you about Keanu already

Book: Wild Swans by Jung Chan, or Into Thin Air by John Krakauer

Game: The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild

Person: Albert Einstein. So many questions.




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