Work Diaries: At the BRIT Award with YouTube Music's Corbyn Asbury
We’re peeling back the curtains with our series, Work Diaries, where you can experience the inner workings of YouTube. How do decisions get made? What goes into a product, feature or policy? We’re asking YouTube employees to give us the low-down.
Featured today: Corbyn first joined YouTube in 2018 as a Music Partnerships Coordinator. Fast forward five years, he is currently working as a Label Relations Manager based out of London in the United Kingdom. Corbyn’s role is to build and grow long-lasting relationships with labels, management companies and artists, which means the BRIT Awards is one of the biggest nights of the year for him!
As well as working on the BRIT Awards, Corbyn supports the well-renowned BRIT school (alumni of which includes Adele, Amy Winehouse and this year’s performer, Cat Burns) via the YouTube Residency programme, and has delivered masterclasses to students on entry into the music industry and YouTube best practices.
Saturday, February 11th
10 AM: Wake up and coffee time… it’s been a crazy week so far! The team has been working incredibly hard to make sure that everything runs smoothly tonight.
I went to the venue earlier in the week to make sure that our red carpet activation looked ok, that our branding across the various YouTube areas looked as they should. This means that I don’t have to rush to the venue this morning, and can take a bit more time to prepare!
2 PM: All our key contacts in the industry should have their tickets by now — from record labels and to YouTube creators and all of the amazing partners that we work with on our positive impact industry initiatives such as the Music Managers Forum. Part of my role is to coordinate all of these invites and ensure that all of our guests have their tickets, and understand what they can and cannot bring into the O2 Arena where the BRITs are happening. A lot of planning and admin is involved!
I have just sent out the final information to all of our guests, most of which will be getting aboard our YouTube boat this evening. The boat will leave central London from the iconic Embankment Pier and take our guests directly to the ceremony via the River Thames to avoid Saturday night traffic.
2:30 PM: With the final bits of admin all complete, I am going to start getting ready. The boat will leave at 4:30pm so I need to make sure I am there before we set sail!
4:15 PM: I am now approaching the boat — it looks amazing! I can’t wait to see all of my colleagues and partners and I hope it all goes smoothly. Thankfully it isn’t raining so the guests can all enjoy the top deck en route along the Thames.
6 PM: We have officially docked at the O2, and the boat journey went swimmingly. Thankfully no one actually had to swim and everyone had a great time. I spent some time chatting to all of our partners about our partnership with the BRITs over drinks and nibbles.
This year, our marketing colleagues have been working incredibly hard on the BritsUnseen campaign so I was sure to direct all of our stakeholders to that content on shorts — featuring the likes of Amelia Dimondenberg!
6:30 PM: I have now joined my colleagues Maddy and Shen on the red carpet, where we hosted our exciting activation with Amelia Dimoldenberg - which you can watch here! It was really fun to see Amelia ‘sing’ with Shania Twain and quiz Stormzy on some red carpet math.
I captured some behind-the-scenes action on YouTube shorts — check it out here.
7 PM: I have just gone down to the arena floor, where most of our YouTube execs will be settling in to watch the show this evening. It’s important to say hello to our partners and artists, make sure they’re having a good night and to tell them about all the great things we’re up to at YouTube.
7:30 PM: I also stopped by the suites where we’re hosting some of our guests which include YouTube creators and journalists. Seems like everyone has settled in nicely! For the most part, my duties are complete, so from this point on I was able to sit back and enjoy the show!
This is why YouTube is so important and unique — we’re able to ensure that no matter where you live or what device you use, you can experience the magic of huge events like the BRITs! ”
10:30 PM: The show is officially over, and it was amazing. My personal highlights included Lizzo and Sam Smith who both put on incredible performances. Most of the nominees have in some way received support from YouTube, and it was great to see the likes of Wet Leg (previous YouTube Artist on the Rise winner) taking home well deserved awards!
Our role now is to make sure that those performances are available to watch on YouTube as soon as possible. Folks from around the world were able to watch the livestream, but now comes the editing of individual highlights for those who weren’t able to watch along live.
This is why YouTube is so important and unique — we’re able to ensure that no matter where you live or what device you use, you can experience the magic of huge events like the BRITs!
We will also be making sure that all of the Shorts content captured on the night can go up as soon as possible, so we’ll be working with labels to secure artist clearances on those pieces of content.
Tomorrow we will look at the livestream stats, reach across different demographics and views on all of our activations. This will help us to identify recommendations for future campaigns and where we can improve.
For now, I can officially clock off and celebrate with my amazing team at the afterparty. After such a hectic week, I know we’re all looking forward to toasting to six months of hard work and celebrating this success!