A&R and Manager Advice

Do Music Managers Get Publishing

Do Music Managers Get Publishing

Music has always served as a sonic cohesion for diverse cultures and thoughts. Wrapped within the euphony and melody, there lies a complex infrastructure steered by various stakeholders. Among these significant figures are music managers, whose roles can sometimes bleed into areas such as publishing. This blog illuminates the crux of a question many face - Do Music Managers Get Publishing?

Understanding the Role of a Music Manager

A music manager is the backbone of an artist's career. They handle career decisions, bookings, promotion, and other business matters. Providing guidance and foresight, they effectively gear the artist towards success. They do not typically delve into the creative aspects, focusing instead on framing the artist's work in an appealing and profitable manner.

The Business of Music Publishing

Music publishing revolves around the business of song copyrights. When a song is penned down, it germinates a copyright that does the following for its holder:

  • Grants the right to reproduce work
  • Provides the right to create derivative works
  • Allows for distribution of work
  • Gives them the right to public performance and display of work

A music publisher capitalizes on these rights by licensing songs for performances, synchronization, and print rights, also collecting and distributing the revenue generated.

Role Assignment: The Intersection of Management and Publishing

While music managers and publishers have distinct roles, some overlaps can occur. For instance, an artist without a publisher might rely on their manager for securing licensing and distribution deals. However, for a manager to partake in publishing rights, they need to have a clear agreement defined in their contract.

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Unlock the key to your music career. This game-changing resource puts over 3,000 of the most influential music industry contacts at your fingertips.

Connect directly with the top A&Rs, Music Managers, Producers, Record Labels & Booking Agents who can elevate your music to new heights. With all the content information you need, including email addresses and phone numbers. Don't just dream of success, make it a reality.

Embrace Music Industry Insider and open doors to limitless opportunities in your music journey.

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The Legal Framework

Ordinarily, a manager does not have rights over an artist's publishing. If such provisions must be made, they come under what is known as 'publishing deals' defined within the managerial contract. In such scenarios, the manager either partially or entirely administers the artist's copyrights. However, these deals should be made with caution, considering they can lead to conflict of interests.

Balancing the Equation

While managers delving into publishing can be advantageous regarding financial gains and control, it can lead to issues such as indifferent promotion efforts and revenue conflicts among others.

To maintain legal clarity and healthy boundaries, both roles should ideally be separate. However, if an artist considers their manager fit to handle publishing responsibility, it should accompany fair negotiation, clear contract terms, and possibly, legal counsel.

Do Music Managers Get Publishing Example:

Consider an emerging indie artist who is not ready to sign with a publisher. They rely on their manager for advice and strategic decisions. The manager, possessing connections and know-how to licensing opportunities, negotiates deals on the artist's behalf, thus crossing into the publishing domain. Here, whether they procure publishing rights would rely solely on the agreement specified in their contract.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is a music manager's role in an artist's career?

A music manager plays a critical role in an artist's career by guiding their professional journey. This includes advising on career decisions, negotiating contracts, seeking out business opportunities, organizing schedules, and generally acting as the liaison between the artist and the various stakeholders in the music industry.

Does a music manager typically receive publishing rights?

Music managers generally do not receive publishing rights. Publishing rights are typically held by songwriters and publishers. However, some managers negotiate deals that include a percentage of publishing as part of their compensation, although this is not standard practice.

How do music managers get paid?

Music managers are usually paid a commission based on a percentage of the artist's gross income, which ranges from 15% to 20%. The specific terms are detailed in the management contract between the artist and the manager.

What is music publishing?

Music publishing involves the management and exploitation of a song's copyright. It includes the collection of royalties when a song is reproduced, performed, or broadcasted, and ensuring that songwriters and composers are fairly compensated for the use of their work.

Can a manager contribute to songwriting?

While it's not common, a manager could contribute to the songwriting process. In such cases, if their contribution is substantial and agreed upon by all parties involved, they may be entitled to a share of the publishing rights for that particular work.

Are there ethical considerations regarding managers receiving publishing rights?

Yes, there are ethical considerations to take into account. Since managers are meant to serve the best interest of their clients (the artists), having a financial stake in the artist's publishing can create a conflict of interest. The music manager's role should not infringe upon the artist’s rights or royalties.

Is it necessary for a manager to have a background in music publishing?

While not necessary, it's advantageous for a music manager to have an understanding of music publishing. A comprehensive knowledge of publishing ensures that they can advise artists effectively regarding their rights and help them capitalize on their intellectual property.

What factors influence whether a manager gets publishing rights?

The primary factors that may influence a manager getting publishing rights include the negotiations at the onset of the management relationship, the level of involvement the manager has in the creative process, and the terms agreed upon in the management contract.

Can an artist negotiate the terms of managerial publishing rights?

Yes, an artist can and should negotiate the terms of any publishing rights that a manager may request. It is in the artist's best interest to clearly define the scope and limitations of such rights in their management contract, ideally with the assistance of a legal professional.

How does a manager's commission relate to an artist's publishing?

A manager's commission is typically calculated on the artist’s earnings, which may include publishing royalties. However, the commission does not usually grant managers ownership of publishing rights unless specifically agreed upon in their contract.

Can a manager sell or administer an artist's publishing rights?

A manager cannot sell or administer an artist's publishing rights unless they have been given explicit contractual authority to do so, which would require serious consideration and legal counseling before an artist agrees to such terms.

What happens to the publishing rights if an artist parts ways with their manager?

When an artist parts ways with their manager, publisher rights that are owned by the artist remain with the artist, and any arrangement the manager had concerning those rights usually comes to an end, as per the terms of the termination clause in the management contract.

Should artists seek legal advice when negotiating publishing rights with a manager?

Artists should definitely seek legal advice when negotiating publishing rights with a manager. It is crucial to have a clear and fair contract that protects the artists' rights and ensures transparency on ownership and earnings.

What types of royalties are collected from music publishing?

Music publishing royalties include mechanical royalties (from album sales, downloads, and streaming), performance royalties (from radio, live performances, and television), synchronization fees (from music used in film, TV, or commercials), and print music income.

Can a manager's involvement in the creative process justify publishing rights?

The manager's involvement in the creative process alone doesn't typically justify a claim to publishing rights. However, if a manager makes a tangible and original contribution to the creation of the music, they may be entitled to some form of compensation, potentially including publishing rights through a separate agreement.

What is the difference between an artist manager and a music publisher?

An artist manager oversees and helps steer an artist's career, dealing with day-to-day management, while a music publisher manages the copyright of compositions and helps the songwriter to monetize their work through collecting royalties.

How can an artist safeguard their publishing rights?

An artist can safeguard their publishing rights by understanding the basics of copyright law, signing clear and fair contracts, and consulting with legal experts in the music industry to help negotiate and review any agreements before signing.

Are there scenarios where managers get ownership in the artist's music?

Scenarios where managers get ownership in the artist's music are not typical and are generally frowned upon due to the potential for conflicts of interest. Ownership is a separate issue from management duties and should be handled with distinct agreements and clear legal advice.

Can an artist buy back their publishing rights from a manager?

If a manager has been contractually granted publishing rights (which is unusual), an artist may potentially negotiate to buy back those rights depending on the agreement's clauses and the willingness of both parties to amend the existing terms.

What role do music managers play in the distribution of royalties?

Music managers do not usually play a direct role in the distribution of royalties, which is typically handled by a music publisher or a collection society. However, managers do oversee and ensure that royalty payments are being made correctly and in a timely manner on behalf of the artist.

Why is it important for an artist to retain their publishing rights?

It is important for an artist to retain their publishing rights because these rights are often a significant source of income, particularly as they pertain to the licensing and use of their music. Controlling publishing rights ensures artists receive their rightful share of royalties generated through various streams and uses of their work.

Unraveling the role of a music manager in the labyrinth of music publishing can appear ambivalent. Therefore, well-structured contracts and informed decisions become crucial. As the world of music evolves, so will roles and responsibilities. Understanding the implications can put you miles ahead in the industry. Enjoyed this piece? Share this article with your peers and explore more insights with Lyric Assistant!

Music Industry Insider 2024: The Ultimate Contact Handbook

Unlock the key to your music career. This game-changing resource puts over 3,000 of the most influential music industry contacts at your fingertips.

Connect directly with the top A&Rs, Music Managers, Producers, Record Labels & Booking Agents who can elevate your music to new heights. With all the content information you need, including email addresses and phone numbers. Don't just dream of success, make it a reality.

Embrace Music Industry Insider and open doors to limitless opportunities in your music journey.

trustpilot 1

Music Industry Insider 2024: The Ultimate Contact Handbook

Unlock the key to your music career. This game-changing resource puts over 3,000 of the most influential music industry contacts at your fingertips.

Connect directly with the top A&Rs, Music Managers, Producers, Record Labels & Booking Agents who can elevate your music to new heights. With all the content information you need, including email addresses and phone numbers. Don't just dream of success, make it a reality.

Embrace Music Industry Insider and open doors to limitless opportunities in your music journey.

trustpilot 1

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About Toni Mercia

Toni Mercia is a Grammy award-winning songwriter and the founder of Lyric Assistant. With over 15 years of experience in the music industry, Toni has written hit songs for some of the biggest names in music. She has a passion for helping aspiring songwriters unlock their creativity and take their craft to the next level. Through Lyric Assistant, Toni has created a tool that empowers songwriters to make great lyrics and turn their musical dreams into reality.

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