A&R and Manager Advice

Everything You Need to Know About Music Managers

Everything You Need to Know About Music Managers

There’s a mythical aura that surrounds the role of the music manager. The manager, often depicted in films and TV as the puppet master orchestrating the moves that lead bands or solo artists to stardom, is in reality the unsung hero behind every successful artist. For someone navigating the musical landscape, understanding the role of a music manager is integral. This is why we’ve put together this guide to teach you everything you need to know about music managers.

What is a Music Manager?

A music manager, at the most basic level, is an individual or company that guides the career of musicians. They deal with the business aspect of the music industry, allowing musicians to focus solely on the creative aspect. The role a music manager plays can differ greatly depending on the artist's stage of career, but it generally involves aspects such as contract negotiation, business development, team assembling and networking.

Roles and Responsibilities of a Music Manager

  1. Career guidance: A manager guides the artist through their career, making strategic decisions that align with the artist's long-term goals. This includes choosing record companies, booking agents, PR teams and more.
  2. Negotiation: Managers negotiate contracts with record labels, promoters and other industry figures. They use their knowledge of the industry to secure the best deals for their artists.
  3. Network: Managers often have an extensive network of connections which they leverage to benefit their artists. This is especially valuable during the early stages of an artist’s career when they need to build a reputation.

Why You Need a Music Manager

Balancing the demands of music production and business can be overwhelming. Having a manager provides an artist with the time and space to direct their entire energy towards their craft. Furthermore, a seasoned manager with an extensive network can be the key to unlocking new opportunities and higher income streams for the artist.

Choosing a Music Manager

The choice of manager is crucial as they wield significant influence over the artist's career. It is important to give careful consideration to their experience, network, and a shared vision for the artist's career.

Everything You Need to Know About Music Managers Example:

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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.

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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.

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Let's take the example of a fictitious band, 'The Soundwaves', a pop rock band that is beginning to make waves in their local scene. They're receiving more gig offers than they can keep up with, and deals for brand endorsements are starting to show up. This is the perfect time for them to look for a manager. Someone who can manage their gig bookings, handle their finances and guide their career. The band could have potentially landed a poor endorsement, but a good manager steps in and negotiates a better deal, protecting the band's interests.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is a music manager?

A music manager is a professional who guides the professional career of artists in the music industry. Their responsibilities include negotiating contracts, securing gigs, managing schedules, and helping artists with marketing and public relations efforts.

Why do artists need managers?

Artists need managers to handle the business aspects of their careers, allowing the artists to focus on creating and performing music. Managers also have industry connections that can open doors for artists.

At what point in my career should I consider getting a manager?

You should consider getting a manager when you've reached a point where the administrative and business tasks are taking too much time away from your creative process or when you're ready to advance your career to the next level.

What are the typical responsibilities of a music manager?

Music managers typically handle contract negotiations, book performances, manage financial affairs, develop marketing strategies, and provide general career guidance and support.

How do music managers get paid?

Music managers generally earn a percentage of the artist's earnings, usually around 10-20%. This payment structure incentivizes them to work towards the artist's success.

Is it necessary for a music manager to have connections in the music industry?

Yes, having connections is crucial for a music manager as it allows them to network and provide opportunities for their clients that they may not be able to find on their own.

How do I find a good music manager?

To find a good music manager, seek recommendations from industry professionals, attend music conferences, or research managers who work with artists similar to your style.

What should I look for in a good music manager?

Look for a manager with a proven track record, strong communication skills, an understanding of your musical vision, and a robust network of industry contacts.

Can I negotiate the terms with a music manager?

Yes, you should always negotiate terms that are fair and beneficial for both parties before entering into a management agreement.

How do I know if a music manager is reputable?

Research their past clients, ask for testimonials, check for professional affiliations, and speak with industry professionals to assess the reputation of a music manager.

Should the artist or the manager have the final say in decisions?

While the manager advises on decisions, the artist should ultimately have the final say as it's their career being shaped by these choices.

What’s the difference between a music manager and a booking agent?

A music manager oversees the artist's overall career trajectory, while a booking agent specializes in finding and negotiating live performance opportunities.

Can a music manager help me get a record deal?

Yes, a music manager can use their industry connections and experience to help you secure a record deal by pitching your music to labels and negotiating terms.

What if I am not happy with my current music manager?

If you're not satisfied, it's important to communicate your concerns first. If issues cannot be resolved, review your contract to understand your options for ending the partnership.

What is a '360 deal' and how does it affect management?

A '360 deal' is an agreement where a record label gets a percentage of various aspects of an artist's career. This can affect management as it may change how a manager is compensated and what areas they oversee.

Do music managers handle an artist's PR and branding?

While some music managers might assist with PR and branding, many artists work with separate publicists or branding experts specialized in those areas.

How long do management contracts typically last?

Management contracts can vary in length but often last between one to five years. It’s important to set a term that both the artist and manager are comfortable with.

Do I need a lawyer to review a management contract?

It's highly advisable to have an entertainment lawyer review any management contract before signing to protect your interests and ensure you fully understand the agreement.

Can a music manager drop their client if they're not successful?

Yes, a music manager can end the relationship if they feel it's not commercially viable. This possibility is typically addressed in the management contract's terms.

What is the role of a music manager with regard to live shows?

The role of a manager with regard to live shows can involve booking the shows, negotiating fees, planning the logistics, and ensuring that the event runs smoothly.

How does an independent artist benefit from having a music manager?

An independent artist can benefit from a music manager's expertise in industry knowledge, connections, and the ability to effectively handle business and promotional responsibilities, thereby allowing the artist to concentrate on music.

What are the red flags to watch out for when choosing a music manager?

Red flags include lack of industry knowledge, poor communication skills, lack of transparency in their business practices, and an absence of passion for the artist's work.

Whether you’re an artist just starting out or an established act, a music manager could be the missing piece in your path to success. Now equipped with everything you need to know about music managers, remember, the right manager can truly turn the tide in your favour. Enjoyed reading this article? We have more such insightful articles on Lyric Assistant. Feel free to share our articles with other music aficionados in your circle.

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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