A&R and Manager Advice

How Do Music Managers Get Paid

How Do Music Managers Get Paid

Music managers play a vital role in shaping the career and success of artists. They are the operators behind the curtain, ensuring that everything runs smoothly, from schedules to branding and marketing strategies. But how do these tireless individuals earn their dues? Just like an artist's creativity needs to be rewarded, so does the effort of a music manager. This article investigates the financial dimension of their crucial role.

How Do Music Managers Get Paid Table of Contents

The Basics of Music Management

Frequently Asked Questions

The Basics of Music Management

Music managers are the backbone of an artist's career. They organize live performances, negotiate contracts, manage relationships, and handle various other tasks, including financial management and marketing. Their responsibilities are vast and crucial for the success of an artist, but their pay is often a confusing subject to many.

Percentages: The Traditional Method

Typically, music managers get paid through a percentage of an artist’s gross income. This traditional method ensures that a manager gets paid when the artist gets paid - creating a symbiotic relationship where both parties have a vested interest in the other's success.

- The standard industry rate usually lies somewhere between 15-20% of the artist's gross income. This includes money from live gigs, album sales, merchandise sales, royalties, and endorsements.

- Some genres and industries may have different standards. It’s not uncommon for managers in certain fervent and profitable sectors, like hip-hop or pop, to charge up to 25% due to high demand and vast earning potential.

Music Industry Insider 2024: The Ultimate Contact Database

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 Database

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

Salary: A Lesser-Used Method

In some cases, a music manager might receive a fixed salary, often in combination with a lower percentage fee. This method is usually used when an artist has consistent income, providing a stable base salary for their manager.

Riders: An Added Bonus

A rider is an added bonus to an artist’s performance fee, which can also be given to a manager as a form of payment. This includes free food, transportation, accommodation, and sometimes even additional fees.

How Do Music Managers Get Paid Example:

Imagine a rock band is on its first national tour. Their manager has helped arrange all the dates, negotiate terms, and ensure logistics. When the band makes $1,000 from a gig, the manager would receive $200 if their agreed-upon percentage is 20%.

As you can see, music managers earn their bread through a mix of methods, often tailored to the unique circumstances of each artist they manage. It’s a dynamic landscape where music managers have to strike the delicate balance of securing their own financial stability while negotiating the best deals for their artists.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is a music manager?

A music manager is a professional who guides the professional career of artists in the entertainment industry. The manager's duties include negotiating contracts, arranging concerts, managing public relations, and providing advice on career decisions.

How do music managers get paid?

Music managers typically earn money through a commission-based structure, where they receive a percentage of the artist's earnings from contracts, appearances, and sales. This percentage usually ranges from 10% to 20%.

Is the commission rate for music managers fixed?

No, the commission rate for music managers is not fixed and can be negotiated between the manager and the artist. Rates can vary depending on the manager's experience, the artist's revenue, and the scope of the manager's responsibilities.

Do music managers receive a salary?

It is uncommon for music managers to receive a fixed salary, as most operate on a commission basis. However, some may receive a salary in addition to commission in certain scenarios, especially if they work for a larger management firm.

Can a music manager charge for expenses?

Yes, music managers can charge for certain expenses that are incurred in the management of the artist's career, such as travel costs or promotional materials. These expenses should be agreed upon in the management contract.

Is it possible for a music manager to get an advance payment from an artist?

Advance payments to music managers are not typical; however, some managers may negotiate advances against future earnings, especially if they are investing a significant amount of time and resources upfront.

Are there different payment structures for music managers?

Yes, payment structures for music managers can vary. While commission-based agreements are the norm, some managers may operate on a retainer, hourly rate, or even profit-sharing basis.

What happens if an artist does not make money? Does the manager still get paid?

If an artist does not make any money, a manager working on a commission basis typically does not get paid. Success-based payment structures align the interests of the manager with those of the artist.

Do music managers get paid for all revenue streams?

Music managers usually earn a commission on most revenue streams generated by the artist, including album sales, concert ticket sales, merchandising, endorsements, and licensing deals, but this depends on the terms of the management agreement.

How do new artists pay their managers if they aren't making much money yet?

New artists may negotiate lower commission rates or deferred payments with their managers until they start earning more. Alternatively, the manager may agree to lower initial fees in exchange for potential future gains.

What is the typical duration of a music management contract?

Music management contracts can vary in duration, with some lasting a few years while others are open-ended. The specific term should be explicitly outlined in the contract between the manager and the artist.

Can a music manager work with multiple artists?

Yes, a music manager can represent multiple artists, provided they can effectively divide their time and resources to support each artist's career.

What skills are important for a music manager to have?

Important skills for a music manager include strong communication and negotiation abilities, knowledge of the music industry, organizational skills, and a good network of industry contacts.

How do music managers find their clients?

Music managers find clients through networking, industry events, referrals, scouting talent at live shows, or direct outreach by the artist.

Is a written contract necessary between an artist and a manager?

Yes, a written contract is crucial for establishing a clear working relationship between an artist and a manager, including payment terms, duties, and the duration of the agreement.

Do music managers work alone or as part of a larger organization?

Music managers can work independently, part of a management company, or as an employee of a larger organization. The working arrangement often depends on the manager's preferences and business model.

What happens to the manager's commission if the artist's contract is terminated early?

If an artist's contract is terminated early, the manager's commission will depend on the terms outlined in the management contract. Some contracts have a "sunset clause" which allows the manager to continue receiving a diminishing rate of commission for a period after the contract has ended.

Can a music manager handle more than just music-related activities?

A manager can sometimes handle other aspects of an artist's career, such as branding, acting, and other entertainment ventures if these are included in their agreement.

How are disputes between a music manager and artist usually resolved?

Disputes between a music manager and artist are usually resolved through direct negotiation, mediation, or arbitration, as per the conflict resolution terms laid out in their contract. Legal action is a last resort.

Are there associations or governing bodies for music managers?

Yes, there are various associations and governing bodies for music managers that provide support, resources, and networking opportunities, such as the Music Managers Forum (MMF).

How has digital music and streaming affected music managers' pay?

Digital music and streaming have transformed the music industry's revenue streams, often resulting in lower upfront payments but potentially greater long-term earnings through steady streaming income. Managers' pay can vary accordingly with these changing revenue dynamics.

Feel free to explore more about the music industry and songwriting on Lyric Assistant's other guides. And don't forget to share this article with others who might find it helpful! Happy writing and managing!

Music Industry Insider 2024: The Ultimate Contact Database

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 Database

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

author-avatar

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.

Related Posts