A&R and Manager Advice

How Do Music Managers Make Money

How Do Music Managers Make Money

When it comes to making money in the music industry, most of us think of famous artists and chart-topping hits. However, behind every successful artist, there’s often a music manager working tirelessly behind the scenes. But what exactly do music managers do? More importantly – how do they make money? Let’s dive into the fascinating world of music managing and uncover the mysteries of their income.

What is a Music Manager?

A music manager is a person who supervises, guides, and handles the career of an artist or band. They're involved in virtually every aspect of an artist’s career and help navigate the complex maze of the music industry, handling everything from booking gigs and negotiating contracts to image development and networking.

How do Music Managers Make Money?

There's not a one-size-fits-all answer to this question, as it depends on the specific contract between the manager and the artist. But, there are primarily three ways in which music managers make their income:

Royalties

Typically, a large chunk of a music manager's income comes from their percentage share in the artist's income. This is usually called the manager's commission and typically ranges between 15% to 20% of total earnings from an artist’s career including touring, record sales, publishing and more.

Flat Fee

Some managers, particularly those who manage emerging artists or bands, might charge a flat fee instead of a percentage. This guarantees the manager a certain income, regardless of the artist’s success.

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

Salaried Positions

Managers employed by large talent agencies or record companies may pull a traditional salary in addition to earning commissions.

How Do Music Managers Make Money Example:

Imagine a band called 'Fuzzy Socks' hires a music manager who negotiates a record deal for them. The record deal nets Fuzzy Socks $500,000. The manager, who has agreed to a 20% commission, would receive $100,000 from that deal. Beyond that, if the band goes on tour and makes another $500,000, again, 20% of that ($100,000) would go to the manager. So, in a good year, that manager can make a decent income from just that one client.

The world of music management is a complex and important part of the music industry. Whether that’s through royalties, a flat fee, or a salaried position, the ways music managers make money vary greatly but all contribute to the vital role they play in an artist's career.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is a music manager?

A music manager is a professional responsible for guiding the professional career of artists in the music industry. Their duties can range from negotiating contracts to planning tours, and they are often seen as the business partners of musicians.

How do music managers earn money?

Music managers typically earn money through commissions which are a percentage of the revenue generated by the artist. This percentage varies but is usually around 10% to 20% of the artist's gross income.

Is the percentage of commission negotiable?

Yes, the commission rate is often negotiable. It depends on the manager's experience, the artist's potential for earnings, and the specific services being provided. Both parties must agree upon the rate before the formal partnership begins.

Do music managers receive a salary?

Most music managers do not receive a traditional salary. Instead, they earn commissions based on the artist's earnings. However, in some cases, especially when working for music management companies, they may have a base salary.

What sources of income does a manager commission come from?

Managers usually earn commissions from the artist's income streams, including album sales, streaming revenue, live performances, merchandise sales, licensing deals, and endorsements.

Are there different types of music managers?

Yes, there are several types including personal managers (who work closely with an artist), business managers (who handle financial affairs), and tour managers (who manage the details of touring).

Do music managers work with both signed and unsigned artists?

Yes, music managers can work with artists regardless of whether they are signed to a record label. Some may even specialize in helping unsigned artists to develop their careers and secure record deals.

Can a music manager make money off an artist's merchandise and branding?

Typically, managers will have a commission from an artist's merchandise and branding deals as these are considered part of the artist's overall revenue streams.

What happens if an artist isn't earning much? Does the manager still get paid?

If an artist isn't generating significant revenue, the manager's income will be proportionately low since it's commission-based. Effective management should aim to work with the artist to increase earnings potential over time.

Do music managers pay for any expenses?

Normally, managers do not cover expenses. Instead, expenses are typically paid out of the artist's earnings before the manager takes their commission. However, managers might invest in an artist's career in exceptional circumstances.

Are contracts between artists and managers necessary?

Yes, contracts are crucial as they outline the agreement's terms, responsibilities, commission rates, and the duration of the partnership, safeguarding both the manager's and the artist's interests.

What skills are important for a music manager to have?

A good music manager needs a mix of business acumen, interpersonal skills, industry knowledge, negotiation prowess, and, often, a good sense of creativity and talent scouting ability.

How do new music managers find clients?

New managers often start by networking in the music industry, attending events, showcasing their ability to add value, or they may start by working with emerging talent and building a reputation for success.

Does a manager's commission decrease as an artist becomes more successful?

Not necessarily. While some artists may renegotiate the terms once they reach a certain level of success, the percentage may remain consistent or it could adjust depending on what the manager and artist agree upon.

How long do managers typically work with an artist?

The length of the relationship between a manager and an artist can vary broadly. It could be short-term for specific projects, or it can last for many years, depending on success and personal dynamics.

How do managers help with an artist's career development?

Managers help in career development by providing strategic advice, securing opportunities, negotiating deals, building a team around the artist, and helping to navigate the industry's complexities.

Can an artist have more than one manager?

Yes, an artist can have multiple managers, especially when dealing with different aspects of their career such as a tour manager, a business manager, and a general manager or when operating across different territories.

Is it common for artists to switch managers?

While not always common, artists do sometimes switch managers when their needs change, or they feel a different manager could offer better guidance as their career evolves.

How do music managers build relationships with record labels?

Music managers create and maintain relationships with record labels through networking, collaborating on projects, demonstrating the ability to develop successful artists, and by ensuring mutually beneficial partnerships.

Do music managers have to register with any specific organizations?

While music managers aren't required to register with specific organizations, memberships in music industry associations like the Music Managers Forum (MMF) can provide resources, networking opportunities, and credibility.

What are the risks of being a music manager?

Risks include financial instability due to commission-based income, reliance on the success of artists, navigating complex contracts and regulations, and maintaining relevance in a fast-changing industry.

Can a music manager also be a producer or a songwriter?

Yes, a music manager can wear multiple hats, including those of a producer or songwriter. However, the manager must ensure no conflict of interest and that they can effectively perform all roles without compromising their managerial responsibilities.

Looking to gain some industry insights or need assistance with your own lyrics? Why not explore our other guides here on Lyric Assistant! You'll find a wealth of knowledge and even tools to help you create your own masterpieces. Feel free to share this article with your friends on social media to help shed light on the often overlooked role of music managers.

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

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