A&R and Manager Advice

How Music Managers Work

How Music Managers Work

Music management forms the backbone of an artist’s career, by providing the necessary strategic guidance and support. However, understanding the role of music managers may be tricky if you're new to the industry. So, how does music management work? This article will take a deep dive into all aspects of music management.

Who are Music Managers?

Music managers come into play as soon as an artist decides to transform their hobby into a profession. They are basically professionals who plan and direct the careers of musicians. A music manager’s specific duties, however, can vary dramatically depending on the level of an artist’s career: from managing finances and coordinating public relations efforts to deal negotiations and logistics tour management.

Roles and Responsibilities of a Music Manager

Being in charge of an artist's professional life, a music manager has a lot on their plate. Some of their primary responsibilities include:

  • Promoting the artist’s work.
  • Collaborating with record labels, producers, and event management companies.
  • Keeping tabs on contracts and legal agreements.
  • Consulting and coordinating with PR agencies and marketing experts to enhance brand image and reach.

Do All Artists Need a Music Manager?

One common question among emerging artists is whether it’s mandatory to get a music manager. While there's no hard and fast rule around having a manager, it's a good idea for artists who find themselves unable to handle the business side of their careers or those with a rapidly growing profile.

How Music Managers Work Example:

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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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Let's consider an upcoming musician, Clara. As Clara’s popularity grows, it becomes harder to manage concerts, promotional events, and financial accounts alongside making music. As such, she hires Sam, a music manager who's been in the industry for over a decade. Sam takes over the tasks of planning, promoting, making professional decisions, and everything in between for Clara, freeing her to focus on what she does best – creating music.

Frequently Asked Questions

What does a music manager do?

A music manager, also known as an artist manager or band manager, handles the business side of being an artist. This includes negotiating contracts, managing schedules, organizing tours, marketing, and assisting with financial management. Their core responsibility is to help create opportunities for artists and guide their professional career.

How does one become a music manager?

Becoming a music manager often requires a mix of education in music business and real-world experience. Many managers start by working internships at record labels, talent agencies, or management companies, and they may also begin by managing smaller local acts before moving up to larger, well-known artists.

Is a music manager the same as an agent?

No, a music manager is different from an agent. A manager deals with the day-to-day operations and long-term career strategy for an artist, while an agent typically focuses on booking live performances and appearances.

What is a typical commission for a music manager?

A typical commission for a music manager ranges from 10% to 20% of the artist's gross income, but this can vary depending on the level of the artist and the specifics of the management deal.

Should every artist have a manager?

Not necessarily; some independent artists manage their careers, especially when starting out. However, as an artist's career grows and becomes more complex, having a manager can become increasingly essential to handle the various aspects of the business.

Can a manager terminate their relationship with an artist?

Yes, a manager can terminate their relationship with an artist if the terms of their agreement allow for it, often with a notice period. This can happen for several reasons, such as unmet expectations, changes in direction, or interpersonal conflicts.

What should I look for in a good music manager?

Look for a manager with experience, a good track record, excellent industry connections, strong communication skills, and someone who shares your vision for your career. Trust and compatibility are also crucial in this partnership.

How long does a typical artist-manager relationship last?

The duration of an artist-manager relationship can vary from a few months to many years, often depending on success, satisfaction, and individual career paths. Some relationships even span entire careers.

What happens if an artist feels their manager is not performing well?

If an artist feels their manager is not performing effectively, they should first communicate their concerns. If the issues are not resolved, it may lead to a reevaluation of the management contract and potentially seeking new management.

Does a music manager have a role in creative decisions?

While managers may provide input and advice on creative decisions, the level of their involvement can vary and is typically determined by the preferences of the artist and the terms of the management agreement.

Are there legal certifications required to become a music manager?

There are no specific legal certifications required to become a music manager, but knowledge of entertainment law and contracts is highly beneficial. Some managers may seek certifications or degrees in music business or related fields to enhance their qualifications.

Can an artist have more than one manager?

An artist can have more than one manager if they have a team with different specialties, such as a personal manager, a road manager, and a business manager. However, roles and responsibilities must be clearly defined to avoid conflicts.

How often should an artist communicate with their manager?

Communication frequency between an artist and their manager should be enough to keep both parties informed and engaged. This varies but might range from daily updates to weekly meetings, depending on the level of activity and what stage the artist's career is in.

How does a music manager get paid if the artist is not yet making money?

Many music managers agree to work for a commission based on future earnings, taking a calculated risk if they believe in the artist's potential. However, some managers may require a retainer or other forms of payment until the artist starts generating income.

Do I need a contract with a music manager?

Yes, it's essential to have a signed contract with a music manager to outline the terms of the relationship, responsibilities, compensation, and what happens if either party wishes to terminate the agreement.

What kinds of problems can a music manager help solve?

A music manager can help solve various problems, including booking issues, contract negotiations, branding inconsistencies, and strategic career moves. They also help navigate the complexities of the music industry and advocate for an artist's interests.

Can a music manager help with getting a record deal?

Yes, a music manager can be instrumental in securing a record deal by leveraging their connections, pitching to labels, and helping to present the artist in the best light to attract interest from record executives.

Should a musician approach a music manager or wait to be discovered?

A proactive approach is usually advisable. Musicians should not solely depend on being discovered and should actively seek out management by building a solid body of work, networking, and showing potential interest from industry professionals.

What's the most important quality in a music manager?

The most important quality in a music manager is arguably trustworthiness, as the manager will be responsible for many aspects of an artist's career and financial affairs. Other vital qualities include industry knowledge, determination, and the ability to strategize and network effectively.

Are music managers involved in managing an artist's social media?

Music managers can be involved in social media management, either directly or by overseeing a team that handles online marketing and fan engagement. They understand the importance of an artist's digital presence and can strategize accordingly.

Music management may seem complicated, but understanding its intricacies can guide you in building an effective and successful artist-manager relationship. Want to delve more into the world of music and songwriting? Browse through other articles on Lyric Assistant. Found this post helpful? Don't forget to share it with others who could benefit from this insight into music management. Remember, knowledge shared is knowledge multiplied!

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

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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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