A&R and Manager Advice

Introduction to Music Managers

Introduction to Music Managers

In the music industry, music managers are typically unheralded but indispensable. They are the driving force that helps launch the careers of budding musicians, transform them into stars, and keep their careers on a steady incline. However, understanding what a music manager does or how you might need one in your career is not always obvious. Our blog post, ‘Introduction to Music Managers,’ will guide you in uncovering the role and importance of music managers in an artist's life.

What is a Music Manager?

In a nutshell, a music manager is the person responsible for the business side of things in an artist's career. They handle negotiations, financial management, and business opportunities. Music managers frequently collaborate with a variety of industry professionals, such as record labels, booking agencies, promoters, and publicists, to further an artist's musical career.

Role of Music Managers

  • Brand Building: The manager contributes to defining and building the artist's brand and image.
  • Talent Management: Managers help to hone the artist's talents and develop their craft.
  • Bargaining Deals: They negotiate contracts with record companies, promoters, and other professionals.
  • Networking: Managers use their industry connections to create opportunities for their artists.

Why Do Artists Need Music Managers?

For an artist to achieve success in the music industry, they must not only be musically talented but also business-minded. A music manager helps artists focus on their creativity by taking over the business responsibilities, allowing artists to create the best music they can.

When Should an Artist Hire a Music Manager?

An artist should consider hiring a music manager when they’re feeling overwhelmed, have too many business-related tasks to manage on their own or when they're at a point in their career where a manager's connections and experience would be beneficial.

Now, imagine an aspiring country musician named Sara who's released several successful tracks and is starting to gain a substantial following. As her popularity grows, she finds herself needing to concentrate more on her music career than ever before.

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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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However, she's also bogged down by negotiations with record labels, scheduling tour dates, keeping up with social media, and maintaining relationships with industry professionals. It's at this point that she decides to bring in a music manager. The manager steps in, takes control of these tasks, and allows Sara to concentrate on her music.

Frequently Asked Questions

What does a music manager do?

A music manager plays a crucial role in the career of artists and bands. They are responsible for guiding the professional career of musicians by overseeing business aspects, handling negotiations, organizing schedules, developing strategies for artist promotion, and often acting as a liaison between the artist and record labels, promoters, and other industry professionals.

How does someone become a music manager?

A person becomes a music manager usually through a combination of education, such as degrees in music business, management, or related fields, and hands-on experience in the music industry. Networking, interning for music companies, and working with emerging artists can help build the necessary skills and contacts.

When should an artist consider getting a manager?

Artists should consider getting a manager when the daily tasks of managing their career start to overwhelm their ability to focus on producing music. It's also important when they need a professional to help with negotiating contracts, booking gigs, and navigating the music industry.

Is having a music manager expensive?

The cost of having a music manager can vary. Typically, managers are paid a commission, around 15-20% of the artist's earnings rather than an upfront fee. The exact percentage can vary depending on the manager's level of experience and the specific agreement with the artist.

Can an artist manage themselves?

An artist can manage themselves, especially in the early stages of their career. However, as their career progresses and becomes more complex, it might be more effective to hire a manager to handle business affairs and career strategy.

What should I look for in a music manager?

When looking for a music manager, search for someone with a strong network in the music industry, excellent communication skills, a proven track record of success with other artists, and a deep understanding of your musical genre. It's also important that they share your vision and demonstrate enthusiasm for your music.

How do music managers find new talent?

Music managers often find new talent by attending live shows, listening to online music platforms, getting referrals from industry contacts, scouting social media, and through direct submissions from artists who believe they are ready for management.

What's the difference between a manager and an agent?

A music manager handles the overall career of an artist, including strategy, team coordination, and contract negotiations. An agent, on the other hand, specifically focuses on booking live performances and tours for an artist and usually operates under the regulations of different agencies representing creatives.

How long does a typical artist-manager relationship last?

The duration of an artist-manager relationship can greatly vary, lasting from a few months to many years. It is often determined by the terms of a management contract, mutual success, and the ability to maintain a good working relationship.

Can a music manager drop an artist?

Yes, a music manager can drop an artist if the relationship is not working out as expected or if the artist is not meeting career milestones. This would typically be addressed within the terms of the management contract, which should outline the grounds for termination.

What's included in a typical music management contract?

A typical music management contract includes details about commission percentages, length of the agreement, responsibilities of each party, grounds for termination, and any other specific details pertinent to the working relationship.

Can a music manager help me get a record deal?

While a music manager cannot guarantee a record deal, they can greatly increase your chances by leveraging their contacts, promoting your music to labels, and helping you build a profile that is attractive to these companies.

Do I need a lawyer to review a management contract?

Yes, it is highly advisable to have a lawyer, preferably one who specializes in entertainment law, review any management contract to ensure that your rights are protected and the terms are fair.

How has the role of music managers changed with digital streaming?

Digital streaming has significantly changed the music industry's landscape, which in turn has affected the role of music managers. Managers now focus more on digital marketing strategies, online presence, and navigating the complexities of streaming revenue, while still managing traditional aspects of the music career.

What are the day-to-day responsibilities of a music manager?

The day-to-day responsibilities of a music manager can include scheduling, organizing tours, negotiating contracts and deals, planning promotional activities, coordinating with other team members like publicists and booking agents, and advising the artist on financial and creative decisions.

Is it necessary for a music manager to live in a music industry hub like Los Angeles or Nashville?

While it can be beneficial for a music manager to be based in a music industry hub due to networking opportunities and proximity to industry events, it's not strictly necessary. With today's digital communication tools, a manager can effectively work from almost anywhere.

How do music managers get paid?

Music managers get paid primarily through commissions on the earnings of the artists they manage. This payment structure aligns the manager's financial interests with the success of the artist.

What are the pitfalls of not having a music manager?

Without a music manager, an artist may struggle with the business side of the industry, including missing out on opportunities, mishandling negotiations, or failing to effectively promote their career. This can result in slower career growth and added stress on the artist.

How can I ensure a productive relationship with my music manager?

To ensure a productive relationship with your music manager, maintain open communication, establish clear goals and expectations, regularly review performance, and work collaboratively on career decisions. Trust and respect are fundamental to this partnership.

Can an artist have more than one music manager?

An artist typically has one main music manager to ensure a cohesive approach to their career. However, in some cases, especially for artists with international careers, it might make sense to have separate managers for different territories to handle specific regional needs.

How might a music manager contribute to the creative process?

A music manager can contribute to the creative process by providing feedback on projects, helping develop an artist's brand and image, and supporting the artist's vision while aligning it with market trends and opportunities.

Understanding the role of a music manager can be the defining key to a prosperous career in music. They take on a significant role, allowing artists to concentrate on creating and expressing through their music. If you enjoyed reading our guide ‘Introduction to Music Managers,’ be sure to share it with fellow artists. Continue exploring the world of music through the additional guides included with your Lyric Assistant subscription.

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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