A&R and Manager Advice

Managers Music Industry

Managers Music Industry

Navigating the music industry can seem like a Herculean task, especially without proper guidance. This is the very reason why managers are so crucial. They do more than just direct; they mold and shape careers.

Managers Music Industry Table of Contents

Who are Music Managers?

Frequently Asked Questions

Who are Music Managers?

Music managers, or band managers, are the custodians of a musician's career. They negotiate contracts, guide artists, manage schedules, and advocate for their clients. Essentially, they align your artistic pursuits with the realities of the music industry.

Roles of a Music Manager

  • Visionaries: A manager helps crystallize an artist’s vision and devise a strategic plan to achieve it. They set attainable goals, and then work towards fulfilling them.
  • Brand builders: A significant aspect of their role is to help artists build their public image. They set up photo shoots, interviews, and generate publicity opportunities.
  • Negotiators: Managers negotiate beneficial contracts with record labels, booking agents, and other industry professionals. They ensure the wellbeing and the financial stability of the artist.

Choosing the Right Manager

Finding the right manager requires careful thought and patience. Consider the manager's:

  • Industry contacts: Ideally, they should have strong music industry connections, which can provide better opportunities for exposure and success.
  • Style: Each manager has a unique style. Some may take a more hands-on approach while others might offer more creative freedom. Find the balance that suits you perfectly.

Managers Music Industry Example:

Let's say you have a talented band. Your music is exceptional, but your shows are a bit sporadic and played for modest crowds. You don't have a record deal yet, but this is your dream.

Write Hit Songs Like a Professional Songwriter

The ultimate songwriting tool that takes your creative vision to the next level! With just a few clicks, you can unleash your inner songwriter and craft a hit that's uniquely yours. You own it.

Example: Pop, Rock, Rap, Electronic, R&B, K-Pop, Drill...
Example: Happy, sad, inspirational, romantic, gritty...
Example: Love, loss, overcoming adversity, party, faith, personal growth, reflection...
Example: Kendrick Lamar, Drake, Grimes, Beyonce, Billie Eillish, Pink Floyd, BTS ...
A bridge is used to provide a new perspective or shift in your song's mood

This is where the music manager comes in. They step in, help arrange a regular gig schedule and then use their contacts to get you more prominent venues, record deals, or even festival spots. They create a better brand image, increase your fan base, and ultimately help you get closer to your dream.

Frequently Asked Questions

What does a music manager do in the music industry?

A music manager plays a critical role in the career of artists and bands. They advise on all aspects of their careers, handle negotiations, forge connections, seek out opportunities, develop marketing and promotional strategies, and often manage the day-to-day operations of the artist's business affairs to allow the talent to focus on creativity and performances.

How does someone become a music manager?

Becoming a music manager often requires a blend of formal education and practical experience. Many managers start by studying business, music business, or related fields in college. Building a network within the industry through internships and networking events is also crucial. Many managers begin by working with up-and-coming artists to gain experience.

Can a manager also act as a booking agent?

While a manager may occasionally book shows for an artist, especially in the early stages of their career, the roles of a manager and booking agent are typically distinct. Booking agents specialize in arranging live performances and tours. Managers tend to focus on the artist’s overall career strategy, though in some cases, they might perform both roles, especially in smaller operations.

Why is it important for an artist to have a manager?

An artist's main focus should be on creating music and performing. A manager handles the business side, allowing the artist to prioritize creativity without the stress of the industry's complexities. Managers help artists make informed decisions, offer guidance, and facilitate growth and opportunities in their career.

At what point in a musician's career should they consider getting a manager?

Artists should consider getting a manager when they've established a solid body of work, are beginning to see a growth in their fan base, and have started to receive opportunities that require more time and knowledge to manage than they can handle independently. A good indicator is when the business side of the music starts interfering with the time devoted to creating music or performing.

What qualities should an artist look for in a manager?

An artist should look for a manager who has a strong understanding of the music industry, robust networking skills, and experience with successful artist campaigns. Additionally, it is vital for the manager to believe in the artist's potential, exhibit clear communication skills, and have an aligned vision for the artist’s career.

How does a music manager get paid?

Music managers typically earn a percentage of the revenue generated by the artists they represent, usually ranging from 10% to 20%. This includes earnings from sales, touring, merchandising, and other income streams. Some managers may work on a flat fee structure or a combination of fee and commission.

What are the biggest challenges music managers face?

Challenges for music managers include changes in the music industry landscape, such as the shift to streaming and digital media, keeping up with trends, managing an artist's expectations, and ensuring financial stability. They also have to regularly negotiate contracts and deal with various industry players.

Is it better for an artist to have an individual manager or be part of a management firm?

This depends on the artist's needs and career stage. Individual managers may provide more personalized attention, while management firms have more resources and connections. Emerging artists might benefit from the focus of an individual manager, whereas established artists might need the broader services of a firm.

Do music managers help with an artist's branding?

Yes, music managers often play an integral role in an artist's branding. They collaborate with the artist to develop a brand identity that resonates with their desired image and audience, advise on branding strategies, and help to implement these strategies across various platforms and marketing efforts.

What legal knowledge should a music manager have?

Music managers should be familiar with contract law, copyright law, music licensing, and basic principles of intellectual property as they relate to the music industry. They don’t have to be legal experts but should possess enough knowledge to protect their artists' interests or know when to consult with a legal professional.

How do managers deal with an artist's creative slumps or personal issues?

Empathy and patience are key when dealing with an artist's creative slumps or personal issues. A manager should provide support and resources to help the artist through tough times, whether that’s finding co-writers, suggesting a break, or assisting in seeking professional help if needed. Maintaining open lines of communication is essential.

What role does a music manager play in an artist's recording process?

A music manager can help secure studio time, bring together a production team, and facilitate the logistics of the recording process. They might also assist in making creative connections and decisions, although the level of their creative involvement can vary from artist to artist.

How do music managers build connections within the industry?

Music managers build connections through networking at industry events, fostering relationships with labels, agents, promoters, and other music professionals, and leveraging social media and professional platforms. They also build a reputation by nurturing successful artists and engaging with music communities.

Can a music manager drop an artist?

Yes, a music manager can drop an artist if the working relationship is no longer beneficial or viable. This might occur due to creative differences, unmet expectations, or financial disagreements. Typically, the terms for termination of the partnership are outlined in the management contract.

What should a music management contract include?

A music management contract should include the duration of the agreement, the manager's responsibilities, compensation details, grounds for termination, how decisions are made, and any other relevant aspects of the working relationship. It should be reviewed by legal counsel before being signed by either party.

How do music managers handle conflicts of interest?

A good music manager should always disclose any potential conflicts of interest to their clients. Transparent communication, adherence to ethical standards, and in some cases, divestment from conflicting parties, are ways to manage such conflicts. The interests of the artist should always come first.

What are the recent trends affecting music managers?

Recent trends affecting music managers include the rise of independent artists, the prevalence of streaming services, the power of social media in music promotion, the importance of data analytics in decision-making, and the globalisation of music markets. Managers must adapt to these trends to strategically position their clients for success.

What's the difference between a tour manager and a music manager?

A tour manager specializes in the logistical aspects of an artist's live performances and tours, including travel arrangements, accommodations, and on-the-road schedules. In contrast, a music manager deals with the broader scope of an artist’s career, which may include touring strategies but also encompasses recording, publishing, marketing, and overall career direction.

How can artists find the right manager for their career?

Artists can find the right manager by researching and reaching out to those with experience in their genre or industry niche, seeking referrals from other musicians or industry contacts, and attending music events or conferences. When evaluating potential managers, artists should assess alignment of vision, work ethic, reputation, and chemistry.

Managing artists in the music industry is never an easy task, with multiple variables at play. But a good manager can turn these challenges into a harmonious symphony. Seek out managers who align with your artistic vision, have established industry contacts, and are able to secure favorable contracts on your behalf. And remember, a manager is more than a guide; they are your career partner. Try our other guides on Lyric Assistant for more insights into the music industry. Share this article with other budding musicians in your network and help them illuminate their path.

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


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