A&R and Manager Advice

Music Intermediaries: Agents, Managers, and Attorneys

Music Intermediaries: Agents, Managers, and Attorneys

In the world of music, creating beautiful melodies and heart-touching lyrics isn't enough. There's a multitude of complex business affairs to handle. That's where music intermediaries like agents, managers, and attorneys come into play. They work behind the scenes to ensure everything runs smoothly and efficiently, allowing the artists to focus on their creativity.

Music Agents:

A music agent is essentially a dealmaker. They serve as liaisons between artists and venues, promoters, and music event organizers. The agent's primary purpose is to secure live performances contracts for their clients.

Role and Responsibilities:

  • Booking live shows, tours, and performances
  • Negotiating contracts details with event organizers and promoters
  • Creating artists' tour schedule
  • Promoting the artists to various venues and booking performances

Music Managers:

Music managers handle more diverse aspects of a musician's career. They help to develop a strategy for the artist's brand and career advancement.

Role and Responsibilities:

  • Offering career guidance and professional advice
  • Financial Management – control earnings, investments and ensure all bills are paid
  • Public Relations - maintaining the artist's image and good relations with the press
  • Making crucial connections with music industry players

Music Attorneys:

These professionals ensure all legal aspects are covered, specifically deals, contracts, and disputes. They safeguard the artist's rights and interests

Role and Responsibilities:

  • Contract negotiation and review
  • Legal advice on deals and contracts
  • Representation in legal disputes
  • Understanding royalty and licensing agreements

Music Intermediaries: Agents, Managers, and Attorneys Example:

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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.

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Consider a high-profile artist who's been offered a lucrative contract for a world tour. Here's how our three different intermediaries might get involved.

Music Agent:

The agent negotiates the venue bookings, dates, and promotional efforts for each leg of the tour. They also secure the payment for each performance and work out any additional contract details like merchandising rights.

Music Manager:

The manager will offer advice on whether the tour aligns with the artist's career goals. He arranges the logistics of the tour, oversees the artist's financial affairs, and maintains public relations.

Music Attorney:

The attorney ensures all the legalities of the contract are correct. They review the fine print, flag any potentially damaging clauses, and handle any lawsuits if they arise during the tour.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is a music intermediary?

A music intermediary is a professional who acts as a go-between for musicians and other parties in the music industry. This can include agents, managers, attorneys, and other roles that facilitate career development, bookings, contracts, and legal matters for artists.

What does a music agent do?

A music agent is responsible for finding and booking live performance opportunities for musicians. They negotiate contracts and terms for concerts, tours, and personal appearances. Agents work to secure the best possible deals and performance venues for their clients.

How do music managers support artists?

Music managers guide the overall career of the artist. They may help in making critical decisions, developing marketing and branding strategies, coordinating with other team members, and sometimes even assisting with personal matters. Managers often act as a buffer between the artist and the business side of music.

What role do attorneys play in a musician's career?

Attorneys in the music industry focus on protecting the legal interests of their clients. They draft and review contracts, handle intellectual property matters such as copyrights and trademarks, provide legal advice on deals, and represent artists in legal disputes.

How do I choose the right music agent?

Choosing the right music agent involves research and networking. Look for someone with a strong track record in your genre of music, solid connections, and a profound understanding of the industry. It's also essential to find someone who believes in your music and with whom you can establish a trusting relationship.

What should I consider when getting a music manager?

Consider their experience, past successes, and the roster of other artists they manage. The manager's reputation, negotiation skills, and compatibility with your vision are crucial factors. A good manager should be enthusiastic about your work and willing to commit the necessary time to your career development.

What kind of contracts do music attorneys handle?

Music attorneys handle a range of contracts, including recording contracts, publishing deals, distribution agreements, licensing contracts, performance contracts, and more. They ensure that these agreements protect the artist's interests and comply with legal standards.

Can I manage my own music career?

While self-management is possible, it often becomes overwhelming as your career progresses. Having professional intermediaries allows you to focus on creating music while they handle business logistics. Yet, some artists successfully manage their careers, particularly with the aid of digital tools and platforms.

What is the difference between an exclusive and non-exclusive agent?

An exclusive agent has the sole right to book gigs and represent you in a geographic region or sector, while a non-exclusive agent allows you to work with multiple agents concurrently. Each has its benefits and drawbacks depending on your career strategy.

When should I seek legal advice in the music industry?

Seek legal advice for any contract or agreement before signing, if you're dealing with copyright or trademark issues, when entering a business partnership or forming a company, and any time there are significant financial transactions or legal questions involved in your career.

How do I know if I need a manager?

If you're struggling to balance music creation with the business demands of your career, or if you're looking for strategic guidance and more significant industry opportunities, a manager might be beneficial. It is especially true if your career is gaining momentum and the administrative tasks become too much to handle alone.

What fees do music agents charge?

Most music agents work on a commission basis, typically charging 10-20% of the gross income from the deals they negotiate. It’s important to clarify fee structures up front and ensure they are outlined in your contract.

How do managers get paid?

Managers usually also work on a commission basis, earning typically around 15-20% of an artist's gross income. The specific percentage can vary based on the manager's role, the artist's revenue, and other negotiated factors.

Can an attorney also be my manager?

While an attorney can provide essential legal advice and services, it’s generally not recommended for them to act as a manager due to potential conflicts of interest. Their responsibilities and focus areas are quite different, and having separate individuals or firms handle these roles can provide more comprehensive support to an artist.

What's the best way to find a reputable music attorney?

Network with industry peers, ask for referrals from other music professionals, or consult music industry directories and associations. It's essential to find an attorney with experience in the music industry who understands the specifics of music law.

How long should a contract with a manager or agent last?

The length of a contract with a manager or agent can vary. Typically, it can be anywhere from one to five years. Ensure that the terms are clear and include provisions for a fair termination process on both sides if things don't work out.

Do I need an agent if I’m an independent artist?

While not essential, having an agent can benefit independent artists by opening up performance opportunities and handling negotiation details that might not be within the artist's expertise or network. It depends on the artist's goals, resources, and career stage.

What should I look for in a management contract?

In a management contract, look for clear terms regarding the scope of the manager's duties, duration of the agreement, commission rates, and expense policies. It should also include how to resolve conflicts and conditions if either party wants to terminate the agreement.

Do music attorneys work on a retainer or per-project basis?

It depends on the attorney and the client's needs. Some attorneys work on a retainer—a fixed monthly or yearly fee—while others charge per project or on an hourly basis. There may also be attorneys who work on a contingency basis for specific negotiations or litigations.

Is it common to have both an agent and a manager?

Yes, it is common for artists to have both an agent and a manager as they serve different roles. While the agent is primarily focused on booking and negotiating performance opportunities, the manager oversees the artist's broader career and day-to-day affairs.

What if my interests clash with my manager's or agent's?

If there is a conflict of interest, it's crucial to communicate openly and attempt to resolve the issue amicably. If conflicts persist, you may need to seek legal advice or reconsider the professional relationship, ensuring to follow any contractually-agreed upon termination processes.

Music intermediaries are the unsung heroes of the music industry. They allow artists to focus on their craft, safe in the knowledge that business is being taken care of. We hope you've found this article informative and enlightening. If you’ve enjoyed it, feel free to share it with your friends and don't forget to explore other guides on Lyric Assistant.

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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