How much does Music Management cost?
Pricing starts from £325 per month ($450/€375). We tailor each management package to your needs – so have a chat with a member of the team to find out more.
Do we take a commission or any of your rights?
No, we don’t take any commission or any of your rights whatsoever! Our management is the same as a traditional artist manager but acting more like a consultancy – you keep 100% of your revenue, you just pay for your time with us.
How are we different from traditional music management?
Traditionally, a manager in the music industry would look after the ins and outs of all your affairs, and take a commission on everything you earn. It is also common for a manager to own some of the rights to your music.
With us, you keep 100% of your rights and we take no commission. We’re here to help you navigate the industry and help you be the best artist you can be. We want to empower you to succeed, whilst remaining independent.
Who will be my manager?
We have got a great team of artist managers from the music sector waiting to work with exciting new talent. We will always match you with the best manager for your genre, experience and skill set – however, we also want you to feel comfortable with who you work with, as it’s a big step in your career development.
Will I become famous?
No one can ever guarantee fame – and if fame is your motivation, you’re getting into the industry for the wrong reason but we hope you’ll be an award-winning artist one day!
Can you help me get a record deal, publisher, booking agent etc?
We will work with you to help you achieve your goals. We will work with you to set realistic targets so that you can monitor your progress towards your end ambition.
Do you listen to my music and give advice?
Of course! We want to help you get the best out of your music – so we will offer you tailored advice to help develop your career and your music.
Can I leave if I don’t like it or change manager?
Yes, it’s important that you understand our entire focus is success and empowerment with each artist and working on your growth. So if there are any concerns, we would seek to address them immediately.
Can you help me secure gigs and a booking agent?
Yes, that’s possible but will all depend on where you are in your career and the level of your performance. Agents want artists with unique talent, but most of all traction and a fanbase as they have to present you and reasons why you should be booked at venues and festivals, so we can work hard getting you to that position if that’s your goal.
Do you promote my songs?
Yes and no, there will be elements of promotion and advice on helping you with your releases and self promotion of course. We provide our roster with exclusive discounts on all our promotional services across digital marketing/social media marketing (direct to fan), radio plugging, Spotify promotion and PR.
Will I get connected to other professionals in the industry to further my career in music?
Yes 100%, when you are ready we will help introduce you to Music Producers, Studios, Songwriters, Record Labels, Music Publishers and even traditional high-level management in the music business if you want to go down that route.
Will my time with my manager be restricted?
This will depend on your tier with us and your needs, the more up the career ladder you are the less time you may need to manage. We set an allocation per month based on your needs and this is used in a flexible way, again around your needs, so the answer is yes but it’s not a hard-lined process.
Will you do my social media management?
We can manage your socials, but it isn’t included with your manager, if this is a need we are happy to discuss and provide this support.
Music Management: Everything You Need To Know
The role of the music manager is shrouded in mystery and romanticism. Some managers become almost as famous in some ways as the artists they represent (think Scooter Braun or Brian Epstein) whilst others are unseen figures pulling the strings behind the scenes. One thing is clear, and that is music management is a complex and demanding job – the answer to the question of ‘what a music manager is’ is almost as deep as the role itself. In this blog, we’ll define what a music manager is, break down some of the tasks it incorporates, and take a brief look at why an artist might need music management and promotion.
What Types Of Music Management Are There?
What types of music manager jobs are there? This is a broad question to answer; music managers come in lots of different guises and the job description for one manager is radically different from the job description of another.
When most people think of a music manager, they think of the traditional personal manager – someone who spends a lot of time with an artist and handles a lot of the day-to-day tasks to ensure that everything runs to schedule. This includes managing an artist’s calendar, making sure they have everything needed for the day and making sure they are in the right place at the right time.
There is also tour management where the manager is responsible for all of the logistics of the road – from ensuring everyone has hotel rooms sorted, to making sure equipment arrives correctly at venues, to making sure the tour stays on track financially.
Business management is the other large sector of managers in the music industry. A music business manager is concerned with the finances of an artist’s career – they ensure bills are paid, books are balanced, and taxes are correct. They often work with new investment opportunities and take care of everything down to managing the different revenue streams an artist might have. Business managers make sure that the income is properly collected and calculated.
What Does A Music Manager Typically Do?
Larger artists with lots of different, complex projects will often have multiple people who make up a management team, focusing on each of the above areas individually. However, most artists will generally have one manager that is responsible for everything. This includes the following tasks:
Be A Representative
An artist manager is often the public representative of the artist – it is their job to manage incoming inquiries for an artist and pick out the opportunities that could be beneficial, as well as refuse the ones that might not be of interest. Obviously, an artist needs to trust their manager to make decisions on their behalf in these instances, and so being aligned on goals and values is very important.
Music managers also need to make sure that they assemble a solid team around an artist. This can be everything from choosing the right partners such as a record label, booking agent, and PR specialists – to finding other business opportunities like brand partnerships. For example, Paul McGuinness (manager of U2 from 1978-2013), was behind some of the most innovative and successful developments in U2’s career. He orchestrated their 3D concert film series, coordinated the U2 branded iPod range, arranged a lucrative sponsorship deal with Blackberry, and was to thank for the first-ever live-streamed concert on YouTube.
A music manager not only needs to seek out and arrange traditional (and non-traditional) partnerships, but they also need to liaise with the different parties involved to ensure that everything and everyone works together as planned.
Whilst artistic direction usually comes primarily from an artist, it is a manager’s responsibility to be the guardian of the artists’ creative vision, while also understanding the executable realities. They must coordinate the different stakeholders and often negotiate between different parties to achieve this. It might be that an artist has a specific vision for their creation, but a label or other partner wants to push in a different direction – the manager will often be the person who walks the line to find the best compromise that works for everyone.
A good example of this can be seen in the documentary for Genesis’ 2007 Turn It On Again tour when manager Tony Smith forcefully explains to a graphic production designer that the band’s vision for a graphic was not what had been delivered.
All the Small Things
Managers in the music business often find themselves dealing with all the other little bits that make up an artists’ career – this can be as simple as registering new songs with the Performance Rights Organisations so the artist can collect royalties, to booking taxis to get from a hotel to a venue, to manning the merch stand at a gig.
Traditionally, a music manager’s role would be centered around finding the key partnerships that will underpin an artist’s career – a label, publisher, and agents. In the modern music era, with more and more artists going down the DIY route and establishing their own labels, and coordinating their own releases, managers find themselves working directly with distributors, record manufacturers, booking agents, and press to support the artists’ goals.
As an artist grows, a manager will often find they are less hands-on in the day-to-day things and more managerial, coordinating the efforts of a larger group of people.
What Is The Average Salary For A Music Manager?
A music manager’s salary is often a difficult thing to calculate, and it will also depend on how many clients they have.
Traditionally, a music manager will take a cut of an artist’s total income of around 10-15%. This makes them quite unique in the music business because they take their cut from everything rather than just a single income stream – for example, a label will typically take a cut of record sales, an agent will take a cut of ticket sales.
The key thing to remember is that the manager takes their percentage of the gross of the total income. So if artists earn £50,000 but their costs amount to £48,000, the manager is still entitled to a cut of £50,000.
More recently, a flat-fee business model for music managers has emerged where management companies charge a fixed fee – often starting around £400-£500 per month but growing depending on the manager – in exchange for management services. Obviously, this approach has pros and cons – it means the manager is guaranteed an income regardless of success so they can focus their efforts and attention on the artist and if successful, the artist is only committed to the flat fee. It could also be the case that there is less incentive for the manager to work hard for the artist, as they get paid either way! It’s worth doing research and working with a manager that is trusted, and with some proven experience where possible.
According to Billboard, a manager of a developing act could bring in $30k to $200k per year whilst the owner of a management company with several clients could net over $1 million a year depending on how much success they have. Of course, if the manager looks after a very successful artist, then they could earn a very significant sum of money depending on their income.
Why Do Artists Need Management?
A career in music involves a huge amount of work. A lot of artists, especially in the early days, prefer to self-manage but in many cases, it makes sense to have a manager come on board at some point so that they can help artists navigate the more complex areas of the music industry. This also allows them to focus on the creation of their music.
A manager can help artists choose the best partners for their music – including agents, accountants, lawyers, event promoters, and pluggers – any other key figures that will help grow their brand. In the same way that a mastering engineer is valuable as a second pair of ears on a mix – a music manager can also offer a different, removed perspective that can help artists make positive decisions about their art and their career.
There is a level of credibility that comes with having some kind of representation which can result in more positive interactions with labels and agents than if artists are approaching them alone.
What To Look For In A Music Manager
There are a few ways to find a good manager in the music industry. Finding a music manager that is a good fit is a difficult task. In many cases it might depend on the different options you have available to you as an artist or what you are looking for. But don’t worry, we’ve got a ton of advice – you’ll be at the grammy awards in no time!
Broadly speaking there are two main places an artist will find a music manager:
An Entrepreneur Who Loves The Music
This is a rare find in today’s music business. But certainly still happens such as the story of the Beatles’ manager, Brian Epstein. He is often referred to as the fifth Beatle.
Epstein was running his family record shop when he heard the Beatles. He convinced them to sign a management deal.
Epstein had no experience with music management but he was a great entrepreneur. He saw something in the Beatles and his passion for their music drove them forward as he shaped the majority of their career until his death in 1967.
A music manager can be simply a friend of the artist. They can step into management duties and helps shape the early part of the career.
A Well-Connected Professional Manager
Perhaps more common in today’s music industry – professional managers with multiple artists on their roster and proven established key contacts can be a gold mine to artists looking to grow their careers.
Both of the above routes to management have their own pros and cons. On the one hand, a friend or fan who sees something in the artist can be incredibly powerful.
Potential managers must be devoted to that artist and their passion for the music – it can make all the difference.
On the other hand, if they have no management experience, there will be a very steep learning curve as they seek to understand the nuances of the music business quickly.
They will need to have the ability to break down some doors as they won’t have the immediate contacts a professional manager might have.
Flipping the coin, you can look to get a music manager who will have those proven contacts. But they will also have a larger roster of artists. You could find yourself going down the list of priorities as other hotter tickets start to rise.
In a recent interview with Spotify, Billy Corgan of Smashing Pumpkins spoke candidly about how as a young artist he was frustrated about how much people working on the business side would fight for his music.
He explained that professionals in the music business have long-term careers. Throughout their careers, they will likely work with multiple artists who come and go and so their priority will be maintaining their good relationships with their contacts. Not holding feet to the fire for artists that will probably come and go.
So when it comes to working out what to look for in an artist manager, it will largely depend on what you need in your career.
Is it someone who deeply understands the industry and can connect you? But perhaps may move on if the opportunity isn’t there? Or would you prefer to have someone less connected but hungry and passionate about your music?
Regardless of the background of your manager, some universal qualities will include high organisational ability (lots of plates will be spinning), great interpersonal savvy and high intellectual capacity (there’s going to be a lot to learn and understand) married with entrepreneurial skills.
Your manager needs to be able to spot and cultivate business opportunities in an ever-changing marketplace.
Before you look for a manager, it’s also important to look inwards at your own position in your career. Are you at the point where your total offering is almost there and you are already growing your career and a manager will help that growth?
If you are still quite junior in your journey, there are some managers who will take on artists with the intention of developing them but it’s important to be clear about expectations on both sides.
Financially, managers typically work on a commission basis. A common number is 20%. So, it’s important to consider if you are ready to give away 1/5 of your income. If you are, what kind of growth do you expect in return for the 20%?
It’s a good idea to be careful about how this percentage is calculated. A lot of managers will push for 20% of gross income. Additionally, they’ll insist they are paid first before your other costs (of which there will often be many!).
Other management companies offer management in return for a monthly flat fee. This can be a good leveler for artists as a flat fee arrangement ensures all artists on a roster are treated equally.
This is because there’s no incentive to put work towards one artist over another, so think about this when hiring a manager.
If you think you are financially ready to have a manager, also consider what you want your manager to do for you. Make sure you are clear with them at the start about what your expectations are.
Also, try to put yourself in the strongest possible position by understanding the music business in a good level of detail. This is so you can have productive business meetings with your management.
If you are signing a contract, be sure to have it checked over by a music lawyer. Your manager will be involved in pretty much every part of your career. The last thing you want is for you to be tied to a manager taking advantage of you.
How To Find A Music Manager
If you’re an artist or band and you think you are ready for management, here are a few areas where you might find a manager and music management companies/ artist management companies to look for. Choosing Music Artist management can take time and it’s important not to rush. You also don’t need to worry too much about ‘finding music managers near me’. Lots of managers will travel to you, there are always music managers looking for talent! Don’t forget the power of social media – you might even stumble across one by accident!
Referrals & Introductions
If you are an active part of the scene, speak to other artists about their experiences. Are they aware of good managers that might be able to help you grow your career?
Having these kinds of referrals can be a good way of making sure your prospective manager is a good fit and can actually deliver on what you need them to.
However, be careful. If your manager has a roster of artists that are all quite similar problems can arise. For example, when a new opportunity comes up for that kind of artist, you may not be at the top of the queue.
Outside of other artists, you can also get referrals from other music business figures you work with. For example, your booking agent or lawyer may know of a good manager that would pair with you productively.
Publications like the Unsigned Guide have a whole section of the guide dedicated to music managers. They are a great source of information in terms of contact details.
However, be cautious when approaching managers. Do a lot of research and try to make sure that the managers you are targeting are a good fit for your music and your band. Also, definitely don’t send blanket emails!
When you have narrowed down your list, it will also pay to make sure you have all of your ducks in a row. Make sure your EPK is full of recent photos that look fantastic and that you can demonstrate that you have a compelling story with good metrics around your growing fanbase.
Be sure to list notable performances already under your belt.
Look In Your Existing Network
It’s possible that you already have in your network someone looking to break into the music industry. The opportunity to manage you might be the foot in the door they are also looking for.
It’s also possible that you have a friend with some excellent transferrable skills who can learn on the job and help you grow your career.
As we mentioned above, this might mean that your new manager is a little light on key connections. But it could also mean that you have a manager you can really trust who will die in a ditch for you and your music; which in itself can be a really valuable asset.
Just choose wisely if you are going to recruit a friend and make sure that they are dedicated to helping you achieve your goals.
A friend who is lukewarm about your music and with zero connections will typically not be able to dig their heels in when the going gets tough.
The Musicians Union & Music Managers Forum
Organisations like the Musicians Union and Music Managers Forum are industry bodies dedicated to different aspects of the music business.
Membership of these kinds of organisations can be really valuable and offer a lot of benefits but more than that, they also give a window into the professionals working in the market and your local Musicians Union may even distribute lists of local music professionals that you can interact with.
You can find Music Management/ music managers for hire right here with Music Gateway, plus Music Promotions! Our motto is empowering creatives and we’ve built a strong reputation in the music industry for offering the opportunity of growth and development to artists.
We’ve worked with artists who are just starting their careers, all the way up to Grammy-nominated producers. We’re here to level the playing field, and improve your chances of success in your music career.
Our music management and promotion services are tailored to each artist, and we have options for a range of budgets. Make sure to take a look to find out more and speak with a member of the Artist Development team about how we can help further your career.
Now You Know Everything About Music Management!
The right music manager can turn a good artist into a great one and really help build a sustainable and successful career. Equally, there are artists who want to remain more independent because that works better for them – artists like Chance the Rapper and Joey Bada$$ have made decisions to reject the traditional models of the music industry and self-manage the business side of their music. At the end of the day, it has to work for each artist and whether a music manager is right for them now or further down the road (or not at all) is totally down to each individual!