Artist management for the music business / Paul Allen. p. cm. Includes index. ISBN (pbk.: alk. paper) 1. Music trade--United States. 2. I dedicate this e-book to all artists, musicians, and music business artist management world; managing artists, working with music associations, Ready-to-use excel spreadsheets, so you don't need to re-create annoying PDF's yourself. Download the Book:Artist Management for the Music Business PDF For Free, Preface: With the evolution of the music business and the shifting influence.
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[PDF] Download Artist Management for the Music Business [PDF EBOOK EPUB site] Click button below to download or read this book. Although an outsider might view the music industry as simple (indeed primitive) in its . Most managers have a written contract with the artists they manage. This. With the evolution of the music business and the shifting influence of large record labels, the artist manager is now – more than ever – at the.
Before the manager enters into an agreement with the band, their relationship may be regarded as competing for interest; after a good contract is signed, their interests, obligations and incentives are aligned, and the interest in success is shared.
Responsibilities of a music manager are often divided among many who manage various aspects of a musical career. With an unsigned act, music managers may assume multiple roles: graphic designer, publicist , promoter, and handling money and finances. As an artist's career develops, responsibilities may grow, and because of their percentage agreement with the band, the manager's income may grow as well.
A music manager becomes important to managing the many different pieces that make up a career in music. The manager can assist singers, songwriters , and instrumentalists in molding a career, finding music producers , and developing relationships with record companies , publishers, agents, and the music-loving public. They should carefully consider when certain contributions have been made which would also entitle them to cowriting credits, Executive Producer credit, or Producer credit should they become involved in songwriting, financing works, or actually producing demos and recordings, and should carefully know these jobs and these fees should be considered either as separate from the contract, in addition to the contract, or as free to the musician as clarified in emails and the contract.
The duties of an active music manager may include supporting the band's development of a reputation for the musician s and building a fan base, which may include mastering and launching a demo CD, developing and releasing press kits, planning promotional activities, creating social network identities for bands, and booking shows.
A music manager may be present during recording sessions and should support the artist during the creative process while not interfering between the artist and the producer, but musicians may also find valuable feedback in the extra pair of ears and this should be carefully considered as well. The manager may gain access to a recording studio, photographers, and promotions. He or she will see that CD labels, posters, and promotional materials appropriately represent the band or artist, and that press kits are released in a timely manner to appropriate media.
Launching a CD with complementary venues and dates is also a music manager's responsibility. Among all the business and professional responsibilities that music managers assume; they also become a pseudo parent for the group and help with personal matters usually. This is both for the psyche of the group and to ensure that things are running smoothly. Early on in an artist's career, the different facets of management and marketing fall upon either the band itself or, if they have one, their manager.
Because the band or artist is relatively unknown initially, promotion, booking, and touring are minimal. A new music manager begins by establishing a clear understanding of what the artist s want. This can be accomplished through either a written or verbal contract. A music manager's first task is to solidify all artist development aspects and then concentrate on product development.
Management strategies[ edit ] Despite the dominant presence of digital media in the music industry, there are many typical strategies that even the most modernized managers must adhere to in order to reach the managerial goals effectively. Planning for that balance between work and a personal life can minimize the burnout that can result without it.
Plan for longer breaks. Block out the time and take at least a week away from management responsibilities. Put your watch in a drawer and give your digital assistant to your human assistant for a week. Perhaps the best strategy an artist manager can use to handle the pressures of managing within the music business is to learn to put stressors in perspective.
The most effective artist managers are those who are not prone to take the actions or inactions of others personally. Knowing to expect some of the stressors that accompany a career of artist management can help the manager approach issues professionally and with the aplomb that keeps them from becoming personal.
Following are some of the realities in the music business that have the potential to create stress. Reality one A lot of people will say no and a lot of gatekeepers will seem immovable. This means that there are countless thousands of talented people seeking ways to access gatekeepers who can give career opportunities to artists in the music business.
Finding out what the gatekeeper needs and using it as a way to gain access is one strategy. Kragen, For example, personal or executive assistants are essential gatekeepers in any company and they are often underappreciated for their contributions. They have a need to be recognized for their value to the company, so the manager who takes time for a brief visit with them implies to the assistant their importance and builds an ally who can perhaps open other gates within the company.
Build the network and use it. If your telephone calls are not returned or your emails not acknowledged, it is not personal. Reality three Keeping the spirits of your artists up during a continuing career roller coaster will be draining for you.
Understand that the pursuit of opportunities for your artists will include many rejections due primarily to competition within the industry. Knowing that rejections are a regular part of the music business, they can still be defeating for the manager. And then the manager is the one who passes along the news to the artist.
Reality four People will string you along. Some in the industry will tell others whatever is necessary to get them off the telephone or off of their doorstep if they think the individual has nothing to contribute to their business. May I put you into their voice mail? It is not personal. Some who you feel that you can depend upon will disappoint you by not following through with promises or commitments made to you and your artists. Even the smallest oversight by others can have an impact on the things you are trying to achieve for your artist.
Anticipate that people will disappoint you, but be pleased when they deliver on their promises. Advice to artist managers: Reality six The agendas of many people in the music business determine whether you matter to them. If you are now the former manager of a major artist, you might elicit a faint hello from those same publishers. This is just the beginning of a larger list, but it covers key points that can easily be taken personally, when in fact, they usually are not.
Recognizing these points as being realities of the business environment can help the manager step away from an issue, realize that it is not personal, and prevent an emotional response to a business situation. Managers are inconspicuous Many artist managers are very low key and rarely mentioned or quoted in the press, and so it is important that they actively pursue their own public relations within the music industry. This means attending industry parties, events, conventions, and other networking opportunities.
An understanding of power in the music business In order for the new artist manager to be prepared to navigate the music business, he or she needs to understand where power comes from, who has it, and how it is acquired. Friendships in the music business are much like those in the world of politics: When an artist manager is without major active clients or is downsized from a management company, it can be shocking to learn how weak those relationships with former associates truly are.
It can also be reassuring when the manager learns how important the few true friends can be in reigniting a career.
Major labels, with millions in their annual budgets to promote their new projects, are able to claim considerable space on the weekly SoundScan sales charts and on the trade magazine radio airplay charts.
Money makes it happen. ABC, Labels whose 18 Preparing to Manage artists are chosen to perform on awards shows invariably see a short-term boost in sales of their recordings which points to the value of awards shows. There is an occasional anomaly like the group OK Go, which can use the Internet with a creative video distributed through YouTube to successfully launch a recorded music project.
Underscoring this point is to merely look at the Top chart in Billboard each week to see how very few independent labels can sell at the volume of the majors to get to the top—even in this age of new media. In late , CBS, Inc. The deep pockets of CBS virtually assure that the new label will become a viable player in the music business. The power of access In the music business the power of access is an important resource for people who have it.
This power comes from business relationships and sometimes from associations with others. Too many people wanted access to Brooks and they needed to go through him to reach the artist.
Booking agents have power of access. Their relationships with prominent concert promoters and other talent downloaders can give an artist access to some of the better performance opportunities at the better venues and with the more successful promoters.
Radio programmers have the power to give an artist access to their audiences. Radio has the power, and the labels invest heavily into the talents of their promotion staffs to access it. Similarly, cable music channel programmers control access to their viewers and they have the power to include or reject a music video.
Publicists use their power of access to help their businesses. The power of your body of work Those who have the privilege of having an extended career in the music business will have built a considerable amount of success. The sheer staying power of individuals who have built longstanding careers within this industry that disposes of commercially unproductive talent, possess power simply because they continue to succeed.
A strong body of work builds reputations, and that translates into power. The responsibility to give back Those who have had any measure of success in the music business should use their talents to improve the quality of life for others. The power of music can help to raise money for world hunger or to pay medical bills for a needy family in a rural town or village.
As artist careers are managed to success, it becomes the responsibility of the manager to seek opportunities for both the artist and the manager to return some of their success to the public responsible for helping them achieve it. The manager as an entrepreneur Any person who owns and perhaps manages that business is a proprietor.
But the individual who has a view for a new business and a new idea of how to make it successful is an entrepreneur. Iacocca, Lee, William Novak, , Iacocca: An Autobiography, Bantam, p.
Leeds, Jeff, , data provided via personal communication. ABC, , http: For the artist who seeks regional recognition and who records for their own independent label, it is certainly possible to earn a modest income touring and selling their music and merchandise without a manager, though one could be helpful. However, for the artist who seeks national or international recognition, it is essential that they have a manager advocating for them and promoting the growth of their career.
They have elected to become part of the music business, and holding themselves out as commercial artists in the music business becomes an acknowledgment that songwriting, performing, and recording are going to be done with the objective of earning money.
Many young 23 Chapter 3 artists struggle with the idea of becoming commercial until they discover that band members do not want to rehearse without the promise of earnings. Likewise, managers are not interested in working with an artist unless there is the likelihood that they can earn money from a music group or individual that has a commitment to a career in the music business. They resist what they perceive the big label marketing machines will do to their music, because they fear they will be pressured into changing artistically into something they are not.
However, most labels seek artists who are genuine and unique in their own ways, and who have potential for commercial appeal. Labels will sign an artist because of who they are artistically and because they feel there is a commercial market for their music, and most want to preserve the uniqueness of the artist that makes them special.
Havighurst, The artist should rely on the strength of their manager to insist that the label not homogenize their unique sound. It is the same in the music business. Artists will be asked by key gatekeepers what kind of music they perform. An artist must be prepared to describe what they do musically in one sentence with very few words. In other words, they understand that the label is seeking a business opportunity through the artist, and the artist is ready to deliver it. Preparing to Be Managed Get experience Nothing polishes a performer and builds character as live performance does.
Performing regularly in smaller clubs in front of friends, family, and fans can help an artist develop a show in a relatively safe environment.
How to Start a Music Business - Free Book
They can take chances by trying new ideas and music to see what works and what should be cut from the show. The only warning is that friends and family can be very supportive and accommodating when they give feedback on performances, and may be inclined to tell the artist what they think the artist wants to hear rather than what they should hear in order to improve their performance.
Experience selling tickets and recorded music can be a strong selling point to both prospective managers and eventually to record companies. An artist who consistently sells out small venues and sells 6, CDs per year at those performances will always get a conversation with a manager seeking talent to manage. Build a network A network in these terms is a web of supporters with whom an artist regularly communicates about their music. The artist sends regular emails to fans to announce new music or new performance dates and locations.
They also communicate through their e-teams or street teams promoting themselves and their music, and they keep their postings to social networking sites current. This continuous communication about the artist keeps fans coming back to their website, and keeps up the interest in the artist.
Another important part of the network for an artist is to get to know those who offer to support their career and offer to be sponsors when the time comes to push their career to the next level.
Be professional When an artist makes the decision to advance their career, it is also a decision to adopt the demeanor of an industry professional from that point forward. Assume that the lucky break is in the audience every time there is a performance, and be prepared to deliver the best show possible. Being professional on the Internet is also important.
Potential career supporters will use an Internet social networking site as a reference point about the artist, and the site should look as professional as the artist can afford. A domain name is merely the location of a website on the Internet, and they can be downloadd inexpensively from a number of sources such as Yahoo and GoDaddy.
Using new media also requires the touch of a professional. The use of convenient communication methods does not mean the message writer should not respect the ways these tools are used by business people. Always use good grammar, accurate spelling, and appropriate punctuation when using electronic communication.
Be prepared for management An artist manager will make a number of evaluations about an artist before they decide to offer management. Certainly the music and preparedness of the artist will be part of those early assessments, but there will be a time when the manager has 26 The Artist: In , Frascogna and Hetherington noted 17 questions that an artist could expect from a potential manager and most of the questions are still relevant today.
What legal entity is the artist doing business as: An ownership entity must be established, especially where the artist is a duo or group. Are there any existing management, booking, recording, publishing, or corporate endorsement or sponsorship agreements in effect?
If so, what are the terms of these agreements, and what is the status of the artist with regard to the parties to those contracts? If there were previous agreements that are allegedly inoperative, are there proper releases evidencing this? Does the artist own a registered service mark on his or her name? Does the artist have good banking relations? Does the artist have proper insurance coverage?
Does the artist write his or her own material? If so, is he or she a member of a performing rights society? Frascogna, Hetherington, 42— It is clear from these questions and concerns from a prospective artist manager that the artist must be prepared to demonstrate that they are ready for the music business.
References Frascogna, Xavier M. Colonel Parker to Sharon Osbourne Artist management is one of those professions that can be as much art as it is science and business. The artful manipulation of people on behalf of the artist is one of the key functions of the artist manager.
Relying on the science of research can be helpful in planning and keeping plans current. This chapter draws lessons from the real world experiences of several veteran artist managers that will help build an understanding of this corner of industry.
Parker was born in Holland and immigrated to the United States as a young man, working in carnivals and eventually promoting country music shows.
It was during his promotion work that he was introduced to Elvis and was asked by his parents to manage the year-old singer. Parker died in January at the age of Lessons learned: Parker was an adept negotiator. Songs that an artist writes or helped to write are entitled to regular payments for the performance of those songs on radio, television, concerts, and other places. Elvis and Parker both were paid nothing because of this omission.
Anselmo, With over 10, commercial radio stations in the United States, the value of performance payments is considerable for the estate of an icon-like Elvis. No one knows how much 30 Lessons in Artist Management: Rene Angelil: This is especially true when parents manage the careers of their childartists as in the cases of Aaron Carter and LeAnn Rimes who had to sue their parents over issues relating to career management.
However, when that family member is a spouse, the results are often positive. That is not necessarily extraordinary except that he is 26 years older than his wife, the international singing star. Rene Angelil began his career as an artist manager, following his work as a member of a Canadian group called the Baronets.
His group built a reputation performing in Quebec in the s. Charlebois, His career transition to artist management ultimately linked him in the early s with twelve-year-old Celine Dion. She had sent an unsolicited recording to Angelil with a request that he consider managing her career. As Canadian-born Celine pressed Angelil to make her an international star, he knew an image makeover would be necessary for the French-speaking singer.
Among the changes he made: The result was a launch into the lucrative American music market that garnered her Grammy awards, helped her sell millions of albums, and made her one of the biggest acts to ever perform in Las Vegas. Lesson learned: An artist manager must have a keen sense of the target market for a recording artist. Angelil knew that her success in the United States would require that she must have a better command of the English language so she could effectively communicate her art through the American media.
Her image makeover and new language skills were among the keys to her commercial success in the United States.
Michael Jeffreys: Michael Jeffreys and Chas Chandler signed a co-management contract with Hendrix in Hopkins, Two years after Jeffreys and Chandler agreed to manage Hendrix, Chandler wanted out of the arrangement. In , Michael Jeffreys died in a plane crash in France with his artist management assets passing to his father.
Goodman, Lesson learned: In the case of the Jeffries-Hendrix relationship, from the very beginning the manager was drawing more from the income stream of the artist than is customary. Jeffries owned song-publishing, recordings, royalties earned by the recordings, and a recording studio that would be used exclusively by Hendrix.
Peter Grant: Probably there has been no deeper belief and commitment to an artist than Peter Grant was to Led Zeppelin. By his mids, he was driving American bands to London area performances where he became somewhat familiar with the general workings of performing acts.
He became adept at tending to the affairs of artists performing on the road because of his experience, and in part because of his large presence. He stood 6' 6" tall and weighed well over pounds.
His imposing presence and the knowledge that he occasionally carried a gun made him a natural to create order out of the chaos that sometimes accompanies touring.
Davis, Grant began a management company with friend Mickie Most and acquired the Yardbirds as one of their acts. The Yardbirds was one of those groups from the s that could boast having had at varying times band members Eric Clapton, Jeff Beck, and Jimmy Page.
Welch, When the Yardbirds broke up, Grant formed a new group using Page and some new band members, calling them the New Yardbirds. This group morphed into what became the legendary Led Zeppelin.
In , the death of a member of the group led to the end of Led Zeppelin. In , Grant himself died at the age of 60 from a heart attack. Clark-Meads, Lesson learned: The most effective manager is one whose belief in the artist is deep enough to be the basis for every decision made on their behalf, whether it is believing in their potential or believing in who they are.
Peter Grant was constantly on tour with Led Zeppelin handling most of the tasks associated with tour management 34 Lessons in Artist Management: Colonel Parker to Sharon Osbourne and artist management. But when the time came to create the words and music, and to assemble the performance, he left these creative responsibilities in the hands of the group.
Likewise, the band left the management decisions—including some very unconventional ones—up to Grant. This shared and deep belief in each other became what many acknowledge as one of the strongest bonds between artists and a manager in the music business. Herbert Breslin: The most effective managers have the knack to know which opportunities are best for their clients, and then know how to turn them into promotional events to build interest in the artist and add to a developing fan base.
Long before he met Luciano Pavarotti, the New York born Herbert Breslin had been introduced to opera as a young boy by his father. He learned to save his money in order to download tickets to see events at the opera house. Among his continuing interests was the opera, and he accepted a nonpaying job handling press and publicity for the new Santa Fe Opera in New Mexico. He developed his profession with the company and went on to establish his own career as a public relations manager and publicist for classical music.
In he met Pavarotti, which began a thirty-six year professional relationship between the artist and his manager. Initially, Breslin was employed by the opera singer to handle publicity and public relations for him, but later Breslin began to handle most of the traditional management duties of a performing artist.
While Breslin has his critics, few denied his ability to understand his clients and to know what it would take to promote and manage their careers. He is now retired from management.
An artist manager should draw from the strengths of an artist and use them to add as many dimensions as possible to their persona and their commercial appeal. An important talent of a manager is to understand career promotion and have access to the tools to make it happen. He charmed everybody. Joe Simpson: Manage by the Boy Scout motto Joe Simpson has been a psychologist, a youth minister, a record producer, a television producer, and is the father of Ashlee and Jessica Simpson.
MTV, It is perhaps his experience as a psychologist that did the most to prepare him to manage and promote two young women in the music business. Simpson had tried to help Jessica launch a career in Christian music in the mids, but her music never connected with a public that downloads recorded music. Her music continued for two more albums, but her popularity as a recording artist was beginning to fade.
Simpson the manager decided he would try to sell the idea of a reality show featuring newlyweds Jessica and Nick Lachey. The show reignited interest in Jessica, and Simpson was able to leverage it to get his daughter a major role in the movie version of The Dukes of Hazard, followed by work in television commercials and more movies. Meanwhile, Joe Simpson planned and launched the career of his younger daughter, Ashlee.
She, too, has had very successful albums, and now includes a reality television show as part of her resume as an entertainer, for which Ashlee acknowledges that her manager-father was very helpful. Daughter Ashlee was caught on live television, Saturday Night Live, beginning to perform with tracks of her voice, and she walked off the stage. In late , daughter Jessica performed 36 Lessons in Artist Management: Colonel Parker to Sharon Osbourne a song at a taped television salute to the career of Dolly Parton, but her performance was so bad that it had to be cut from the version that was broadcast.
Moras, Both of these two very public gaffes made their talent the subject of jokes on television, and headlines in the tabloids. A manager cannot over-prepare an artist for a public appearance. Mistakes like those made by the Simpson sisters can erode their images as professionals and can make their fans uneasy about telling others that they are admirers, and that can be fatal for a career. Be sure the artist is comfortable with performance opportunities, and then be sure they are prepared.
Jon Landau: His connection with Springsteen began when he attended one of his shows in in New York City. Springsteen had always considered himself an artist and shied away from the commercial aspects of performing music. Part of this was attributed to the mistakes made early in his career at selling merchandise at performance venues.
However, Landau was able to show his client over the years that a career is based on the continued success of the business it generates, and Springsteen began to accept that. Landau has a style of communication that is able to make his client comfortable with the idea that his music can speak for working people, yet still have a complementary commercial aspect. Cohen, Lessons learned: They say that they want to be true to their art and true to their fans.
Commercial music, they say, is cookie cutter and they are unwilling to become something they are not. An effective artist manager can guide the artist in the business side of their craft yet show them the way to reach a larger fan base. Rather, it takes the guidance of a manager who knows how to expose those creative features of an artist that appeal to a larger audience. Bob Doyle: Using your network Bob Doyle is a product of the Nashville side of the music business.
He worked for Warner Bros. So Doyle decided to do it himself. He recruited a new partner, publicist Pam Lewis, to help him manage his new client. Doyle put Brooks with producer Jerry Kennedy to create a music demo. Doyle used his contacts to pitch Brooks to every label in Nashville but failed to get any interest in his client. The lineup for the show was changed at the last minute, and he found himself performing before several record label chiefs with the result that he was signed by Capitol Records.
Mitchell, The career of Garth Brooks continued to be managed by Doyle through the best of times an artist can experience. Along the way Doyle and Lewis parted ways, but Doyle continues to manage the career of one of the most commercially successful artists in history. Bob Doyle was able to move Garth Brooks through the maze of the music business, in part, because he knew the key gatekeepers—or, he knew those who knew them. Andrew Loog Oldham: His background was limited but impressive.
Management In Music
He had been an assistant to Brian Epstein, the manager of the Beatles. His business savvy was quick to show. He signed his management deal with the Stones on May 1, One of the roles of an artist manager is to exploit all of the talent they have. If the artist has the creative side that permits them to write commercially viable songs, the manager has done his or her job by stimulating a creative revenue source for the artist.
A matter of timing Johnny Wright is an artist manager who has also been part of the management teams of some of the most commercially successful pop music acts in history. He began his association with the music industry as a radio DJ, and was recruited to travel with the New Kids for over four years. During those years Wright learned a considerable amount about artist management and the challenges that go with managing artists. Being on the road with a performing act exposes tour managers and aspiring artist managers to most of the issues one will face in the profession.
All of these entities can create a necessary corrective course of action, and being on the road and participating in solutions is among the best ways to learn how to manage issues. Johnny Wright was able to develop his expertise in artist management for the music business early in his career, in part, because he was able to place himself into the role of problem solver where many of the problems occurred.
Because most issues are related to people and how they handle their responsibilities, they all have a human element, meaning each situation is as different as the people who are part of the circumstance. Learning how to motivate people to assure the success of a performing artist is a critical component of the profession of artist management.
Lou Pearlman: Pearlman was raised in Flushing, New York.
Among the things he did in his youth was to be a musician in a local band. He eventually found his way into the aviation industry where he became a very successful entrepreneur owning a helicopter and aircraft charter service. His charters provided services to several key music industry people, and this—coupled with the fact that his cousin is Art Garfunkle—opened a network 40 Lessons in Artist Management: Colonel Parker to Sharon Osbourne of contacts that helped him become a major player in the music business.
One of the continuing truths of nearly any industry is that the wealthiest are always prone to being sued. In other cases, the wealthy have left themselves exposed to being sued. The latter was the case between Pearlman and the Backstreet Boys. He put the savings of the group members into investment savings accounts owned by his own company.
Schneider, These issues were settled out of court. Among the key elements of the artist manager relationship is trust, and it is often compared to marriage. Looking at both, some marriages begin with a prenuptial agreement, and likewise, an artist-manager agreement begins with a contract; marriages include the earning of income shared by the partners and, an artist shares income with a manager; managers are often given power of attorney which lets them act on behalf of the artist under certain circumstances, and likewise, marriage partners frequently and unilaterally obligate the partnership.
So, by contemporary standards it could appear that Pearlman took advantage of the Backstreet Boys. When the relationship loses its foundation of trust, it is all but impossible to recover from it.
During these early years, Sharon worked for her father in his management company gaining the experience necessary to later launch her own career as manager of Ozzy. So, she bought the management contract from him, began to manage Ozzy, and along the way became Mrs. Rosen, She continues to manage all aspects of his career. Among the best lessons artist managers can take from Sharon Osbourne are those she shared from her experience in Fortune magazine. Her major points are: I would urge the interested reader to seek a copy of the issue for the complete article.
References http: Charlebois, G. Clark-Meads, J. Davis, S. Goodman, C. Hopkins, J. Lebrecht, N. McDermott, J. Mitchell, Rick, , Garth Brooks: Morris, Edward, , Garth Brooks: Platinum Cowboy, St. Nash, Alanna, , The Colonel: Proefrock, S. Welch, C. York, R. That is the short version. As in all business matters, agreements are formalized within a contract in order to be sure each knows what their respective responsibilities are to the relationship. And that is where the contract between the artist and the artist manager is important.
While there are some artist-manager relationships that are not memorialized with a written contract, something as brief as a written management summary can provide at least a measure of understanding of the promises the artist and the manager are exchanging.
Negotiating the contract Before we consider contract elements, it is important to understand that in this setting the artist and the manager will employ separate attorneys.
This is a business transaction involving negotiated provisions for two separate parties. By the nature of the transaction, it is required that the manager has an attorney to represent his or her interests regarding the terms of the agreement, and the artist must do the same. The length of the contract Artist management contracts approach the term, or length, of a contract in two common ways.
The artist will often agree to a three-year management term, and offer the manager the option to extend the contract an additional two to four years.
The manager who chooses not to extend the contract should give the artist adequate notice that a contract extension is not being sought. For example, the artist might seek someone who will agree to manage their career for two album cycles with the option to extend for one or two more cycles. The top albums listed from the Billboard chart in February show the average weeks on the chart to be nearly Album cycles differ among genres. For example, country albums tend to have a much longer cycle than hip-hop.
Keep in mind that many commercial albums release a single from a new album six to twelve weeks before the full album is released and an artist will require considerable assistance from a manager to plan the activities necessary to support the album through public appearances, performances, and other promotional activities.
The method that is used to determine the length of the contract will in part depend on the attorney giving the advice. On the other hand, the manager who takes on a new client with an undeveloped career may wish a longer contract in order to recoup anticipated losses and foregone income that inevitably comes with the decision to manage a budding artist.
This section of the contract will also require that the manager do anything else that could reasonably be expected of an artist manager.
Keeping this requirement relatively open-ended takes into account the rapid changes made by technology and other innovations in the music business. In order to be a booking agent who negotiates employment contracts involving California businesses clubs, venues, etc.
The state labor commissioner issues a license to those who book shows, and failure to be licensed is deemed to be a crime. A similar law applies in the state of New York. Additionally, some of the major music-related unions franchise and regulate major booking agencies and they require this separation of duties.
So the inclusion of a statement in the contract between the artist and manager that says it is not a responsibility of the manager to procure employment for the artist is intended to give the manager something to point to if he or she is accused of violating laws or regulations relating to booking performances. Bookings at larger venues in most cities are available only through a well-connected agent. Exclusivity An artist usually agrees in the contract to have only one manager, and it is exclusively the manager whose signature is on the contract.
On the other hand, most managers require that their services be on a nonexclusive basis, meaning that they can develop their own roster of clients beyond the artist who is the subject of the contract under consideration.
Any artist manager or management company should have a range of clients whose careers are in different stages of development. Many active recording careers end within a very few years and become primarily performance-based.
So the savvy manager will have new artists and mid-level artists who are developing successful careers to replace those whose careers have matured. And for this reason, a manager should be on a nonexclusive basis with new artists that they sign. An exception to this is the major act that requires full-time management by a single manager or management company.
For the artist, the power of attorney may permit the manager to: New artists may be reluctant to give a manager such broad authority, and many artists prefer to separate the business management function from the general management responsibilities. New artists do not have a high earning power at the beginning of their careers, so managers are paid a higher commission rate in order to make their investment of time worthwhile.
Managers often forego commissions to which they are entitled, but keep ledger entries anticipating a time in the future when artist earnings will be available to pay them. A variation of the straight commission on gross earnings is one where the manager may be paid a commission based on net earnings of an artist meaning the gross earnings of the artist after expenses. Another variation of commission payments is where some groups may seek to cap the earnings of a manager because 49 Chapter 5 they may be paid more than any single member of a group without limits being placed on what the manager can earn from performances by the artist.
For most new artists, all earnings are commissionable from the beginning. The most cited exclusion from earnings is publishing income resulting from songwriting, but the manager who becomes responsible for negotiating a publishing contract for the artist will generally be entitled to commissioned earnings from that agreement. Advances to the artist that are included as part of the cost of creating the recording are immediately commissionable by the manager, but tour support money is not permitted by the record company to be commissioned by the manager.
In the latter instance, the company feels that the advance is provided to offset the costs of touring rather than to provide an income stream to the artist. Managers may agree to be part-time career directors for artists, and some manage by charging a monthly retainer to the artist. These arrangements can be less costly to the artist, but the additional price the artist pays is a part-time commitment to their career rather than a full-time involvement in their career success.
It can be a surprise to an artist to learn how much is taken from their earnings unless they have been prepared by a candid discussion. We will discuss more about this in later chapters, but here is an example: It may seem excessive to the new artist, so this becomes a genuine reality check for the artist.
It is better to have the discussion at this point, rather than at a time when both are trying to build a relationship based on candor and mutual trust.
It can best be described as a severance package for the manager. By whatever name is used, this creates a time after the contract ends during which the manager will earn commission for work that is already planned and is under contract.
The artist and the manager may also include special provisions on how royalties from songwriting, recording, and special licensing will be handled when the contract ends. These terms are negotiable between the artist and the manager at the time the contract is negotiated, and both the artist and the manager should take special care to foresee as many special circumstances that may affect post-contract earnings for the manager.
For example, if the manager has been developing a major sponsorship deal that is not completed until a year or two after the management contract ends, the manager will be able to claim a commission for their prior work in developing the deal. The estate sued Parker, and four years later his commissions ended. The two sides eventually settled out of court in The artist and manager should be candid and very clear in the contract about how much money will be paid to the manager, under what circumstances, and when it will be paid.
Expenses for something like this could become considerable, so the artist may place a limitation on the amount of expenses beyond which require the approval of the artist before the expenditure is made. An example of what happens when limits are not placed on expenses involves Sir Elton John and his former manager, John Reid. Following his world tour, Sir Elton sued his management company and others in for what he deemed excessive charges for expenses during the tour.
A section of the contract will include a provision saying that the artist will not permit the manager to assign the responsibilities of the agreement to anyone who works in the management company, nor to anyone who might acquire the assets of the company.
What is not permitted by most management contracts is the right of the manager to assign, or sell, the management 52 The Artist Management Contract contract to another manager.
As we learned earlier, the relationship of artist and manager is unique and personal, and an artist will not permit that relationship to be sold.
No relationship is always perfect and there will be occasional disagreements. A section of the contract should give guidance on how the artist and manager will handle these times. Requiring arbitration is a way to remedy disputes that can limit legal costs and often keep disagreements from entering the public arena associated with court systems. If the manager and artist want to modify the contract, they should put it in writing. The contract should include a section that requires any changes to the agreement must be made in writing.
As in the beginning, written changes will include the advice of the individual attorneys and will minimize any misunderstanding of the consequences of the change. If the artist is made up of a group of performers, special language is necessary to protect the rights of the manager in the event a member quits or is replaced by the group. The manager will have the option to end the management relationship and cancel the contract within thirty days of any changes in personnel. The contract will also require the member who leaves the group to be managed by the manager in the event they decide to enter into a solo career.
This section is intended to protect the manager from being required to manage an ineffective artist yet protect the investment made in developing the career of the member who left to pursue a career of their own.
Contracting with a minor One of the realities of the American legal system is that people who are under eighteen years old cannot be held responsible nor liable for contracts that they sign. Until recently, that meant that a minor artist, someone under eighteen, could sign a management or recording contract and decide to end it.
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Terminating the contract would have no consequences to the minor, and the manager or record label would have to absorb any losses that resulted. California and Tennessee created laws designed to make companies less reluctant to enter into business arrangements with artists who are minors, and at the same time protect some of the earnings of the artist until they turn eighteen.
The law permits a minor artist to contract with an individual or company and be bound to the agreement. The law, however, requires the contract to be approved by a judge who will then regularly 53 Chapter 5 monitor the effects of the agreement on the career of the minor.
In this way, a third party is involved to assure the minor is protected yet it also gives a measure of protection to the manager or company. New York has a law similar to those noted above, but it places a limit on the length of most contracts with minors to no more than three years from the date the contract was approved by a court.
Berry, A contract A copy of a form that is used for contemporary artist manager contracts is included as Appendix B to this book, and updates will be available at the book website, www. What is seen in the appendix is the shell of many of the negotiating points that should be included depending on the nature of the agreement the manager and the artist seek to memorialize with the contract.
Bottom line: BBC, , http: Berry, Laverne, , Nextclient. A weakness found in the music business is the lack of any formal planning for artists, especially new artists. Veterans of the music business, both artists and their managers, have a short-term and long-term vision for managing careers and they frequently are not formalized in any written form. For the new artist who is ready for the commercial side of their music and who is signed with management, a formal written plan is especially important.
Chapter 12 of this book guides artist managers through the creation of such a plan. This chapter begins with goal setting. In part, it is because they were terribly ambitious, and because they were made without a plan or timetable to make them achievable.
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As the next year approaches, the resolution remains unmet and as the sound of Auld Lang Syne rings in the New Year, the same goals are set for yet another year. Promises you make to yourself towards achievement of goals without a plan and a timetable suggest that they are more like dreams rather than intended results. Managing careers of artists converts their dreams of success in the music business into a reasonable reality.
It is important that the goals of a plan and the way to reach those goals are the result of collaboration between the two. However, that sets the stage for underperformance or underachievement based on the talents of the artist. Choosing a set of goals for the artist is the starting point for creating a plan. Goals for the artist might be securing a recording contract, learning to play piano during stage performances, learning to write songs that have commercial appeal, developing a commanding stage presence, acting in movies, and any number of objectives that will accomplish the career desires of the artist.
It is the result you are trying to achieve. It is the goal, or the target of your energies. A Primer for the Artist Manager In order to achieve a goal, it requires a set of strategies.
Strategies are the plans you make to reach the goal. One of the best ways to develop a good set of strategies is to create a timeline beginning with the goal and work backwards, determining what it is that must be done to reach the goal. Strategies are lists of general steps that the artist and manager must take in order to get the desired result found in the goal. An example of a strategy is to create and practice a stage show with the goal of being booked to open for a headliner.
These are the things the artist and the manager do each day to implement the strategies in order to achieve the goals. It will note telephone calls to be made, emails to be sent, meetings to be held, and follow up for everything. Chapter 12 presents software that can be used by the manager to create charted timelines that will visually display the goals and related strategies. Planning a personal budget for the artist The manager who does not create a reasonable personal budget for the artist, especially for the new artist, will be spending valuable time trying to patch up relationships with bankers, credit card companies, and others to whom the artist owes money.
A budget, like any other plan the manager creates, must be in collaboration with the artist. The artist must see the need for it and must agree to the limits of the plan. A lot 57 Chapter 6 of personal budget templates are available that make excellent tools for assembling a personal budget. The budget can be arranged by the week or the month, depending on which works best for the artist.
Initially, then, a weekly budget will keep a shorter-term view of where money is being spent, and it gives the artist a way to develop the control necessary to be responsible with prescribed spending limits. The manager and artist should plan for the following areas as major areas of the budget: A Primer for the Artist Manager It is important for the artist to understand that a budget is based on their net income, meaning that money available for their personal budget is after taxes have been taken out.
The nature of the work of many artists is such that they are paid the full amount of their earnings when they are earned, and taxes will not have been deducted from the amount the artist receives. No taxes were withheld from these amounts paid to the artist. The artist will be required to have funds available to pay any income taxes that are due from amounts reported on all of the forms they receive.
Additionally, the artist must be prepared to pay any state income taxes for amounts they earned from performances in each state they worked during the previous calendar year.
It is important, then, that the artist understands that a budget category will be created to hold back anticipated taxes that will be due.
For several reasons, a plan for any event should be written. First, a manager who has several artists will have a number of events in the planning stage, and a written plan will keep them organized and separate from each other. During those frequent hectic times, keeping the plans separate and in writing will minimize the confusion for the manager and those who are assisting with them. Having a plan in writing is especially important when the manager must share information with others.
A range of distractions from illness to other unexpected emergencies becomes easier to manage if a clear and complete written plan can be assigned to someone else to handle. Purpose of the event with the expected outcome. All contact information for the manager, including email, landline telephone number, home phone number, cell phone number, instant messenger address, fax number, and any other wireless access address. All special requirements for the event food, beverage, equipment, personnel, room setup.
Detailed contact information for all service and equipment providers for the event, including after-hours and emergency telephone numbers. Contact information for all backup service and equipment providers. Full transportation and travel information, even if it is for a local event. A budget detailing expected expenses and who will pay for each element of it.
Successful events require considerable attention to detail. In the event plan on the following pages, the responsibility of something as seemingly routine as issuing invitations is highlighted to demonstrate the amount of planning and coordination necessary to simply invite people to a showcase. The cities of major music centers have venues that routinely showcase artists for the purposes of securing management, a recording deal, or a publishing contract.Kragen, For example, personal or executive assistants are essential gatekeepers in any company and they are often underappreciated for their contributions.
The smartest managers recognize that for genuine growth, a career requires continuous education. However, Landau was able to show his client over the years that a career is based on the continued success of the business it generates, and Springsteen began to accept that.
Keep an ongoing record of the things you achieve for yourself and for your clients, and document your public service work as a reminder to yourself where you contribute time. Rather, it takes the guidance of a manager who knows how to expose those creative features of an artist that appeal to a larger audience. This can be accomplished through either a written or verbal contract.
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