Careers

Music Manager

Music Managers exist to represent Music Makers – eg Artists, Bands, Producers, Songwriters and nurture their business and creative interests.

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Also known as:

Music Manager, Artist Manager, Producer Manager, Songwriter Manager

Entry or Experienced?

Varies with the nature of each particular role. Can range from Entry Level to Experienced. Some people begin at entry level and develop their careers in management, others transfer from working in other fields such as law, A&R, live, labels, similar creative industries etc.

Skill Level:

Varies with the nature of each particular role. Can range from Entry Level to Experienced.

What does a Music Manager do?

Music Managers exist to represent Music Makers – eg Artists, Bands, Producers, Songwriters and nurture their business and creative interests. Managers can be considered the Chief Operating Officer of the Artists global business. In many scenarios they are the early investors and developers of the artists career taking on a “360” development role.

Music Managers jobs are incredibly broad, varied (depending on their relationship with the Artist) and can be structured differently in terms of renumeration, responsibility and contracts. Some Managers work within, or for larger management companies — some work independently.
The job involves the following core principles; Putting the Artist first, Understanding the music industry, Understanding and establishing the Artist’s place in the industry, believing in the Artist’s product, Making the right decisions and knowing the wider market place.

Larger Management Companies also recruit for “day-to-day” management roles which typically focus on the increasing amount of administrative support required to deliver a range of services. These roles generally include; Database management, Maintaining and filing assets, Managing artist rights accounts, Chasing, checking and filing royalty statements, Updating budgets, Diary management, Booking travel and accommodation, Booking studios, Preparing itineraries, Passport and visa applications, Monitoring and managing social media accounts, Compiling offers and requests for artist approval, Coordinating tour announcements and updating tour profiles, Tour and creative production assistance, Developing creative assets, data analytics, social media management and more.

Watch and read (links to videos /cases studies):

READ: Music Managers Forum Code of Practice – https://themmf.net/about/code-of-practice/

READ: Music Business Worldwide “World’s Greatest Managers” series – https://www.musicbusinessworldwide.com/tag/worlds-greatest-managers/

VIDEO: Accelerator Programme for Music Managers – https://youtu.be/wPxlQrC4smQ

VIDEO: “Future of Artist Management” with Merck Mercuriadis, Hipgnosis Music | FastForward: London – https://youtu.be/iHOl6WDbqxo

VIDEO: Scott Rodger on Artist Management – https://youtu.be/GvFTaHPwpQ8
VIDEO: How Chance The Rapper’s Manager, Pat Corcoran, Reimagined the Music Business | Blueprint – https://youtu.be/gHMXA_o26Wc

VIDEO: Buck & Benny Scarrs speak on the role of a Music Manager – https://youtu.be/e1jEXpF4_eo

PODCAST: MMF “How Did You Manage? That” Podcast Series – anchor.fm/managethatpod
What’s a Music Manager good at?
A respectable Music Manager will be entrepreneurial, pro-active, highly organised, show good administrative skills, a good knowledge of all relevant areas, be good at negotiating, have a good creative awareness and ability, be a good leader and demonstrate an understanding of the working dynamic with both artists and the evolving landscape of the business.

Tools of the trade:

Managers have a holistic and 360 view of the music industry and input on all activities associated with an Artists career.

A good manager will typically have a working knowledge and skills in the following areas:

  • A deep understanding of the various components of the Music Industry, Strategy
  • Accounting/Finance, Legal, Contractual, Marketing/ branding/sponsorship, A&R, Sync,
  • Music Publishing, Live Events, Touring, Recording, Negotiation, Trustworthy, Honest,
  • Business Acumen, Networking, International markets, Digital marketing and distribution, Copyright and Image Intellectual Property, Health and Safety, Record Labels, Publishing, Public Relations/Media, Professional Development, the artists Mental and Physical Health and Wellbeing, Managing freelancers and third-party services.

Who does a Music Manager work with?

A Manager represents the Artist directly and works with them closely across all aspects of their career. In doing so they often work with other stakeholders including labels, publishers, distributors, merchandise companies, accountants, lawyers, promoters, booking agents, tour managers, branding experts, sponsorship experts, tech companies and many more – in short, anyone that has an interest or involvement in the Artists business.

How do I become a Music Manager?

There’s no one set route to becoming a Music Manager — but a common theme of any successful managers career is finding a brilliant Artist, believing in them, working hard and making something amazing happen.

The Music Managers Forum offers education and training courses, from essentials to advanced – https://themmf.net/training/

At School or College: Some School or College courses do cover some of the elements relevant to the role of a Music Manager, such as Music, Music Technology, Law, Business Studies

Gain work experience / Build a portfolio: One of the best ways to gain experience as a Music Manager is by getting out there building your skills, networks and profile. The MMF offer lots of great resources and advice to get you started.

Read the MMF Code of Practice – https://themmf.net/about/code-of-practice/

Look for an apprenticeship: Many management companies offer internship/apprenticeship opportunities for gaining experience. Keep an eye the job sections of Music Week, Music Business Worldwide, CMU, MediaMatch etc, or identify management companies representing Artists you love, approach them, get out to networking events and meet people.

Get a degree: Some Universities cover elements of Music Management as part of their Music Business courses — including ACM, Point Blank Music School, University of West London, Solent University and University of South Wales, although a degree is not necessarily essential for the role.

Search for jobs: See “Look for an apprenticeship” above – same advice applies.

You might also be interested in: A&R, Event Management, Project Management, Legal, Touring – Promoter or Booking Agent

Is the role a skills shortage?

Yes

For further information on being a Music Manager please see UK Music member https://themmf.net/