Do I need
Managers become necessary once you've got a record deal and
you need an advocate to represent your interests at the different
departments of a record company. They help to coordinate efforts
and get maximum results at radio, retail, and publicity. Many
labels will want an artist to have a high-powered manager
before a record is released and will often recommend top managers.
Managers can also help in shopping you for
a record deal, but only if they have the connections to get
your music to the right people. It's not impossible, but friends,
family members, or acquaintances with no music industry experience
usually aren't going to be able to get through locked industry
doors, and will probably be in over their heads even if they
can get through.
Good managers help the artist assemble a
competent team of professionals to handle various aspects
of the artist's career, including an attorney, a business
manager (for financial affairs), a booking agent (for live
performances), a merchandising company (for t-shirt sales,
etc.) and more. Experience counts for a lot when it comes
to choosing a manager.
point should I get a manager?
Most of the manager's duties and responsibilities come into
play once an artist is generating income - especially through
a record company association, but also for active local and
regional artists who are touring and selling product on their
own. Therefore, many people think it isn't really necessary
to have a manager until there is an income-producing career
One exception is the manager who can help
you obtain a record deal. The right manager for this task
can be hard to find, and must be carefully chosen. You don't
want to get tied up in complicated legal contracts with inexperienced
managers who will need to be replaced once a record deal comes
some key points in a management contract?
Most managers will take between 10% and 20% of an artist's
gross income - including record royalties, publishing income,
and touring and merchandising income. There will sometimes
be a "sunset clause" i.e. a declining scale of payments
due to the manager over a few years should you decide to fire
or part ways with him (or her).
These are negotiable points, and many nuances
and technicalities are involved. You should always have an
experienced music business attorney (not your uncle Bob, the
divorce attorney) review any management contract.