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  • Five men are talking.  They are standing in a small room.  Two of the men are holding guitars, and there is a drum kit in the background.

    The music manager works closely with the musicians, doing things like arranging tours and sorting out problems backstage.

  • A man is looking at a newspaper.

    The music manager has to sort out publicity for the band.

  • Two men are sitting at a large mixing desk.  The mixing desk is full of buttons and switches.

    Some managers get involved with the technical aspects of producing the music.

  • A man is sitting at a table, writing on a piece of paper.  Numerous CDs are on the table.

    A music manager has to deal with paperwork such as contracts and expenses.

  • Music Manager

Music Manager

Introduction

Music managers deal with business issues in the music industry; this includes negotiating and securing contracts. Knowledge of music and of the music buying public is essential.

Also known as

  • Band Manager
  • Pop Group Manager
  • Music Promotions Manager
  • Music Promoter

Video: - Tyger: Artist Manager

Work Activities

As a Music Manager, you may work:

  • for singers and bands
  • in record companies
  • for music promotion or publishing companies
  • as a manager of live tours

If you are involved in helping a new artist/band to get started and established, you'll be doing things like:

  • sorting out demos
  • raising money to buy equipment
  • finding rehearsal space
  • persuading pub and club owners to provide a venue for performances
  • helping to set up artist/band websites and write social media content
  • negotiating contracts with record companies
  • securing radio airtime and television appearances

In record companies Music Managers work in record production, marketing and account management.

As a Manager who works in the Artists and Repertoire (A and R) department of a record company, you'll seek out promising new Artists. You will listen to demos submitted by bands and go to live performances. You must know what will sell and what will not - what do people want to listen to, and importantly, what will people want to listen to in two years time?

Music Managers working in music promotion companies, represent Artists and find the best way to publicise them.

A Tour Manager is another type of Music Manager. Here, you'll be dealing with most issues that crop up when Artists are on tour. This includes working with Crew, Promoters and Booking Agents.

You can expect to work irregular hours, which can include early starts, late finishes and work at weekends and public holidays. Sometimes you might need to travel to venues locally, nationally and internationally.

Being able to read, write and speak Welsh may be an advantage when you’re looking for work in Wales.

Personal Qualities and Skills

To become a Music Manager, you need to have:

  • strong organisational skills
  • good communication skills
  • an outgoing and enthusiastic personality
  • good negotiation skills
  • a persuasive personality
  • the ability to work unsocial hours
  • good knowledge of the area of music you are working in
  • an understanding of how new technologies are used to produce and promote music

Pay and Opportunities

Pay

The pay rates given below are approximate.

  • Starting: £31,000 - £35,000
  • With experience: £39,000 - £48,500
  • Senior Music Managers earn £55,000 - £64,500

Successful Music Managers at the top end of the music industry (eg, a Manager of a successful band) can have a very high income, based on receiving a percentage of the performers' earnings.

Hours of work

As a Music Manager, you can expect to work irregular hours, which can include early starts, late finishes and work at weekends and public holidays.

Where could I work?

Employers include record companies - ranging from small independent labels to large international organisations and major entertainment agencies. Some Managers set up their own management companies.

Opportunities for Music Managers occur throughout the UK, but are focused mainly in major cities.

Self-employment

Managers can become self-employed and manage the career of one or several performers.

Where are vacancies advertised?

Vacancies are advertised in national newspapers (eg, The Guardian Media section), in industry magazines such as Music Week (www.musicweek.com), at Jobcentre Plus and on the Find a Job website. Relevant job vacancies are also advertised on the www.StarNow.co.uk website.

Entry Routes and Training

Entry routes

It's difficult to generalise about entry to music management. Early roles in artist management often come about from being in the right place at the right time (as well as possessing the relevant skills, of course).

To enter management roles in publishing, promotion and record companies, many people start out in a relevant office junior or admin role, gaining experience and making contacts while working their way up. Doing an internship can be another way in. Take a look at our information article 'Internships', for more details.

To get into tour management, getting involved in club/gig promotions locally or at college/university is a good way to gain experience. In fact, this kind of experience is a good background for most roles in the music industry.

General admin and management skills gained in other arts and entertainment industries will also serve you well.

An Intermediate or Advanced Level Apprenticeship is also a great place to start.

Training

There are a few degree, foundation degree and HND courses available, with titles such as music industry management, that can help you develop business skills and an understanding of the music industry.

Short courses in music management are also available.

Progression

With experience, Managers are more likely to work with high profile Artists. Setting up your own company is also a possibility.

Work Experience

Previous experience working in a music/recording company, for example, in an Artists and Repertoire (A and R) department would be really useful for this career.

Qualifications

To get onto an Intermediate or Advanced Level Apprenticeship, you’ll usually need five GCSEs at grade C/4 or above, possibly including English and maths.

A knowledge of business and administration is a good foundation.

Adult Opportunities

Age limits

It is illegal for any organisation to set age limits for entry to employment, education or training, unless they can show there is a real need to have these limits.

Experience

Working in a music/recording company, for example, in an Artists and Repertoire (A and R) department, can lead to entry into management level posts. Another potential way in is through working in business management in other arts and entertainment fields.

Courses

City University, London, offers relevant weekend and evening courses, for example, Music Business: Records, Publishing and Finance.

The Music Publishers Association runs four induction courses a year, aimed at people either new to, or wishing to enter, the music publishing business.

Relevant part-time postgraduate courses are offered by numerous institutions.

Northumbria University offers an MA in Creative and Cultural Industries Management (Music option), by distance learning.

Further Information

ScreenSkills

Skills for the creative industries

Email: info@creativeskillset.org

Website: www.creativeskillset.org

Creative Choices

Publisher: Creative & Cultural Skills

Email: info@creative-choices.co.uk

Website: www.creative-choices.co.uk

Creative & Cultural Skills

Skills for craft, cultural heritage, design, literature, music, performing arts and visual arts

Email: london@ccskills.org.uk

Website: ccskills.org.uk

Incorporated Society of Musicians (ISM)

Tel: 020 7629 4413

Email: membership@ism.org

Website: www.ism.org

BPI: British Recorded Music Industry

Tel: 020 7803 1300

Email: general@bpi.co.uk

Website: www.bpi.co.uk

Music Publishers Association

Tel: 020 7580 0126

Email: info@mpagroup.com

Website: www.mpaonline.org.uk

Careers Wales - Welsh Apprenticeships

Tel: 0800 028 4844

Website: ams.careerswales.com/

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