Talent manager

Last updated

A talent manager (also known as an artist manager, band manager or music manager) is an individual or company who guides the professional career of artists in the entertainment industry. The responsibility of the talent manager is to oversee the day-to-day business affairs of an artist; advise and counsel talent concerning professional matters, long-term plans and personal decisions which may affect their career. [1]

Business Organization undertaking commercial, industrial, or professional activity

Business is the activity of making one's living or making money by producing or buying and selling products. Simply put, it is "any activity or enterprise entered into for profit. It does not mean it is a company, a corporation, partnership, or have any such formal organization, but it can range from a street peddler to General Motors."

Contents

The roles and responsibilities of a talent manager vary slightly from industry to industry, as do the commissions to which the manager is entitled. For example, a music manager's duties differ from those managers who advise actors, writers, or directors. A manager can also help artists find an agent, or help them decide when to leave their current agent and identify who to select as a new agent. [2] Talent agents have the authority to make deals for their clients while managers usually can only informally establish connections with producers and studios but do not have the ability to negotiate contracts.

Commissions are a form of variable-pay remuneration for services rendered or products sold. Commissions are a common way to motivate and reward salespeople. Commissions can also be designed to encourage specific sales behaviors. For example, commissions may be reduced when granting large discounts. Or commissions may be increased when selling certain products the organization wants to promote. Commissions are usually implemented within the framework on a sales incentive program, which can include one or multiple commission plans.

Actor person who acts in a dramatic or comic production and works in film, television, theatre, or radio

An actor is a person who portrays a character in a performance. The actor performs "in the flesh" in the traditional medium of the theatre or in modern media such as film, radio, and television. The analogous Greek term is ὑποκριτής (hupokritḗs), literally "one who answers". The actor's interpretation of their role—the art of acting—pertains to the role played, whether based on a real person or fictional character. Interpretation occurs even when the actor is "playing themselves", as in some forms of experimental performance art.

Writer person who uses written words to communicate ideas and to produce works of literature

A writer is a person who uses written words in various styles and techniques to communicate their ideas. Writers produce various forms of literary art and creative writing such as novels, short stories, poetry, plays, screenplays, and essays as well as various reports and news articles that may be of interest to the public. Writers' texts are published across a range of media. Skilled writers who are able to use language to express ideas well, often contribute significantly to the cultural content of a society.

History

Modern talents managers are associated with all artistic fields, sports, as well as various fields in business.[ citation needed ] Talent agents have at times been covered in the music or art press almost as intently as artists themselves, for example the various talent agents who spearheaded the British Invasion of The Beatles and Herman's Hermits in the 1960s such as Brian Epstein, Allan Williams, Harvey Lisberg. Infamous examples in the music press include Allen Klein, manager of both The Beatles and The Rolling Stones. [3]

The Beatles English rock band

The Beatles were an English rock band formed in Liverpool in 1960. The line-up of John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison and Ringo Starr led the band to be regarded as the foremost and most influential in history. With a sound rooted in skiffle, beat and 1950s rock and roll, the group were integral to the evolution of pop music into an art form, and to the development of the counterculture of the 1960s. They often incorporated elements of classical music, older pop forms, and unconventional recording techniques in innovative ways, and in later years experimented with a number of musical styles ranging from pop ballads and Indian music to psychedelia and hard rock. As they continued to draw influences from a variety of cultural sources, their musical and lyrical sophistication grew, and they came to be seen as embodying the era's sociocultural movements.

Hermans Hermits band

Herman's Hermits are an English beat rock band formed in Manchester in 1964, originally called Herman & The Hermits. Harvey Lisberg discovered them and signed on as their manager. He sent a plane ticket to Mickie Most so that he could come up from London to see the band play in Bolton, and Most became the group's record producer, controlling the band's output. He emphasised a simple, non-threatening, clean-cut image. This helped Herman's Hermits become hugely successful in the mid-1960s.

The industry of talent management has been unionized or organized in several forms throughout history. In the United States, a notable early example was the Association of Talent Agents, which was formed in Los Angeles, California in 1937. The ATA comes out of the Wagner Act upheld by the Supreme Court which established many of the unions and guilds that regulate people who work in the entertainment industry such as the Screen Actors Guild, Directors Guild of America, and Writers Guild of America. [4]

The Association of Talent Agents (ATA) is a non-profit trade association representing talent agencies in the United States entertainment industry. ATA agencies represent the vast majority of artists working in the field, including actors, directors, writers, and other artists in film, stage, television, radio, commercial, literary work, and other entertainment enterprises.

Screen Actors Guild American labor union

The Screen Actors Guild (SAG) was an American labor union which represented over 100,000 film and television principal and background performers worldwide. On March 30, 2012, the union leadership announced that the SAG membership voted to merge with the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (AFTRA) to create SAG-AFTRA.

Directors Guild of America trade union

The Directors Guild of America (DGA) is an entertainment guild that represents the interests of film and television directors in the United States motion picture industry and abroad. Founded as the Screen Directors Guild in 1936, the group merged with the Radio and Television Directors Guild in 1960 to become the modern Directors Guild of America.

Music managers

A music manager (or band manager) may handle career areas for bands, singers, and DJs. A music manager may be hired by a musician or band, or the manager may discover the band, and the relationship is usually contractually bound with mutual assurances, warranties, performances guarantees, and so forth. The manager's main job is to help with determining decisions related to career moves, bookings, promotion, business deals, recording contracts, etc. The role of music managers can be extensive and may include similar duties to that of a press agent, promoter, booking agent, business manager (who are usually certified public accountants), tour managers, and sometimes even a personal assistant.

Musical ensemble group of people who perform instrumental and/or vocal music, with the ensemble typically known by a distinct name

A musical ensemble, also known as a music group or musical group, is a group of people who perform instrumental or vocal music, with the ensemble typically known by a distinct name. Some music ensembles consist solely of instruments, such as the jazz quartet or the orchestra. Some music ensembles consist solely of singers, such as choirs and doo wop groups. In both popular music and classical music, there are ensembles in which both instrumentalists and singers perform, such as the rock band or the Baroque chamber group for basso continuo and one or more singers. In classical music, trios or quartets either blend the sounds of musical instrument families or group together instruments from the same instrument family, such as string ensembles or wind ensembles. Some ensembles blend the sounds of a variety of instrument families, such as the orchestra, which uses a string section, brass instruments, woodwinds and percussion instruments, or the concert band, which uses brass, woodwinds and percussion.

A business manager drives the work of others in order to run a major business efficiently and make a large profit. They should have working knowledge of the following areas, and may be a specialist in one or more, such as finance, marketing or public relations. Other technical areas in which a business manager may have expertise are law, science, and computer programming.

Tour promoters are the individuals or companies responsible for organizing a live concert tour or special event performance. The tour promoter makes an offer of employment to a particular artist, usually through the artist’s agent or music manager. The promoter and agent then negotiate the live performance contract. The majority of live performance contracts are drawn up using the American Federation of Musicians (AFM) standard contract format known as the AFM Performance Agreement.

Manager's contracts, however, cannot license those responsibilities unto the manager in the same way a state license would empower the agent to do so. Therefore, conflicting areas of interest may arise unless those are clarified in the contract. That said, a manager should be able to read and understand and explain a contract and study up on the long-term implications of contractual agreements that they, the bands, and the people they do business with, enter into. 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.

Contract agreement having a lawful object entered into voluntarily by multiple parties

A contract is a legally-binding agreement which recognises and governs the rights and duties of the parties to the agreement. A contract is legally enforceable because it meets the requirements and approval of the law. An agreement typically involves the exchange of goods, services, money, or promises of any of those. In the event of breach of contract, the law awards the injured party access to legal remedies such as damages and cancellation.

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

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. Most of these trick-of-the-trade strategies are employed to establish and maintain connections with booking agents, promote the activities of the artist, and manage finances in order to optimize the artist's ability to book gigs, establish a fan base, and ultimately bring in revenue from their work, respectively.[ citation needed ]

Booking gigs

Among the more traditional responsibilities of music managers are booking and promoting gigs for their artist(s). Managers often become known for establishing ongoing relationships with specific venues, booking one artist at the venue regularly, or several artists on their roster. [5] A large number of 'how-to' books have been published on the topic. [6]

Internet strategies

As technology has advanced, the music industry has consequently undergone a drastic change in the way it operates. The internet has made it both easier and harder to attract the attention of fans and the press, as both outreach increase but industry saturation increases.[ citation needed ] “The sale of pre-recorded music has diminished, but there’s so much more that’s going on. You can’t focus on what’s not working when there are so many other opportunities.”. [7] Social media is a common form of online networking for managers, and platforms such as MySpace, Facebook, Beatport, Bandcamp, SoundCloud, Distrokid and YouTube have been noted in the press for their use in networking in the music industry. [8] Other fields such as business may use more common websites such as LinkedIn or Google+, while networking on behalf of a client.[ citation needed ]

Not everyone is so optimistic about the role of social media in the music industry. In his article, “Why Music Won’t Be Saved By Social Media”, Wes Davenport suggests that the role of social media in the industry “has been grossly inflated”. In the article, Davenport quotes Jon Ostrow saying, “Social media is a conversation tool – that’s it”, acknowledging that there is potential for sparking conversation and building a fan base, but suggesting that social media does not necessarily live up to the potential for success that people in our modern culture seem to give credit. [9]

Digital case Study: Lady Gaga

In an article titled, “Case study: Making money from music” by Martin Kupp, Jamie Anderson and Joerg Reckhenrich, the effects of technological advances on the music industry are recognized, analyzed, and utilized through an online marketing strategy that led to the incredible success of Lady Gaga. Troy Carter of Coalition Media signed Gaga with the intention of making her into a star with the help of some clever marketing. Recognizing that digitalization was the cause of the almost 33% decrease in the music industry’s total revenue between the years 2000 and 2007, Carter decided to find a way to use digitalization to his advantage with his newly signed artist. Coalition Media, with the help of marketing company ThinkTank Digital, invested large amounts of time and money into developing Lady Gaga’s global presence through social media.

They set up many interviews with online bloggers, established a large following on Myspace through “constant news updates, as well as exclusives, interviews and special features” and Gaga personally handled her Twitter account, building a very personal connection with many of her fans. This strategy demonstrates the massive success that skillful online marketing can produce. The article focuses on Coalition Media and Lady Gaga’s utilization of the “Four E’s”: Emotions, Experiences, Engaging, and Exclusive. By personalizing her online activity, creating an experience, engaging, and providing exclusivity to her fans through social media marketing, Lady Gaga was able to achieve incredible levels of success with her music career. [10]

Compensation

Striking a tentative compensation agreement that can be renegotiated after three or four months is recommended, and the rate of pay is generally based on commissions of 20-80 percent, or more, of performance and commercial incomes.[ citation needed ] This amount depends on the level of development the band or artist is at and the experience, networks and resources of the manager. (The less developed the artist and more experienced the manager, the higher the commission.) The artist or band should never agree to circumstances that cannot be terminated or negotiated within a short period of time. [11]

Photography

Managers usually secure the services of a professional photographer while the artist is recording. Different 8x10 pictures of the artist can be used for websites, CD labels/jackets, posters, and the press kit. Cost for high quality shoots vary from $500 for a basic shoot to thousands for several looks. Photographers are not expected to cover material cost. It is important that the manager obtains an agreement upfront confirming license to use the images which will cover the uses necessary, in addition to high resolution digital images on CD. Managers are also advised to have photographs taken before CD designs or artwork goes into production. Managers are also responsible for hiring additional staff when necessary.

See also

Related Research Articles

A record label, or record company, is a brand or trademark associated with the marketing of music recordings and music videos. Sometimes, a record label is also a publishing company that manages such brands and trademarks, coordinates the production, manufacture, distribution, marketing, promotion, and enforcement of copyright for sound recordings and music videos, while also conducting talent scouting and development of new artists, and maintaining contracts with recording artists and their managers. The term "record label" derives from the circular label in the center of a vinyl record which prominently displays the manufacturer's name, along with other information. Within the mainstream music industry, recording artists have traditionally been reliant upon record labels to broaden their consumer base, market their albums, and be both promoted and heard on music streaming services, radio, and television. Record labels also provide publicists, who assist performers in gaining positive media coverage, and arrange for their merchandise to be available via stores and other media outlets.

Entertainment law, also referred to as media law is legal services provided to the entertainment industry. These services in entertainment law overlap with intellectual property law. Intellectual property has many moving parts that include trademarks, copyright, and the "Right of Publicity". However, the practice of entertainment law often involves questions of employment law, contract law, torts, labor law, bankruptcy law, immigration, securities law, security interests, agency, right of privacy, defamation, advertising, criminal law, tax law, International law, and insurance law.

Creative Artists Agency American talent and sports agency

Creative Artists Agency LLC or CAA is an American talent and sports agency based in Los Angeles, California. It is regarded as a dominant and influential company in the talent agency business and manages numerous prestigious clients. In March 2016, CAA had 1,800 employees.

Press kit

A press kit, often referred to as a media kit in business environments, is a pre-packaged set of promotional materials that provide information about a person, company, organization or cause and which is distributed to members of the media for promotional use. Press kits are often distributed to announce a release or for a news conference.

Artists and repertoire (A&R) is the division of a record label or music publishing company that is responsible for talent scouting and overseeing the artistic development of recording artists and songwriters. It also acts as a liaison between artists and the record label or publishing company; every activity involving artists to the point of album release is generally considered under the purview, and responsibility, of A&R.

Independent music is music produced independently from commercial record labels or their subsidiaries, a process that may include an autonomous, do-it-yourself approach to recording and publishing. The term indie is sometimes used to describe a genre, and as a genre term, "indie" may include music that is not independently produced, and many independent music artists do not fall into a single, defined musical style or genre and create self-published music that can be categorized into diverse genres. The term ‘indie’ or ‘independent music’ can be traced back to as early as the 1920’s after it was first used to reference independent film companies but was later used as a term to classify an independent band or record producer.

Music industry companies and individuals that create and sell music

The music industry consists of the companies and individuals that earn money by creating new songs and pieces and selling live concerts and shows, audio and video recordings, compositions and sheet music, and the organizations and associations that aid and represent music creators. Among the many individuals and organizations that operate in the industry are: the songwriters and composers who create new songs and musical pieces; the singers, musicians, conductors and bandleaders who perform the music; the companies and professionals who create and sell recorded music and/or sheet music ; and those that help organize and present live music performances.

A modeling agency is a company that represents fashion models, to work for the fashion industry. These agencies earn their income via commission, usually from the deal they make with the model and/or the head agency.

A talent agent, or booking agent, is a person who finds jobs for actors, authors, film directors, musicians, models, professional athletes, writers, screenwriters, broadcast journalists, and other professionals in various entertainment or broadcast businesses but also agents. In addition, an agent defends, supports and promotes the interest of their clients. The way old talent agencies specialize, either by creating departments within the agency or developing entire agencies that primarily or wholly represent one specialty. For example, there are modeling agencies, commercial talent agencies, literary agencies, voice-over agencies, broadcast journalist agencies, sports agencies, music agencies and many more.

A tour manager is the person who helps to organize the administration for a schedule of appearances of a musical group (band) or artist at a sequence of venues. In general, road managers handle small to medium-sized tours, and tour managers are used on large-scale tours.

An unsigned artist, unsigned band or independent artist is a musician or musical group not under a contract with a record label. The terms are used in the music industry as a marketing technique. Bands that release their own material on self-published CDs can also be considered unsigned bands. Often unsigned bands primarily exist to perform at concerts.

An entertainment promoter works in entertainment industries, including music and sports, as an individual or organization in the business of marketing and promoting live, or pay-per-view and similar, events, such as concerts/gigs, sports events, festivals, raves, and nightclub performances.

ReverbNation is an online platform that provides marketing tools and industry opportunities for musicians, artists, and bands to manage their careers [3]. Since its launch, the platform has introduced a number of applications and services such as music industry opportunities, Crowd Review, Band Profile Facebook app, CONNECT, Promote It [7][8], and TuneWidget.

Wild Oak Music Group is an independent record label operated from the Music Industry program at California State University, Chico in Chico, California. The label was founded in the fall of 1997. The name combines the city's boisterous music scene paired with the oak trees of Bidwell Park. Wild Oak Music Group includes 15 separate departments, all run by the music industry students, such as Songwriter's Guild and the Hip Hop Collective, Concert Productions, Artist Management, and Oak Leaf CD Duplication Services.

Direct-to-fan is a business model used by independent musicians, independent music labels, music marketing professionals, promoters, and others in the music industry. Direct-to-fan is also becoming a model used by the broad definition of artists, including comedians, visual artists, and other entertainers looking to build and leverage a fan community throughout their career.

Artist Growth

Artist Growth is a cloud-based touring and music business management application. Numerous artist managers, tour managers, and musicians use Artist Growth to boost team collaboration, simplify event logistics, track finances, automate ticket requests, quickly find files, and consolidate data. Customers of Artist Growth include artists such as Jason Aldean, Tiësto and Luke Combs, artist management companies such as Red Light and Vector, and major record labels.

Bandsintown is a music website, billed as a "platform where artists and fans connect". The site allows users to receive notifications about tours and bands playing in the user’s area. It also has tools for artists to manage tour dates.

Marc Geiger is an American music executive, talent agent, and entrepreneur. The co-founder of Lollapalooza and ARTISTdirect, he is the head of William Morris Endeavor's music division.

References

  1. MusicBizAdvice Q&A Archived 2009-01-15 at the Wayback Machine January 2008
  2. Garrison, Larry. Breaking Into Acting for Dummies, Wiley Publishing Inc., 2002, p. 34.
  3. "Allen Klein: Notorious business manager for the Beatles and the Rolling Stones". The Independent. London. July 6, 2009.
  4. Association of Talent Agents
  5. Farrish, Bryan. Gig Booking 101 – Venue Relationships. Bryan Farrish Radio Promotion: Accessed March 9, 2013.
  6. Kevin, June 11, 2010, A Booking Strategy that Works! The DIY Musician (2010): Accessed March 2, 2013.
  7. Grierson, Don and Dan Kimpel. “Chapter 6: The Manager.” In It All Begins With The Music. Boston: Course Technology/Cengage Learning.
  8. Thompson, Bryan. Music Marketing with Social Media in Only 30 Minutes a Day. The DIY Musician (2012): Accessed March 9, 2013.
  9. Davenport, Wes. Why Music Won’t Be Saved By Social Media. Hypebot.com (2013): Accessed March 9, 2013.
  10. Martin Kupp, Jamie Anderson and Joerg Reckhenrich. Case Study: Making Money From Music. The Financial Times LTD (2011): Accessed March 7, 2013.
  11. Band Manager Info at Media Positive Radio