Monika Ilieva is Co-Founder/CEO. Cafe de Anatolia (Record Label & Artist Management Agency & Media News Agency).
The music industry is a vast and complex situation with many moving parts. The music itself is at the center of everything, but there are also managers who guide the careers of artists, labels who release and promote their music, live venues and promoters who host concerts. All these different elements come together to create an ecosystem where each player plays a role. And while there may be conflict and competition among these various players, they ultimately share a common goal of making great music and sharing it with the world.
In recent years, we have seen many changes in the way the music industry works. The rise of streaming platforms such as Spotify and Apple Music has upended the traditional model of music consumption and distribution. This opened up new opportunities for artists, but made it more difficult to make a living from their work. This puts more pressure on managers to help their clients succeed in an increasingly challenging environment. But at the same time, it gives managers more power than ever when it comes to shaping an artist’s career.
This article discusses the role of managers in the music industry and how their decisions affect an artist’s career. If you plan to enter this industry as a manager, know that these roles can be demanding. However, a good manager can also be one of the most important pieces of the puzzle on an artist’s path to success.
Different types of management in the music industry
Managers play a key role in helping clients make career decisions. They offer advice on which opportunities to take and which ones to pass on. It also helps in negotiating contracts and managing finances. In some cases, the manager will be involved in the creative process, suggesting how the song should be arranged and what image the artist should project.
There are many management positions in the music industry, each with their own influence on decision making.
• Label Executive: These are responsible for the business side of the music company, deciding what type of music to release and how to market it. In this role, you will also negotiate contracts with artists and other companies.
• Artists and Repertoire (A&R) Executives: Those in this role are responsible for finding new talent and developing the careers of existing artists. Decide which artists to sign and what material to record.
• Product Manager: They oversee the production process for albums and other releases to ensure they are completed on time and on budget. You will also work with the marketing team to devise strategies for promoting your products.
• Radio Promoters: Promoters often work by paying or otherwise persuading a song to be played on a radio station. Successfully playing a record can have a huge impact on an artist’s career.
• Tour Manager: A tour manager coordinates all aspects of an artist’s live performance, including booking venues, hiring staff, and handling logistics. It plays an important role for the concert to proceed smoothly and safely. Tour management is one of the most important and hands-on management in the music industry as it provides direct contact between artists and fans. If you want to become a tour manager, focus on making horizontal and vertical connections with people working in all facets of the industry. When starting out, I recommend that you focus on increasing your self-worth and connections rather than money.
How to become an effective manager
Every artist is a brand in its own right. For this brand to come to fruition and become a global sensation, it needs to be carefully managed and curated. With that in mind, here are some of the core skills and job expectations you need to develop to become an effective manager.
• connection: Managers should be able to provide social and professional connections and contacts that lead to professional relationships and wider audiences as artists progress in their careers.
• feedback: Managers should provide open and honest feedback and help artists brainstorm decisions and career growth paths. This does not mean that artists cannot chart their own path and grow independently, but being able to have a second opinion based on facts and industry experience is invaluable to budding artists.
• Arbitration: A manager can act as an arbitrator for a team of artists. For example, in a band of musicians, managers can resolve disagreements and synchronize team performance.
Hiring a skilled music manager is one of the most sound investments an artist can make, but the timing of hiring and what kind of management the artist is looking for is also important. An artist may not need a professional music manager in the very early stages of their career. Because they might be able to develop their name better on their own. It can cause financial loss without a sure return on investment. But if you provide value as a powerful source of connection, feedback, and mediation, partnerships with artists can be successful and lead to greater financial benefits down the road.
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