Do you want detailed information on the music business - how it works and what you need to learn and do to succeed with your own music. Read these. learn more about the business of the music industry and how it operates. If so, There is a list of books located in the research resources section of this guide. This book is intended to be the de nitive guide to the student of management of artists in the music business, as well for as those seeking to become professional .
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Are you considering starting a Music Business? if yes, you'll find this free book to be extremely helpful. This is a practical guide that will walk you step by step. Here are a selection of free music business ebooks for you to download in PDF format. This book provides a complete introduction to music marketing. It looks . All rights reserved, including the right to reproduce this book or portions thereof . update of what's happening with traditional music business.
It may be a percentage of what you get on signing the deal, a percentage of all monies paid you in the first contract period of the deal or a share of these monies and of future royalties. Sometimes the finder argues for a percentage of monies beyond the initial contract period. This is less usual and I would want to see strong grounds to justify that and even then might well argue for the percentage to be reduced to say 2.
If this is not a situation where there is an existing production company with access to studio facilities he may pay for some studio time for you to record more material or to try out different versions of what youve already recorded on your demo.
In that case he may offer you a demo deal. The deal will usually guarantee you a certain amount of time in a professional or in-house recording studio. Many record and publishing companies have their own studio facilities, which they may offer to make available. Perhaps you shouldnt look a gift horse in the mouth, but if the studio doesnt have the equipment you need to show yourself off to best advantage you should say so, and either ask for that equipment to be hired in or ask to go into a commercial studio.
Cheeky, yes, but you can do it politely its your chance, so dont blow it. The record or publishing company will expect to own the copyright in what you record see Chapter 3. The company will want to own the right to control what happens to the recording.
A record company will not usually expect to own rights in the song but a music publisher might. Try and take advice before you agree to give away rights in the song. At the very least they shouldnt own the song unless they offer you a proper publishing deal see Chapter 4. The company offering you the deal will also own the physical recording or master. This is fine as long as they dont stop you recording the same song for someone else if they dont offer you a deal.
They should also agree that they wont do anything with the master without first getting your permission. This is important. When you finally sign your record deal you will be asked to confirm that no one else has the right to release recordings of your performances. The record company will not find it funny if a rival company releases the very track that they had planned as your first single.
The company who paid for the demo will usually agree that you can play it to other companies if they decide not to offer you a deal within a reasonable period of time. The record or publishing company will normally want some exclusivity in return for the studio time they are giving you.
They may want you to agree not to make demos for anyone else or not to negotiate with another company for a period of time. They may be slightly more flexible and want the right of first negotiation or refusal. This means that they will want either to have the first chance to try to negotiate a deal with you or they will want to have the right to say yes or no first before you sign to another company.
This is a difficult call. You will no doubt be excited and perhaps desperate not to risk losing the deal but, before agreeing to exclusivity or these negotiating options, you need to be sure that the exclusive time period is not too long.
If they tie you up for months you may miss your moment. If they have first negotiating or rejection rights then they should tell you as soon as possible where you stand.
If theyre not interested then you need to move on as quickly as possible. Bear in mind, though, that the record company has to go through a number of stages before they can make a decision. All this takes time and they may not want to risk losing you to a rival company.
So you need to get a balance between the needs of the two sides. Dont be surprised or depressed if, after you make the demo, the company decides not to offer you a deal. I know several artists who got demo time from two or three record companies and ended up with an excellent set of demos that they took to another company who then signed them up. What you dont want to happen is that people feel that youve been around for a while and are sounding a bit stale.
This is a difficult balance to strike. On a more positive note, the first company may love what youve recorded. Youve passed go and, once youve read the rest of this chapter on getting yourself some good advisers, you should go straight to Chapter 3 What Is A Good Record Deal? Dont worry about negotiating or signing a studio or demo deal.
There are people that you can turn to for help. You should be looking to put your team of advisers in place as soon as you start to get a bit of a buzz about you so that you are ready to move quickly.
So where do you find one and what can they do for you? Finding a lawyer You can ask the Law Society for their suggestions see the Useful Addresses section for details.
They have entertainment firms on their referral lists but make no judgement on the quality of the advice. Many law firms have their own websites, which will tell you a bit about the firm and its areas of expertise. It will usually contain an email address, so you could try sending them a message asking for further information.
Some websites contain details of the last big deals the firm did and, where their clients allow them to, list the names of some of their clients. It is not necessarily a bad thing if there arent many clients mentioned. Professional rules mean we have to keep client information confidential and not even say that someone is a client without the clients permission or unless it is public knowledge.
If a client is kind enough to give me a credit on their album artwork, I take it that hes happy for people to know Im his lawyer, but if in doubt I have to ask.
The PRS runs a legal referral scheme where firms of music lawyers agree to give preliminary advice free or at a reduced rate. See Useful Addresses. Not all law firms have websites, so you could also look in the two main books listing UK legal firms Chambers and Legal See Useful Addresses.
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The general guides can be found in most of the larger public libraries and are both available online. Both have a similar approach, breaking down the lists into areas of the country and particular specialisations.
Chambers writes short pieces on those it thinks are the leading players in a particular field and now also boasts a USA guide. Legal operates on a league principle. When it interviews lawyers it notes which names are mentioned most frequently by others in the business and grades the firms accordingly. It also does some checking with individual clients. In addition to these general legal guides the Music Week Directory also lists UK law firms and is a good first stop for an overview of lawyers who claim to have expertise in the music business.
Music Week is the leading trade journal for the music industry in the UK. You need to take out a subscription to get the directory and online access but you may find it in bigger reference libraries or a contact in the business might lend you a copy.
As with the more general guides an entry in the directory is not any guarantee that they are any good. Managers and Accountants If you already have a manager or an accountant they may be able to recommend a lawyer to you. You should check if your manager has the same lawyer. Most managers realise that for some things for example, negotiating the management contract you have to have a separate lawyer from your manager. There is a conflict in the interests of the two of you that means you must be separately advised.
Where there is no conflict of interest there is usually nothing wrong in you and your manager having the same lawyer. You may, however, still feel more comfortable having your own lawyer on board. Other bands or contacts in the business may be able to recommend someone to you.
This may be their own lawyer or someone they have heard others say is good. We lawyers love personal recommendations as a source of new work. It means we must be doing something right. How do you go about choosing and employing a lawyer? Occasionally lawyers are in the public eye because of a particularly high- profile piece of work they have done and everyone wants to have them as their lawyer.
You must, however, try to find out whether the lawyer is experienced and not a one-hit wonder. How do you do that? Ideally you should have two or three names on your list, possibly gathered from a variety of sources. You should call them, tell them you are looking for a lawyer and ask to meet with them.
Be wary of lawyers who promise the earth. We dont have all the answers. Before you meet up with the lawyers have some questions ready for them. Ask how long theyve been doing this and who their main clients are. As we saw, they may be a bit coy about this because of their duty to keep clients and their business confidential. Ask them how their firm is structured. Will they be doing the work for you or will it be handed over to a more junior person? Can you call up the lawyer you are meeting at any time to discuss your case or are you expected to work with the junior person?
You should also ask the lawyers the all-important question of what they charge, when they expect to send you a bill and when they expect it to be paid. Will they accept payment in instalments and, if so, do they charge interest on the balance like you would on a credit card bill that you were paying off monthly? Can you pay by credit card? Beware of a lawyer who is reluctant to discuss his costs.
If he tells you what he charges by the hour you may need to sit down. But quoting hourly rates doesnt really help you to compare two firms, as one lawyer may work faster than the other. A better way to do it is to ask them to give you a ballpark figure for what it usually costs for them to do a record or publishing deal.
If you ask each lawyer the same question youll have a better basis for a comparison. Dont necessarily go for the lowest price. It may be that the deal gets done faster but its a short-term view. Where the lawyer really comes into his own is when something goes wrong in six months or a years time.
Then the thoroughness with which he has done his job in protecting your interests really gets put to the test. Some lawyers will agree to do a piece of work for a fixed price.
Since setting up my own business I often work in that way as it gives the client certainty but as with any job of work if it turns out to be far more complicated than it appeared at first I reserve the right to come back and revisit that fixed fee. The lawyer you finally choose should send you a letter setting out the basis on which he is going to work for you, including details of what he expects to charge and who you should complain to if you have a problem. Your lawyer is a fundamental part of your team.
Take your time in choosing one and dont be afraid to say if youre not happy with a piece of work, including voting with your feet and changing lawyers if it doesnt work out. Although you may want to give the lawyer the chance to explain his position before you leave. As a last resort you can sue but this is all very negative. In the majority of cases there isnt a problem that cant be sorted out with a phone call. There are firms of lawyers that work mostly for record and publishing companies and others that work for what we call the talent the creative end of the business.
It is important to know this. If the record label interested in you uses the same firm for their own legal advice there will be a conflict of interest which will make it difficult for that lawyer to work for you if youre ever in a dispute with the record company. Some say its possible to build Chinese Walls artificial barriers where, in theory, one lawyer within a firm knows nothing about what another is doing, so cant be influenced in any negotiation.
When things are going well this can work, provided everyone knows it is happening. When things arent going so well will you feel confident that your lawyer is looking after your interests?
Beauty parades When you go to meet lawyers its only fair that you tell them that youre seeing lawyers from other firms. Lawyers call these meetings beauty parades when we set out to impress you. Theres nothing worse than spending an hour giving advice to someone you think has already chosen you as their lawyer only to be told as they walk out of the door, Thanks for that, Ill get back to you when I have seen the other firms on my list. If youre asked what other firms youve seen you dont have to say, but if you do it helps that lawyer, who then knows who he is in competition with and can adjust his sales pitch accordingly.
When youve decided who you want to work with, you should tell the others whove given up an hour or more of their valuable time that they are out of luck. You never know, you may want to change lawyers at some point and theres no harm in keeping things civil. What does your lawyer do for you? A trite answer may be to say whatever you instruct him to do provided it is legal. We do work on instructions from you, but thats really not a true picture of all that we can do for you.
Were there to advise you, to help you decide what the best deal is for you. We give you the benefit of our experience of similar situations. We know whos doing what deals and how much would be a good deal. If you want, we can help you to target companies that our experience tells us should be interested in your type of music.
This can help you to be more focused. The type of music youre into shouldnt influence your lawyer, who should be able to represent you whatever style of music you make, provided its not so far out of his area of expertise that he doesnt have the necessary experience or commercial knowledge of whether the deal is good, bad or indifferent. Theres also a growing band of lawyers who, following the American trend, are acting as quasi-managers, only taking on clients who they think they can get a deal for.
Managers seem a little uncomfortable about this, as it blurs the edges between their respective roles. It also means that the lawyer is making a judgement call, and those who really need advice may be losing out. With this breed of lawyer you need to be very clear what they are expecting to charge you.
Is it their normal rate or is there a premium for this service? Are they charging a percentage of the deal they get for you? If so does that mean that they only focus on getting the most money and to hell with the small print?
Our role can be as wide or as narrow as you want it to be. If you are already clued-up on the type of deal you want, or have a manager who is, then you wont need that sort of advice.
If youre quite happy about negotiating a deal direct with the record or publishing company, then you bring your lawyer in later when the commercial terms are agreed and you need to get the legal contract in place. On the other hand, if you are new to the business and arent confident enough to negotiate commercial terms, youll want to involve your lawyer at a much earlier stage. I work differently with different types of clients. Another important part of the network for an artist is to get to know those who offer to support their career and offer to be sponsors when the time comes to push their career to the next level.
Be professional When an artist makes the decision to advance their career, it is also a decision to adopt the demeanor of an industry professional from that point forward.
Assume that the lucky break is in the audience every time there is a performance, and be prepared to deliver the best show possible. Being professional on the Internet is also important. Potential career supporters will use an Internet social networking site as a reference point about the artist, and the site should look as professional as the artist can afford.
A domain name is merely the location of a website on the Internet, and they can be downloadd inexpensively from a number of sources such as Yahoo and GoDaddy.
Using new media also requires the touch of a professional. The use of convenient communication methods does not mean the message writer should not respect the ways these tools are used by business people. Always use good grammar, accurate spelling, and appropriate punctuation when using electronic communication.
Be prepared for management An artist manager will make a number of evaluations about an artist before they decide to offer management. In , Frascogna and Hetherington noted 17 questions that an artist could expect from a potential manager and most of the questions are still relevant today.
What legal entity is the artist doing business as: sole proprietor, partnership, Limited Liability Company, corporation, or joint venture? An ownership entity must be established, especially where the artist is a duo or group. Are there any existing management, booking, recording, publishing, or corporate endorsement or sponsorship agreements in effect?
If so, what are the terms of these agreements, and what is the status of the artist with regard to the parties to those contracts? If there were previous agreements that are allegedly inoperative, are there proper releases evidencing this?
Does the artist own a registered service mark on his or her name? Does the artist have good banking relations? Does the artist have proper insurance coverage?
Does the artist write his or her own material? If so, is he or she a member of a performing rights society? Frascogna, Hetherington, 42— It is clear from these questions and concerns from a prospective artist manager that the artist must be prepared to demonstrate that they are ready for the music business. References Frascogna, Xavier M.
The artful manipulation of people on behalf of the artist is one of the key functions of the artist manager. Relying on the science of research can be helpful in planning and keeping plans current. This chapter draws lessons from the real world experiences of several veteran artist managers that will help build an understanding of this corner of industry.
Parker was born in Holland and immigrated to the United States as a young man, working in carnivals and eventually promoting country music shows. It was during his promotion work that he was introduced to Elvis and was asked by his parents to manage the year-old singer. Parker died in January at the age of Lessons learned: Parker was an adept negotiator.
Songs that an artist writes or helped to write are entitled to regular payments for the performance of those songs on radio, television, concerts, and other places. Elvis and Parker both were paid nothing because of this omission. Anselmo, With over 10, commercial radio stations in the United States, the value of performance payments is considerable for the estate of an icon-like Elvis.
This is especially true when parents manage the careers of their childartists as in the cases of Aaron Carter and LeAnn Rimes who had to sue their parents over issues relating to career management.
However, when that family member is a spouse, the results are often positive. That is not necessarily extraordinary except that he is 26 years older than his wife, the international singing star. Rene Angelil began his career as an artist manager, following his work as a member of a Canadian group called the Baronets.
His group built a reputation performing in Quebec in the s. Charlebois, His career transition to artist management ultimately linked him in the early s with twelve-year-old Celine Dion. She had sent an unsolicited recording to Angelil with a request that he consider managing her career. As Canadian-born Celine pressed Angelil to make her an international star, he knew an image makeover would be necessary for the French-speaking singer.
The result was a launch into the lucrative American music market that garnered her Grammy awards, helped her sell millions of albums, and made her one of the biggest acts to ever perform in Las Vegas. Lesson learned: An artist manager must have a keen sense of the target market for a recording artist. Angelil knew that her success in the United States would require that she must have a better command of the English language so she could effectively communicate her art through the American media.
Her image makeover and new language skills were among the keys to her commercial success in the United States. Michael Jeffreys and Chas Chandler signed a co-management contract with Hendrix in Hopkins, Two years after Jeffreys and Chandler agreed to manage Hendrix, Chandler wanted out of the arrangement.
In , Michael Jeffreys died in a plane crash in France with his artist management assets passing to his father. In the case of the Jeffries-Hendrix relationship, from the very beginning the manager was drawing more from the income stream of the artist than is customary. Jeffries owned song-publishing, recordings, royalties earned by the recordings, and a recording studio that would be used exclusively by Hendrix.
Probably there has been no deeper belief and commitment to an artist than Peter Grant was to Led Zeppelin. By his mids, he was driving American bands to London area performances where he became somewhat familiar with the general workings of performing acts. He became adept at tending to the affairs of artists performing on the road because of his experience, and in part because of his large presence.
He stood 6' 6" tall and weighed well over pounds. His imposing presence and the knowledge that he occasionally carried a gun made him a natural to create order out of the chaos that sometimes accompanies touring.
Davis, Grant began a management company with friend Mickie Most and acquired the Yardbirds as one of their acts. The Yardbirds was one of those groups from the s that could boast having had at varying times band members Eric Clapton, Jeff Beck, and Jimmy Page. Welch, When the Yardbirds broke up, Grant formed a new group using Page and some new band members, calling them the New Yardbirds. This group morphed into what became the legendary Led Zeppelin. In , the death of a member of the group led to the end of Led Zeppelin.
In , Grant himself died at the age of 60 from a heart attack. Clark-Meads, Lesson learned: The most effective manager is one whose belief in the artist is deep enough to be the basis for every decision made on their behalf, whether it is believing in their potential or believing in who they are. Peter Grant was constantly on tour with Led Zeppelin handling most of the tasks associated with tour management 34 Lessons in Artist Management: Colonel Parker to Sharon Osbourne and artist management.
But when the time came to create the words and music, and to assemble the performance, he left these creative responsibilities in the hands of the group. Likewise, the band left the management decisions—including some very unconventional ones—up to Grant.
This shared and deep belief in each other became what many acknowledge as one of the strongest bonds between artists and a manager in the music business.
The law, however, requires the contract to be approved by a judge who will then regularly 53 Chapter 5 monitor the effects of the agreement on the career of the minor. In this way, a third party is involved to assure the minor is protected yet it also gives a measure of protection to the manager or company. New York has a law similar to those noted above, but it places a limit on the length of most contracts with minors to no more than three years from the date the contract was approved by a court.
Berry, A contract A copy of a form that is used for contemporary artist manager contracts is included as Appendix B to this book, and updates will be available at the book website, www.
What is seen in the appendix is the shell of many of the negotiating points that should be included depending on the nature of the agreement the manager and the artist seek to memorialize with the contract.
Bottom line: BBC, , http: Berry, Laverne, , Nextclient. A weakness found in the music business is the lack of any formal planning for artists, especially new artists. Veterans of the music business, both artists and their managers, have a short-term and long-term vision for managing careers and they frequently are not formalized in any written form.
For the new artist who is ready for the commercial side of their music and who is signed with management, a formal written plan is especially important. Chapter 12 of this book guides artist managers through the creation of such a plan. This chapter begins with goal setting. In part, it is because they were terribly ambitious, and because they were made without a plan or timetable to make them achievable. As the next year approaches, the resolution remains unmet and as the sound of Auld Lang Syne rings in the New Year, the same goals are set for yet another year.
Promises you make to yourself towards achievement of goals without a plan and a timetable suggest that they are more like dreams rather than intended results. Managing careers of artists converts their dreams of success in the music business into a reasonable reality.
It is important that the goals of a plan and the way to reach those goals are the result of collaboration between the two. However, that sets the stage for underperformance or underachievement based on the talents of the artist. Choosing a set of goals for the artist is the starting point for creating a plan. Goals for the artist might be securing a recording contract, learning to play piano during stage performances, learning to write songs that have commercial appeal, developing a commanding stage presence, acting in movies, and any number of objectives that will accomplish the career desires of the artist.
It is the result you are trying to achieve. It is the goal, or the target of your energies. A Primer for the Artist Manager In order to achieve a goal, it requires a set of strategies. Strategies are the plans you make to reach the goal. One of the best ways to develop a good set of strategies is to create a timeline beginning with the goal and work backwards, determining what it is that must be done to reach the goal.
Strategies are lists of general steps that the artist and manager must take in order to get the desired result found in the goal. An example of a strategy is to create and practice a stage show with the goal of being booked to open for a headliner. These are the things the artist and the manager do each day to implement the strategies in order to achieve the goals.
It will note telephone calls to be made, emails to be sent, meetings to be held, and follow up for everything. Chapter 12 presents software that can be used by the manager to create charted timelines that will visually display the goals and related strategies.
Planning a personal budget for the artist The manager who does not create a reasonable personal budget for the artist, especially for the new artist, will be spending valuable time trying to patch up relationships with bankers, credit card companies, and others to whom the artist owes money.
A budget, like any other plan the manager creates, must be in collaboration with the artist. The artist must see the need for it and must agree to the limits of the plan. A lot 57 Chapter 6 of personal budget templates are available that make excellent tools for assembling a personal budget. The budget can be arranged by the week or the month, depending on which works best for the artist. Initially, then, a weekly budget will keep a shorter-term view of where money is being spent, and it gives the artist a way to develop the control necessary to be responsible with prescribed spending limits.
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The manager and artist should plan for the following areas as major areas of the budget: A Primer for the Artist Manager It is important for the artist to understand that a budget is based on their net income, meaning that money available for their personal budget is after taxes have been taken out.
The nature of the work of many artists is such that they are paid the full amount of their earnings when they are earned, and taxes will not have been deducted from the amount the artist receives. No taxes were withheld from these amounts paid to the artist. The artist will be required to have funds available to pay any income taxes that are due from amounts reported on all of the forms they receive. Additionally, the artist must be prepared to pay any state income taxes for amounts they earned from performances in each state they worked during the previous calendar year.
It is important, then, that the artist understands that a budget category will be created to hold back anticipated taxes that will be due. For several reasons, a plan for any event should be written. First, a manager who has several artists will have a number of events in the planning stage, and a written plan will keep them organized and separate from each other.
During those frequent hectic times, keeping the plans separate and in writing will minimize the confusion for the manager and those who are assisting with them. Having a plan in writing is especially important when the manager must share information with others.
A range of distractions from illness to other unexpected emergencies becomes easier to manage if a clear and complete written plan can be assigned to someone else to handle.
Purpose of the event with the expected outcome. All contact information for the manager, including email, landline telephone number, home phone number, cell phone number, instant messenger address, fax number, and any other wireless access address.
All special requirements for the event food, beverage, equipment, personnel, room setup. Detailed contact information for all service and equipment providers for the event, including after-hours and emergency telephone numbers. Contact information for all backup service and equipment providers. Full transportation and travel information, even if it is for a local event.
A budget detailing expected expenses and who will pay for each element of it. Successful events require considerable attention to detail.
In the event plan on the following pages, the responsibility of something as seemingly routine as issuing invitations is highlighted to demonstrate the amount of planning and coordination necessary to simply invite people to a showcase. The cities of major music centers have venues that routinely showcase artists for the purposes of securing management, a recording deal, or a publishing contract.
The showcases can be one of the regular performances by an artist at a venue at which special guests are invited to determine if they have a business interest in the performer.
Sometimes they are as simple as an audition in a conference room. Other times they might be held at a performance rehearsal facility, and sometimes they are invitation-only showcases presented at small clubs. The event plan example in this section of the book is for a showcase for an artist who is seeking interest by a larger independent label or by a major label for a recording contract. Since the objective is to enter into a business arrangement, one of the key music business centers—Los Angeles, Nashville, New York, or London—is the likely location for a showcase.
And regardless of where the event is held, the planning for it has the same considerations. A showcase at a club that is part of a regular engagement for the artist has little additional cost; a showcase planned as an exclusive event for the artist can involve considerable expense. Each can be effective, 60 Planning: A Primer for the Artist Manager though the exclusive event focuses on the artist, and is designed to be purely an industry event rather than mixed with club patrons.
A showcase to seek a label deal will require at least six to eight weeks of preparation from the date the decision is made to have the event until it happens.
If you offer refreshments to the guests, a broader range of beverages can be offered at the end of the day. Thirty minutes is set aside for people to arrive, have light refreshments, and network with peers. The last half-hour will include a twenty-minute performance by the artist with ten minutes reserved to navigate the room with guidance by the manager to connect with key people who attended.
A showcase planned at 5: The venue the manager chooses should be one that is large enough for the event, but small enough so that it is easy to give the perception that there is a big attendance. An ideal venue will be conveniently located near those who are invited, has adequate parking, will offer the use of the venue at no charge for a guaranteed food and beverage download for the event, and can seat — people in front of a permanent stage.
The surest way to a successful showcase for the artist is to use a combination of the old and tried ways with the inclusion of technology. Three weeks before the event, mail the invitations using the traditional postal service so they will arrive two and one-half weeks before the event. The following week, send a follow-up email that includes an image of the invitation. Every part of a successful plan has countless steps, and the effective manager anticipates each element of each step.
For example, as easy as this seems, issuing invitations has a considerable number of steps that will require attention to detail. Will it be an invitation inside an envelope or will it be a postal card?
If it is a postal card, what size will it be? Will it be in four-color? What will the invitation say? Will images be required for it and from where will you get them? Who will proof the text? How many bids will you take for the printing service? Who is your back-up printer in the event the invitations are not ready on time? Who will receive the invitations? How many invitations must be issued to assure the size and quality of a crowd at the event? Who will eliminate duplicate names? Does the manager have software and expertise to print labels from the database?
Who will assemble the invitations and prepare them to post? How much postage must be downloadd and who will download it? Who will create the email follow-ups? Is there a complete email list of invitees? A Primer for the Artist Manager While this list demonstrates the kinds of tasks and detail necessary for just the invitations, it does not include the telephone calls, voice mail, and emails necessary to complete each one of these steps. Food and beverage Often referred to as hospitality in the meeting planning industry, the kind of food and beverage served at an event like this will depend on the budget available.
Venues often supply the event space at little or no cost, provided the manager downloads snacks and beverages from them rather than having them catered. An open bar for a one hour event will leave the artist manager exposed to the consumption of the crowd. On a larger scale, the author held a major music industry showcase and dinner for 1, people that included an open bar for an hour.
At the settlement with the venue the amount was negotiated down, but thereafter beverage tickets were provided for similar events as a way to control costs. The use of beverage tickets is encouraged for any event where the food and beverage budget must be closely watched.
If food is planned for a small showcase, it must be within the limits of the budget. For a small showcase, however, food is not necessary if the budget does not permit.
The performance The manager will assemble a list of the requirements for the performance, many of which will depend upon the venue. Some performance venues offer only a stage with the expectation that the performer will bring in the necessary sound and lighting equipment. If the stage is not adequate for the performance, the manager will rent appropriate staging and have it erected for the performance.
Some have minimal staging that is more like a riser than an actual stage. Others will have staging that puts the performer above the audience permitting them to be seen and heard very well. Besides the elevation of the stage, the manager must be sure there is adequate space for the stage plot that is planned for the event.
If more space is needed, the manager must order it. However, if the artist does not have players who regularly perform with the artist, a budget allowance is necessary to pay the players for rehearsal and performance time. Costs that may be incurred with the performance could also include cartage, instrument rental, and technicians to manage the lights and sound.
Promotion Those who attend the event should be provided promotional materials, often in the form of a press kit, to carry away with them after the event. It should be given to each invitee as they leave the event. Encourage them to take two if they need them, keeping in mind that many who attend showcases are surrogates for decision makers, and they will be sharing the experience with other staff at their company the next day. Many artists who showcase do not post a banner on stage with their name and website address.
In a brief showcase, the name of the artist is typically mentioned at the beginning and at the end of the performance. Since they are relatively new to the industry, it helps to keep a banner with the name of the artist on stage in front of the audience before, during, and after the performance.
Heavy duty banners are relatively inexpensive and may be used for subsequent performances. Hire a good publicist. Entertainment publicists can promote the event to the industry and they can manage the event for the artist manager. Publicists will be able to help create a list of key invitees, provide addresses, handle RSVPs, make follow-up calls to those invited, and manage the event on the premises the day of the event.
A sample budget The most economical way to showcase talent is to make it a performance at a venue at which the artist is already booked. Guests who are invited can be asked to present an invitation at the door, or a list of invitees can be provided to the person at the door of the venue.
Accommodations for invitees can include reserved tables with directives to the wait staff to give complimentary beverages to them with the bill coming to the manager. A Primer for the Artist Manager An exclusive industry showcase is the most expensive way to showcase, and is for the aspiring artist who has access to enough funding for an event of this type.
Typical costs an artist could expect to pay for an event that plays host to industry people are: Events like these can generate industry interest but they often do not result in a contract.
They may have savings that are put aside for their career development; they may have friends or family members who are able to assist in paying the costs; the artist may have a sponsor that regularly associates with their performances who are willing to underwrite an event like this; and the artist may be able to take out a loan to cover the showcase costs. As noted earlier in this book, the artist manager should ask the artist to remember and note anyone who falls into this category, and the manager should then follow up and ask for support.
Planning for any event, whether it is an artist showcase or a meet-and-greet preceding a performance requires close attention to the budget.
If the plan results in a budget that the artist cannot afford, then the manager must decide whether to modify the event to so it becomes affordable or consider not holding the event at all. Remember 65 Chapter 6 that budgeting is a matter of setting priorities with available funding, and above all, a plan must be affordable. Planning tools There are a number of organizing and planning tools used by artist managers.
They include paper planners that fall under the brand names of Day-Timer and Franklin Covey. This style of planner has accessories and sophisticated tools that help the artist manager stay current and plan for the artist as well as for all other company clients. This style of planner sells annual updates with printed pages, binders, and useful reference pages.
Another planning tool is Microsoft Outlook. Outlook can be an effective information and communication management tool and it will work as an adequate planner for the artist manager. The software is web-based, meaning that the planning and organizing of data are maintained on the Internet on a secure server giving the manager, company staff, and the artist access to it on a current, real-time basis from anywhere in the world.
It offers features similar to those found with paper planners but it adds planning and management tools that are custom designed for the artist manager.
Figure 6. Managers for artists such as Faith Hill, Kiss, and Dierks Bentley have adopted Verberate to organize career management for their clients. A Primer for the Artist Manager Figure 6. It is a basic mission statement. It is clear that among the most important functions of the artist manager is to be the promoter and advocate for the artist and their talents.
This is another way of saying that they are responsible for developing the artist as a brand, marketing the artist, and exploiting their talents—which is why this and many of the following chapters include sections on marketing and promoting the artist as a commercial entity.
Understanding target markets The job of artist management is to direct the career of an artist, and a very common activity of the manager is promoting and selling the star power of the artist to people willing to download music and tickets to performances—this means there is a lot 69 Chapter 7 of marketing going on. This target market makes up a segment of the larger general market of music consumers.
Ways to view market segments There are numerous ways to look at segments of a target market, which we will consider here. As we know, the function of a label is marketing with the goal of selling recordings—not necessarily to sell tickets and merchandise.
The manager should then adopt those opportunities into the formal career plan of the artist to be sure they have become integrated into the goals set by the manager and artist. Psychographics segmentation is viewing a market segment based on lifestyle characteristics of the downloaders of music and tickets.
Behavioristic segmentation looks at why a consumer engages with a product, how they use the product, and what creates their loyalty to the product. An example would be to look at the recording success of John Mayer. His two subsequent albums have been successful projects, but each has produced much lower sales than the previous album. The possible causes for the decline in sales are numerous but it raises these questions about the target market.
And second, what has been done to embrace the special target market consumer characteristics of those who are now 18—22 years old? An informed understanding of the target market segment can be one of the most productive tools an artist manager can use in managing the career of an artist. The artist as a brand and the associated image distinguish the artist from others and makes them recognizable through their distinct approach to music and performances.
With the 71 Chapter 7 large array of cable music channels and the Internet, the artist has become multidimensional and has taken on the qualities of the purest form of a brand. A key component of branding is image.
A brand image is the way people feel about a product, and in this case, the artist. It is their emotional attachment to the artist based on their music and performances and how they respond to them. The symbol of the brand comes in the form of a trademark or service mark or both. A trademark is a symbol that represents the brand and distinguishes it from other products.
Artists who choose a symbol as their trademark should also trademark the text of their name in order to protect it in its commercial use.
This generally means that people have the right to control the commercial exploitation of their names, their image or likeness, or some other distinguishing aspect of their person—even having a very distinguishable singing voice. In , Bette Midler declined an offer to appear in an automobile commercial so the advertising agency hired a sound-alike singer instead.
In the UK, the principles behind the right of publicity have not been supported, though the courts are more willing to consider the concept today. Booking agent The booking agent is the individual who connects an artist with most paid performances, and among the largest booking agencies in the world are the William Morris Agency, and Creative Artists Agency. While agents book live performances, they are also involved in negotiating artists to appear in commercials, arranging tour sponsorships, and for appearances in television specials.
Agents do not get paid from the sale of recordings or from songwriting. In all cases, however, an agent is the person responsible for negotiating the fee an artist will charge a promoter for a concert performance or for an entire tour.
Artists are exclusive to agents for their performance bookings, meaning that there is only one agent that represents the artist for live performances. Some agents will reduce their fees for major acts and larger tours because even small percentages on this kind of booking can generate considerable commissions for them.
Typically, too, these small venues do not require the use of performance contracts required by the unions, though it is advisable to use union language to protect the artist. Paid performances that the agent is not responsible for are appearances on television talk shows. This kind of performance is considered promotional in nature, and payments to artists who appear are minimal compared to fees charged to promoters for concert appearances.
Attorney Nearly every activity the artist will have in the commercial side of the music business will involve promises in exchange for payment. How those promises are framed and how the compensation is planned become the heart of a contract, and the advice of an experienced attorney can assure the interests of the artist are represented in business agreements.
The attorney must be a specialist who has a daily working knowledge of contract provisions, an understanding of the personalities with whom they will negotiate, a solid reputation within the industry, and experience deep enough to be familiar with most of the circumstances an artist will encounter during their career. They have relationships with key information gatekeepers at relevant media outlets, and are trained and experienced in knowing the needs of editors and decision makers.
They maintain databases of their contacts and they understand how to get stories about artists placed in the media. The major labels and many independent labels provide a publicist for the artist because they are interested in promoting a current recorded music project.
But the artist 74 The Artist as a Business who is assigned a label publicist is sharing their attention with every other artist who has or is planning the release of a recording. The artist manager should not be reluctant to employ an additional publicist whose focus is only on the artist and who is under the direction of the manager.
For a new artist, the manager will not likely choose to have a full-time publicist, but well-connected publicists are available who are willing to work on a project-by-project basis, thereby giving the manager a way to contain expenses in a budget yet have a publicist on the team.
Publicists charge a few hundred dollars to write and distribute a news release. One of those is a banker. There are no direct charges by a banker for their advisory services, but they recapture their costs in the form of monthly account charges for credit, savings, and checking services as well as receiving interest on loans and credit card balances.
Another advisor that the artist will need is someone who can recommend appropriate insurance coverage. The artist will need liability coverage for their mode of transportation going to and from performances; they will need general liability insurance to be sure that neither they nor anyone associated with the live performance injures someone accidentally; they will need life insurance for their family in the event it is needed; and they will need insurance for equipment that is taken on the road which is used for performances.
Charges for these policies will vary depending upon how much coverage is needed by the artist, and the cost of an insurance advisor is the commission they earn when they sell the policies.
An advantage to artists who join unions like AFTRA or the AFM is that they are sources that can help meet some of their insurance needs at a reasonable cost.
But as the artist becomes more active and earnings increase it will become necessary to hire an accountant to handle these matters. Accountants who specialize in the music industry have experience that will keep the artist from developing liabilities such as income tax in other states or other countries, and they can take away the accounting task thereby clearing more time for the manager to focus on career development.
Charges by accountants vary depending on the needs of the artist. A business manager is someone who handles income and expenses of an artist and who assures that what remains after the bills are paid are deposited or invested in ways that build wealth for the artist.
Alternative forms of business for the artist The artist will have options that will determine the formal business type they will take. Proprietorship A proprietorship is the initial business form that a solo artist typically assumes. This business form is where the individual declares that they are in business for themselves, and they are their own boss. It is an easy business form to create, and there is little regulatory accountability to the government.
The key drawback is that there is unlimited personal liability when someone chooses to sue for accidents or negligence. Partnership This business form is the most common chosen by new artists who are actually a named group of performers. This occurs when a group of people pool their talents and professional resources to become an artist, and they are generally easy to form. Courts will support the right of any member of a partnership to act on behalf of all partners but they will also acknowledge that all partners are liable professionally and personally for any lawsuits brought against them.
Most groups beginning their careers do not have a partnership agreement though it is very important to have one. Even a handwritten agreement by the partnership members will serve to forego some of the inevitable disputes that will occur between members. Corporation A corporation is a very formal business form. However, it is easy to transfer ownership of the shares one owns, and for the artist, it protects them from liability because a corporation is a business entity, thereby, shielding the artist.
Limited Liability Company or partnership LLC Many times, a limited liability company is a very attractive alternative for an artist or a performing group when compared to a corporation. An LLC operates and functions very much like a partnership but it gives the members of an LLC the protection from personal liability the way a corporation does.
Depending 77 Chapter 7 on the state in which the LLC is chartered, it can have as few as one member. The UK has similar provisions in their most recent enactment of a law permitting the establishment of an LLP. A primer for the artist manager The Internet is viewed variously in the music business as being either the technology that could ruin the recording industry, or, it is the entity that will give new opportunities for music creators and performers.
The reason this section is included in this book is to give the artist manager a very basic understanding of the Internet and the terminology that will be useful when communicating with webmasters about websites for their artist clients.
A brief history What is known as the Internet today began as a network for information exchange between colleges in the s. It was text-based, meaning there were no photos or other graphics—just text. They were: The information-sharing system must be universally accessible to anyone connected to the network, regardless of computer platform; The information-sharing system must have a consistent user interface that would look and behave in the same fashion no matter how it was accessed; The information-sharing system must allow links between documents, forming a web of relationships between text, graphics, sound, and video.
Franks, 78 The Artist as a Business A very small World Wide Web was launched in , and the creation of the predecessor to the Netscape browser was introduced a year later. Today, Internet Explorer is the browser of choice by a large majority of users, and the World Wide Web has grown to well over twenty billion pages. Markoff, What is the World Wide Web?
An Introduction To Music Marketing
The Internet is a colossal number of interconnected computers with the intention of sharing information and communicating. The Internet is essentially hardware that consists of computers and their physical connections. What creates the World Wide Web Web is software. An Internet service provider ISP is the company that is paid to host a website, and has a server or servers that are the access points for their subscribers to the Internet via the Web. The domain name becomes the address to the most valuable piece of real estate the artist can own on the Web.
Can the artist be held hostage? There is a possible solution. Whether the artist has a trademark that creates rights in the name. Whether the owner of the domain name has a reason to register it for their own legitimate business reasons. And whether the domain name was registered in bad faith, meaning that it was registered with the intent of making money through resale. As in any issue that is as involved as this one, always seek the assistance of an entertainment attorney.
They are the physical location for the website, and it is from here that people using the Web acquire access to it. Remember, too, that there is no geographic limitation on where the hosting service is located.
Find one on the Web that has a good reputation and a competitive price, and it can be located anywhere. Using so-called free hosting services sends the message to visitors that the site and the artist are amateurs.
Content Content for a website consists of all of the resources that are presented to the visitor to the website. A description and biography of the artist. Promotional photos, concert photos, and other pictures of interest. News of the attest: Discography and liner notes from albums. Song lyrics, and perhaps chord charts.
Membership or fan club sign-up page. Allow visitors to sign up for your newsletter, or for access to more exclusive areas of the site. Tour information: Contest or giveaways. Ensure that all of your off-site links open in a new window, so the visitor can easily return to your site.
Contact information for booking agencies, club managers, and the press. Message board for chat rooms: This allows the fans to communicate with one another to create a sense of community. This can be an area restricted to members only. Maintaining a blog of the touring experience is one way to keep fans coming back to the website to read the most recent updates to the journal. It also gives fans a sense of intimacy with the artist.
Hutchison, 81 Chapter 7 These are the basics needed for the site, but there must also be a commitment by the manager to assure that the site receives regular updates and maintenance, and it is important that this is done by someone who is being held accountable for that responsibility.
Creators of websites may use HTML, or hypertext markup language, to write code that generates Web pages. However, there are a number of software packages to create websites that are essentially drag-and-drop, meaning they are developed and designed with mouse clicks. This textbook maintains a continuous website with links to sites and services noted in this chapter, and to other information useful to an artist manager at www.
MySpace and Facebook were early social networking sites that opened the door for hundreds of other social networking sites with hundreds of millions of regular users. Berners-Lee, Tim, , bio at www. CNN Headline News, January 15, , reporting that American consumers are exposed to 9, commercial messages each day. ICANN, , www.
Popular Music Business Books
North Carolina Secretary of State, , www. Until new artists become comfortable with someone else managing their earnings, it will be important that they participate in the accounting. The primary income sources for the artist are royalties from songs they have written, the sale of their recordings and related products, and the sale of tickets and payment 85 Chapter 8 of admissions at performances. Other sources of income come from the sale of merchandise and the acquisition of sponsorships and product endorsements.This means that they will want either to have the first chance to try to negotiate a deal with you or they will want to have the right to say yes or no first before you sign to another company.
The pop group Liberty argued that even if there was residual goodwill their activities could not be seen to interfere with the old Liberty as they were in different areas of music. The live side of the industry is important and increasingly so in the last few years as traditional record sales have declined. They had a fan base and nowadays sold records mostly be mail order or over the Internet.
Dont worry about negotiating or signing a studio or demo deal. However, just because youve invited them doesnt mean theyll come. Listen to this The chance to get the same exposure as your favorite musicians gets easier.
Overlooking one component of it could make the difference between making money or losing money, and the novice artist manager who does not have a strong background in bookkeeping or accounting should seek advice from an entertainment 87 Chapter 8 business manager.
In , Grant himself died at the age of 60 from a heart attack.
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