Talent manager: Wikis


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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

A talent manager, also known as an artist manager or band 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]

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.


Music managers

A music manager (or band manager) may handle career areas for bands and 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. 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 a contract 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.

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: booking agent, graphic designer, publicist, promoter, and handling money and finances.[3]. 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 also musicians may also find valuable feedback in 3rd pair of ears and this should be carefully considered as well. They 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 managers responsibility.

Despite the many hats that managers are expected to wear, the contract should comprehensively specify the range of activities and mutual responsibilities the manager has to the band, and visa-versa. It is not the manager's "job" to lend, give, or subsidize the artist's careers no matter how great the disparities in their personal incomes, although terms for lending the band money, and the band's repayment of the manager's expenses may be defined in their contract.

Conflicts may arise due to the personal nature of the relationship which may begin as a friendship with the manager being the "first fan" of the band, (according to Donald Passman) and moving a friendship into a business relationship carries risks of success or failure in either court, and the rights and responsibilities should not be taken lightly by either party because of the business or personality issues, which may precipitate conflict, at stake.

Role in a client's early career

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 solidify all artist development aspects and then concentrate on product development. Yes this may also include the above



Artist development

In addition to management, artist development includes joining a Performings Rights Organization ASCAP, BMI or SESAC, copyrights, publishing, trade marks, band member agreements, establishing the business, lessons and coaching, and image.

Product development

Although musicians and artists start working on product development early in their business cycle through performances, it is wise for managers to try to get all the Artist Development aspects completed first; especially if the artist includes more than one individual. Product Development is basically taking the talent to the next level through bookings, recordings, music releases, distribution, promotion, etc.


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 percent of the net or 10 percent of the gross or more of performance and commercial incomes, as stated in contracts. This amount obviously 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 can not be terminated or negotiated within a short period of time.[4]


It is important for a band to have experience performing in front of crowds. Birthday parties, free shows (like basement shows), and talent shows are good sources of experience and do not require a lot of commitment (in terms of fan pull) on the part of the artist. If an artist wants a gig in a bar or nightclub venue, the manager expects several conditions. The following is a list of some questions frequently asked by bar owners/managers (in no particular order):

  • What genre of music is the artist affiliated with?
  • How many people are expected to attend the event?
  • Is a door cover required?
  • Can a door person be provided?
  • Will the band sell their demo CD's?

These are some of the main questions. In most cases a demo CD will be requested. This can be any type of recording, featuring any number of songs (preferably the artist's better songs). The primary objective for the bar owner is to fill their floor on any given night. To do this, the band should be as professional and as practised as possible as to keep the bar patrons and more importantly, the bar owner, interested. This will have a positive effect on their ability to get booked for another show in the future. Another critical factor is maximizing audience attendance by promoting and advertising. Although most bars and other entertainment venues prefer managers bring a good number of attendees to their shows, this is not mandatory to do so every time. In very rare situations for small bands, an entertainment venue could charge the band a fee for a certain number of people 'not' showing up to the show. This is a number of people guaranteed to be present and would have been agreed upon between the owner and band before the show. If those people do not come, the band pays. This fee is to cover bar expenses and loss of money invested in setting up the show for the headlining band, and is usually implemented in larger, more well-known venues.


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 rolls of film and their processing could be upwards of $200 for 150 pictures (labour not included). Photographers are not expected to cover material cost. It is important that the manager obtains an agreement upfront confirming licence 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.

CD launch venue

Once a production date is established the manager can begin searching for venues. CD launches are much more attractive to bar owners because they nearly guarantee an audience. Consequently, CD launch venues are relatively easy to land. Managers usually try booking a location where the crowd will feel comfortable. The venues size should not exceed the projected crowd. If the place is too large, the artist may look unimportant. A small venue can be a preferential, as long as the stage can accommodate the band's gear.


  1. ^ MusicBizAdvice Q&A January 2008
  2. ^ Garrison, Larry. Breaking Into Acting for Dummies, Wiley Publishing Inc., 2002, p. 34.
  3. ^ When Does My Band Need A Manager? Getsigned.com July 16, 2003
  4. ^ Band Manager Info at Media Positive Radio


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