Artist Development 04


by John Latimer

Artist management is a crucial part of the success of any Artist.  In the early days of an Artist’s career, many Artists manage their own career.  Their “BIG” picture is much smaller than highly successful artists.  So, at the beginning, an Artist has much more to do just to catch up.

For an Artist to get into an agreement with a Manager, they should recognize that managers of artists are only there in regards to activities the Artist creates as a solo artist or band.  Managers assist the Artist with numerous tasks and one of their primary objectives is to ensure the Artist has a good working team, including an agent, publicist, publisher and record label.

The Artist may desire a collaboration that relates solely to activities as a musical artist and not to represent the Artist in any other field of entertainment such as movies or television. Much of this depends on the agreement between and Artist and a Manager.

Managers are expected:

  • To use their best endeavors to promote and develop the artist as a music artist and provide the artist with regular reports on their work.
  • To ensure all monies due to the Artist are promptly collected and remitted directly to the Artist by the parties from which they are due.
  • To refer all enquiries connected with the artist’s work in areas which the Manager is not permitted to act directly for the artist.
  • Not have the right to assign or transfer obligations to any other person or company without prior consent from the Artist

Managers will expect from the Artist:

  • To be available and comply with the Managers reasonable requests to undertake activities pertaining to the Artist’s career at the Artist’s discretion.
  • Not to attempt to negotiate agreements with 3rd parties directly which relate to activities which the Manager is responsible for and to refer all such third parties to the Manager.
  • To refer all press or booking enquiries to the Manager.
  • To notify the Manager of any changes in address or contact numbers.

Usually during the term of the agreement between the Artist and the Manager, the Artist is responsible to reimburse any expenses directly relating to the Manager’s activities as the Artists manager, with the exception of office expenses i.e., telephone, staff etc., which is the responsibility of the Manager. Many time any expenses in excess of a pre-determined amount for any single item must be approved prior to being incurred.

Many mangers represent and manage other artists.  If this is the case, then many times the expenses of the Manager must be related solely to activities of the Artist and not as Manager of the other artists of the Manager.  Some Artists require that Mangers not manage other artists without prior knowledge and/or consent.  Artists want to insure that the Managers activities with other artists do not adversely affect the Manager’s obligations set out with the Artist.

Managers typically charge for services by charging a commission of 10-50% of the gross income received by the Artist.  Many Artists prefer to pay any commissions based on net income received by the Artist. Everything is negotiable.

Commissions are usually payable based on income received by the Artist for live work during the Term and for the avoidance of doubt during the Commission Period, the Manager may only be entitled to commissions in respect of income derived from recordings and compositions made in whole during the Term.  Managers are responsible for paying their own income tax, insurance, and business tax.

The term of a Manager’s agreement with an Artist may be for a set amount of time (recommended 2 years) with the provision that the Artist is entitled to terminate the Term in the event that the Manager does not procure the signature of a publishing or recording agreement by such date.  Many times, after the term has expired, the now ex-Manager may still be entitled to commissions upon the reason that they did the work prior to the end of the Agreement.  Usually this is a step-down type structure where the ex-Manager might receive 7.5% the year after termination and may 5% the second year but nothing after that.

In addition to the term of the agreement with an artist, the manager may also define the territory where they represent the Artist. The territory governed by their agreement may mean the United States, World, whichever country they mutually agree.