Are music managers still relevant in today’s music industry?
In today’s new music industry, a music manager is becoming less and less critical. In the old days, they were used to get the artist in the correct position; they were also used to polish off an unknown act into a masterpiece. Today this is not the case, with the boom of the internet, easy to use accounting software and digital home studios, managers are not really needed anymore. If an artist is well rounded in business and can work their way around the recording studio, negotiate deals, contracts, and even in some cases make cold calls to venues or other artists for features then what do we need a manager for?
A music manager’s task today is to get you in the door and keep you there, many record labels do not want to talk to new artists and back in the day artists did not know about the business end of things it was always kept a secret. In many cases, artists were so focused on creating music that they did not take the time to be well developed in all aspects of the music business. They say music is only 1% and the business is the other 99% this is the main reason why an artist does not make the amount of money the record labels do.
The labels job was to invest and provide a template of resources to make sure you succeed. The template was tried and tested on many well know acts, and if you do not make it it is because you are not very good or the market does not feel your groove. Today this model has changed dramatically, and the market is open to new sounds and experimental grooves it is actually preferred. Record labels are becoming a thing of the past also, but this is another topic in itself.
What can a music manager do for you today in the new music industry?
Creating is a huge part of an artist’s life, but if they can make some more time to be business orientated it can increase their income by 200%. It is wise to be educated in today’s music industry, i.e., marketing, business, application design, web and graphic design and the understanding of music theory, recording, mixing and mastering are all aspects that are crucial to an artist success. You can also pay people to complete these elements, but you will need money to do so.
A music manager is a reputable way to get you into the door of a major label and to do your books and accounting and set up the business end of things and establish relationship with known producers and other talents but today with the vast information on the internet and classes offered by online schools any artist can do a lot them self and be great at it on every level.
In my opinion, a reasonable music attorney is more valuable than a music manager itself, also a good accountant who understands corporate structure and music business. They are paid when you need them, unlike a music manager who takes 10-20% on everything you do. Every famous act has a team, they do not try to do it all themselves, but they can also afford to pay people.
You might want to bring another face into the picture like a DJ/producer so you do not always have to be the one contacting people and answering the phones, but you will be the one who makes the final decisions. Try to find a mentor or someone you respect in the business and learn all they know.
Good luck in your music career and I hope this article was informative for you. Just remember to get legal help and accounting help when needed, or you could be in over your head with things very fast.