There has always been mystique and confusion surrounding music management. Although the job has a wide and varied scope of work, the manager's job is to take care of the business end of things that artists do not have the knowledge, expertise or time to do themselves. There are different types of music management, which are discussed here, but the general function of music management it to help the artist focus on the music, while management takes care of the details.
The management of music artists requires intimate knowledge of the music market, music trends, fashion and available promotional outlets and techniques. In general, the manager what will help the artist achieve success by managing the look, sound, persona and general marketability. Also known as A&R (Artist & Repertoire) managers, they work directly with artists, honing musical skills, suggesting fashion, how artists present themselves and creating the overall package. Artists managers may also take care of artist marketing, advertising, bookings, tours, fan and industry relations.
Personal music managers handle the day-to-day needs and schedules of artists, and are often considered a type of glorified "babysitter" when working with difficult artists. Personal managers ensure that artists keep appointments and stay healthy, and may take care of certain personal errands and other responsibilities. The personal manager endeavors to make the artist's life as unencumbered by day-to-day activities as possible, in order for the artist to focus on music by providing a stress-free, creative and healthy environment.
Business managers handle everyday transactions for artists. From money management, investments, benefits, bill paying, purchasing, bookkeeping, accounting and payroll, music business managers are responsible for the same types of work as other business managers. Since the different aspects of business management are highly specialized, managers of larger organizations will outsource certain duties, delegate tasks to other managers and oversee overall operations.
Tour management is another specialized field. Tour managers usually accompany artists on the road and handle day-to-day operations and artist's personal needs. Hotels, transportation, dining, event coordination, logistics and crew personnel management are just a few of the tour manager's responsibilities. Ensuring that artists arrive safely and on time, and being aware of artist and crew activities and whereabouts, are another aspect of the tour manager's demanding job description. The tour manager ensures that all activities and aspects of performances and venues are scheduled and confirmed, contractual agreements are followed and the tour stays on budget.
Product managers develop marketing and advertising strategies, music and merchandising products, overall direct sales at concert venues and thorough artist websites. Product managers meet with other members of the management team to discuss product and marketing ideas and present viable programs to the artist. Approved products and programs are handled by the product manager, who procures manufacturing, distribution channels and point-of-purchase selling programs, and reports sales and statistics to other management team members.
Individual music managers handle all management tasks, usually for small or start-up music organizations. They must be well-versed in all facets of the management process and business, and be highly motivated, creative and organized. Budget constraints of the small organization require that the individual manager team use all available resources, and may outsource tasks in the most effective and economical way possible. In small organizations, the manager may delegate tasks to the artist or group members, while overseeing and directing operations.
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