What Does a Music Manager Do?

What does a music manager do? A music manager assists an artist or group in developing their career in the industry. The manager will usually be in charge of the business side of that career, while the artist deals with the musical side, such as writing and performing. In this article we take a deeper look into the roles and responsibilities of a music manager:

The many roles of a music manager:

#1 Speaking publicly on behalf of the artist

It’s the music manager’s responsibility to run (and, literally, manage) the public image for the band, particularly important in the era of social media.

#2 Seeking opportunities

The phrase “There’s no such thing as bad publicity” isn’t necessarily true, but it is true that even the smallest opportunities can be important.

The more exposure the artist gets, the better, so keeping an eye open for a chance to get that exposure is essential for an artist manager.

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#3 Booking studio time

The music manager will usually book studio time on behalf of the artist and hire a producer for recording sessions. This is important, as it will define the sound of the record.

Keep in mind that studio time is not funded by the manager, instead this usually comes from the artist’s income.

#4 Sending demos to record labels, radio stations, publications etc.

The music press, record labels, and radio stations are like middlemen between the producers and the consumers — a type of musical gatekeeper.

Having good, respectful working relationships with these people is essential for any artist looking to “make it” in the music industry.

An artist’s manager manages these relationships on their behalf.

#5 Promoting the artist

Advertising is expensive, so this may be challenging at first. But the manager will be responsible for eventually communicating with advertisers to boost the artist’s visibility.

Caution: Shameless plug ahead! Continue reading below.

#6 Organising music videos and photoshoots

More than ever before, people are consuming music through video platforms, and video is a great way to build and support an artist’s ‘image’.

A music manager will be in charge of seeking out and hiring a crew for music videos and photographers for photoshoots.

#7 Booking and promoting gigs

A good manager will not only be able to sell the artist to potential venues and event organisers but also understand what venues would best suit the artist.

Attempting to encourage the owner of a large venue to book the artist will be difficult if the artist is not guaranteed to sell tickets. A small venue may be more appropriate early in the artist’s career.

Wherever the artist performs, the audience must also be suitable — for example, attempting to book a soul singer to support a thrash metal band may not net the right crowd!

#8 Keeping up with developments in the industry, including audience trends

It’s important for the manager to understand where the artist fits.

This may include following the careers of similar artists and watching out for trends in sound, style and even upcoming online platforms.

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