Sometimes thought of as the single most important person in career of artiste. A good manager can expand an artiste’s career to its maximum potential - a bad one can rocket an artist to oblivion. What they generally do is most of the things the artist either can't be bothered to do or doesn't know how to do - they do these things usually in exchange for a percentage of the artist's earnings, this is called commission. A few of the roles of the typical manager include...Helping with career decisions - which record deal? Which publishing deal? How much etc.? Helping with the creative process - selecting a producer, deciding which songs to perform/record, selecting photographers or band members etc. Promotion by hyping to everyone - helping co-ordinate publicity campaign, etc. Assembling and heading professional team - introducing lawyers, business managers and agents, etc. - overseeing their work. Coordinating tours by working with agents to make the best deals. Hounding the record company of the artiste - coordinating record company advertising and marketing campaign for artiste’s records - making sure these are treated as priorities by the record company, criticising and praising. Generally being a buffer between the artiste and the outside world. Managers typically get between 15% and 20% of artist’s gross earnings with the majority earning 15%.However, during touring this 15% means more than you might think. If the artist is a band with five or more members, the manager’s 15% could easily be more than any member’s share. First issue is the manager’s percentage. Most try to keep it to 15%, although some managers might argue that the risk of taking on a new act is worth 20%. It is possible to arrange the deal so that it starts at 20% then changes to 15% after a certain time or when a certain amount has been earned. Sometimes managers earn a percentage of net as opposed to gross, which is better for the artiste. Net deals sometimes mean the manager will ask for limits on expenses. So for example a manager might agree to be paid on net tour proceeds, but that the expenses on the tour can’t exceed a percentage of the gross. With absolutely huge superstars, the manager might just be on a salary with no percentages. This salary can run into six figures! It is sometimes possible to exclude or reduce certain earnings. For example, the manager might get 15% of touring money but less of the artistes song writing royalties, maybe even none of it. If a manager is excluded from certain monies you can’t expect him/her to work in this area. Some monies are customarily deducted before working out the manager’s cut - non-commissionable. It is a good idea to spell these out in the contract to make sure. Recording costs - money paid by the record company for recording should not have a cut in for the manager. They are not really earnings, they just pass through the artiste’s hands to the studio. Money paid to the producer - Same as above. Tour support - this is money paid by record company to offset losses from touring. Commissioning tour support is controversial and some managers think it should be commissionable, but most will agree that it is loss compensation and therefore un-commissionable. Costs of collection. - If an artiste has to sue someone to get paid, the cost of suing should be deducted before making the manager’s cut. Opening acts - for big artistes personal appearance deals might include money to pay a support act, this is not commissionable as it merely passes through the artiste’s hands. The average term of management is generally three to five years. An artist wants this to be a short as possible, the manager wants it to be as long as possible. Most common compromise is to say that if the artist doesn’t earn a certain amount, he or she can terminate the agreement early. Or it can be set up as a shorter deal which carries on if certain earning target are reached. Even after the term has ended, say...
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