Once you start getting serious about music as a career it’s important to understand that the music business is a legal business. One of the first steps you should take is hire someone who understands contracts, royalties and publishing. They should specialize in the music industry. You can read some books like the always recommended “All You Need To Know About the Music Business” However, nothing beats having someone with many years of experience on your side. Sometimes you can find someone who will only take a percent of the profits you make from deals they work on. More likely you will pay a monthly or quarterly fee. What you need to understand is they will make you more money in the end.
So what are some of the things your business manager will do for you? First, they can be the contact between you and other labels. In some circumstances this can be really useful especially when talking money. For example my business manager Deborah Aldea got me a 3 times larger publishing deal advance with Strengholt Music Group than I thought I would get. Her years of experience at Sony, Virgin and Polygram told her what price she could get for me. Here is a list from her company Sound Move Management’s website of some other the things they offer:
- Contracts & Negotiations
Execution of Agreements
Royalties (collection, administration & generation)
Digital Download Distribution
Liaison with Record Companies, Publishers
If your an artist who is dealing with any of these things don’t let your “partners” get the best from you. Have your contracts, license requests and deal looked it by someone who knows what they are talking about. Nine out of ten times when I send Deborah something to look at she makes several revisions before we can agree on a deal. That says that most labels or whomever when they send you a contract that contract is swayed in their favor. Even worse some contracts will not protect you against certain liabilities (indemnification). Lastly, it’s good to have a second or third person remind you of extras you may want laid out in writing. For example: artwork approval, free copies, a certain level of promotions, etc…
There are many music management professionals but if you want a place to start feel free to contact Deborah: Soundmovela@aol.com Tell her I sent you!
photo credit: kylemac