5 Vital Elements to Define in Your Music Management Agreements

As an emerging artist, few individuals will play a larger role in your potential success than your manager. Music managers, not unlike sports agents, devote themselves to furthering the careers of their clients, and by working on commission based on what the artists earn they have every incentive to ensure that the artists succeed.

Whether you are seeking to obtain a record deal or pursuing alternative methods of furthering your career, a business relationship with a music manager is incredibly important and valuable for any up-and-coming musician. However, musicians and managers alike must seek out the proper legal methods for defining their relationship and protecting their interests, just like any other business transaction.

Artists and managers can do this by signing a Management Agreement. This contract should be non negotiable for any musician/manager relationship, since neglecting to sign one could result in serious legal ramifications for either party in the future. You may trust one another now, but the music industry can change in an instant and you never know what the future will bring. Thus, you should always prepare for anything.

In this blog we have detailed five essential elements that should be defined in any management agreement. Please keep in mind, this blog is not intended as legal advice for your specific situation, and management agreements are generally very specific to the needs and goals of the parties involved. If you are considering creating and signing a management agreement, please contact Calevoso Law today and let us analyze your needs and draft an agreement that will suit your unique circumstances.

1) Duties and expectations

The management agreement should explicitly define all of the duties and potential duties that the manager will perform for the artist. Managers can provide an incredibly wide variety of services for artists ranging from networking (including social networking) to lobbying for the musician’s interests with record labels to marketing and promotion. The expectations of both the artist and the manager should be clearly defined in any management agreement.

2) Compensation

The agreement should cover all aspects of compensation for the manager. How and when will the manager get paid? Music managers generally work on a commission based on the sales and income of the artist. How much of a percentage will he or she receive, and how will the manager’s expenses for things like travel, etc., be handled? Misunderstandings over compensation can lead to major rifts between artists and managers, which is why it is vital that the financial aspects of the relationship be defined in the management agreement.

3) Control

How much control will the manager be able to exert over the career of the artist? Will he or she have the power to make decisions without consulting with the artist? Will the manager be granted Power of Attorney to sign business deals and other contracts on behalf of the musician? The management agreement should explain how much control the manager will have in such situations.

4) Duration

This one is relatively straightforward, but when will the management relationship end? When can the contract be negotiated? These are terms that must be defined in your management agreement.

5) Breach of Contract

Finally, your agreement should define what constitutes a breach of your management agreement. What actions—or lack of actions—justifies a termination of the manager/client relationship? For example, your contract could stipulate that if the manager fails to book a certain number of shows for the artist in a certain period of time, then the relationship can be terminated.

Once again, this is just a brief list of the items that should be covered in a music management agreement, and it is by no means all inclusive. For help in creating a management agreement that suits your needs and protects your rights, please contact Calevoso Law today.