Music Management Questions

How does a manager get paid?

A manager is usually paid by taking a commission from any monies you earn from the entertainment industry. Typically, the manager will take a commission of 20% of all monies that you earn. This can increase to 25% where the manager will incur significant up-front costs such as those associated with developing a boy/girl band from scratch. For successful artists with a proven track record of success, the commission rate can fall to as little as 10%.

Example: Your band earns £5,000 from sales of your latest EP. The band’s manager would be entitled to commission of 20% which equates to £1,000.

Many managers underestimate how financially savvy bands have had to become to survive in today’s music business. In addition, does it really make financial sense for a manager to look after your finances just because s/he is entitled to take 20% commission?

At the start of your career you are unlikely to be able to afford the services of an accountant. A good compromise would see the band collecting its own money and paying this into a bank account in the band’s name. You can then agree to provide your manager with statements of the account so that the manager can calculate the amount of commission due.

As your success grows, you will be able to appoint an accountant to collect your money and account directly to your manager for commission.

One of the most important clauses in any management agreement is the clause dealing with expenses. It is essential that this clause only allows your manager to take expenses from income generated from your work in the music business. That way you won’t find yourself having to pay your manager’s expenses from the earnings of your day-job or any other source of income not related to the music business. Most managers will accept that this is reasonable.