Music agents come with different titles and responsibilities. There are personal managers, there are talent agents (or booking agents), there are business managers, and there are music attorneys. All are music agents. All music agents are hired by musicians to assist with career decisions, career development, career counseling, and various kinds of career agreements and consent.
As music agents, personal mangers begin by aiding in establishing and molding music careers. Personal managers work with singers, songwriters, and instrumentalists to set their clients on the road to careers in the entertainment world. Personal managers can help find producers, attorneys, agents, and even places to live. Personal managers as music agents assist in securing contracts, putting together packages of songs, groups of musicians, backup vocalists, and whatever is needed to accomplish that first demo tape or album. Personal managing music agents can act as liaisons by interfacing between artist and record companies, attorneys, talent agents, publicity agents, and generally handle the everyday business of their clients. Personal managers act as career guides.
Talent agents or agencies acting as music agents book tours and performances, and are subject to guidelines set by states and labor unions that represent artists. The talent agents as music agents obtain and negotiate employment contracts on behalf of musicians.
Music agents in the form of business managers handle finances of those artists who need help when they have gained some degree of financial success. Business managers performing duties of a music agents must have considerable experience with accounting, investments, taxes, monitoring income contracts, and matters of any financial nature. Accountants or attorneys can manage finances of beginning artists.
Attorneys acting as music agents assist musicians in understanding and negotiating agreements for performances, tours, merchandising, and income generating contracts and responsibilities.
Agreements and contracts made with music agents must be carefully negotiated and allow for termination if necessary, without lingering payments and responsibilities to any such music agents on the part of the artist. This is especially important for agreements made with personal managers and booking agencies. Attorneys and business managers can be terminated at will with little problem, but personal managers and booking agents are notoriously difficult to terminate without clearly stated terms.
Personal managers expect contracts to run at least three years. Artists must insist on having the option to terminate agreements with personal managers with named goals within stated periods of time, such as recording contracts or numbers of engagements.
Personal management agreements are exclusive, which means that personal managers advise, counsel, and assist artists in career development, and that personal managers personally, not stand ins, represent their clients, even if such personal managers represent other artists.
Artists will best serve themselves by consulting with other musicians that have achieved some degree of success before choosing any music agents. Successful agents will rise to the forefront.
This article provides a general overview of music agents. If you would like to submit an article regarding music agents, please feel free to do so here at Media Positive Radio.
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