A Chronic Shortage of Music Managers

At a recent music business workshop in Jamaica, some experienced artists and managers remarked that a good manager can cut the amount of time it takes for an artist to become profitable in half. However, many people with the potential to become good managers don’t enter the business. The panelists found two reasons:

  • It’s sexier to want to be a rock star than to be a rock star manager. Few people wake up, leap out of bed, and scream, “I want to be a manager!”
  • People who would like to become managers don’t bother entering the business, because they believe that you’ve already got to have a lot of experience to start working as a music manager.

So, we have an abundance of talent that could use management help, and a dearth of music manager talent. And, while a number of music business programs have popped up at colleges and universities, a career as a music manager does not require a music business degree. In reality, a good management career evolves when a talented and organized person takes an interest in a talented and creative individual.

Just like you wouldn’t quit your day job to pursue your rock star dreams overnight, you want to start working your music management career part-time and ramp it up with each success. If you’re a musician, chances are better that you’ll reach your financial goals with help from a trusted admirer that learns the music business than you will if you try to attract the attention of an established manager.

Learn more in the book I wrote, Music Management for the Rest of Us.

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One response

  1. I’ll tell you why this person who did get out of bed thinking “I want to be a band manager” for many years changed her mind.

    It took about three evenings backstage at big rock concerts with friends who were getting very famous. I never had any troubles with musicians, but just about every record biz man I ran into (to say nothing of the security) approached me with a blatant “so which one are you sleeping with?” attitude (answer was “none”).

    I have never been one to let sexism hold me back, but I was not up for a career in which fighting it was going to be a daily requirement. I admire the women who do stick it out in that business, but decided I’d rather be in a career where assumption #1 wasn’t “she’s a sex toy.”