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MMF calls for review of music managers’ role

A report published today (Friday 1 November) by the UK’s Music Managers Forum (MMF) calls for a review of how managers are remunerated, in line with their changing roles.

The report, ‘Managing Expectations’, was previewed on Thursday evening at the BBC Music Introducing Live event at Tobacco Dock in London.

The findings are drawn from surveys with over 180 music managers and interviews conducted with ie:music’s Tim Clark (Robbie Williams), Dirty Hit’s Jamie Oborne (the 1975), Eleven Management’s Niamh Byrne (Gorillaz) and Step Management’s Ellie Giles (Bill Ryder-Jones).

The report examines how managers support talent development; their relationships with record labels; the increasing diversity of managers; the expanding skill sets required; and challenges around mental health.

In particular, the document analyses the commercial sustainability of music managers, with 26% of survey respondents working another full- or part-time job in a different section of the music business and 56% earning less than £10,000 a year from music management.

“Against a fast-moving background of complexity and diversification, the way in which most managers get paid has remained stubbornly rigid,” writes MMF CEO Annabella Coldrick, “with the vast majority reliant on commission-based earnings – and typically of 20%.

“Against a fast-moving background of complexity and diversification, the way in which most managers get paid has remained stubbornly rigid”

“This is increasingly unsustainable, and with so many upcoming managers not making any money at all, we run the risk of losing many of these talented professionals altogether.”

The report outlines access to financing, support for mental health provision, diversification of skills, transparency of income streams and new commercial models as the five main barriers that “may prevent music managers and their clients from reaching their potential.”

“The goal of this report is to better explain what a modern day music manager actually does and enhance understanding of how this has changed in the digital age,” comments Coldrick.

“We will use the findings to better advocate for our members’ interests and expand our activity on the critical areas identified and to initiate discussions with our clients and partners on new business models in management.”

As a step to alleviating the challenges highlighted in the report, the MMF this year launched the Accelerator Programme for Music Managers, which has so far supported 24 managers. The beneficiaries of the 2020 programme will be announced soon.

The full report can be read here.

 


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The 1975 to plant a tree for every ticket sold

The 1975 have pledged to plant a tree for every ticket sold ahead of their upcoming UK and Ireland arena tour, as the band continue their eco-friendly drive.

Manager Jamie Oborne announced the news on Twitter: “Really pleased to say we will be planting a tree for every ticket sold!”

The pledge elicited a positive reaction from fans, with some users calling the 1975 “the best band in the world”.

The band, who this year headlined festivals including Reading and Leeds and Sziget, are embarking on a twelve-date tour in February and March 2020, playing arenas including London’s the O2 (20,000-cap.), Manchester Arena (21,000-cap.) and the SSE Hydro in Glasgow (13,000-cap.).

“Really pleased to say we will be planting a tree for every ticket sold!”

The tree-planting initiative follows the launch of the 1975’s sustainable merchandise range. “We are not making new shirts for now. Unsustainable,” the band’s frontman Matt Healy announced on Instagram. “This run is all old shirts that we had kept and reprinted.”

Fans were encouraged to bring old the 1975 shirts or those of any other bands to Reading and Leeds festivals to be reprinted with the new design.

The band also recorded a song with teenage environmental activist Greta Thunberg for their most recent album Notes on a Conditional Form, with all profits going to civil disobedience movement Extinction Rebellion.

Tickets for the 1975’s arena tour go on sale on Friday 20 September at 9 a.m. (BST), with presale tickets available from Wednesday 18 September. A full list of tour dates and information on how to buy tickets can be found here.

 


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