The music business and entertainment industries are constantly expanding and evolving thanks to trending artists and types of music, new technologies and products, and emerging production and distribution methods. As the music market transitions, more professionals and entrepreneurs will be needed to manage every area of the business. If you have a master’s in music business, there are far more career options in this growing field than you may realize. Music business jobs are plentiful and varied, and armed with your music business degree you can take advantage of the ever-changing employment opportunities in a rapidly evolving world of music.
Following are brief descriptions of five different music business jobs you can assume with your master’s in music business:
1. Management in music
There are several types of music managers, all of whom help guide and advise the professional careers of artists, musicians, record producers, songwriters and engineers. A personal (or music, band, talent or artist) manager is the one most involved in the actual day-to-day career planning of a client so the client can focus on the creative side of the business. Typically, the personal manager determines decisions related to bookings, promotion, business deals, recording contracts, sponsorship, branding, merchandising and social media strategies. Personal managers generally receive between 10 percent and 20 percent of an artist's earnings.
The business manager handles the artist's financial operations, including the management of the client’s income and expenses. Business managers take care of making payments on the artist's behalf and assist clients in the areas of assets and investments, savings, retirement funds and taxes (state, federal and international). The road manager handles all the logistics of a tour while an artist is on the road. On larger gigs, a tour manager coordinates all the various road managers involved with the tour and generally manages all the details of the tour itself.
Job growth for those working as managers in the arts is expected to grow 13.7 percent to 2018, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. The BLS also reported an average salary in 2013 of $96,410 for all business managers and agents of artists, performers and athletes.
2. Music publisher
Music publishers are responsible for acquiring the copyrights to songs and publishing them. They may work for large or small music publishing companies or may become independent publishers, running their own firms. Music publishers screen and acquire potential hit songs, negotiate royalties and promote the songs for financial gain. Song pluggers, or professional managers, work for a music publisher and perform the administrative duties of music publishers. They work to add new possible hits to the publisher’s catalog and find artists to record these songs. Song pluggers, like music publishers, rely heavily on contacts in the music business, have an ear for what makes a hit and have an understanding of music industry dynamics.
3. Concert promoter
The main responsibility of a concert or music promoter is to organize, publicize, and in some cases, finance live shows at performance venues. Promoters work with agents, and sometimes directly with the artists, along with the venues to arrange for a show to take place. They also take care of arranging hotels and other incidentals for the performers. Promoters’ pay varies and depends on the deal made with the band/agent and how popular the artists are.
4. A&R director
In the music industry, A&R stands for artist and repertoire. The A&R director runs the department at a recording label responsible for finding and signing new music talent. They manage the department’s budget and staff and sometimes act as A&R manager for larger acts. They need excellent knowledge of the contemporary music scene and to understand what sells.
5. Entertainment attorney
An entertainment attorney handles contractual matters related to the music, sports, or film and television industries. A lawyer who works in the music business has a solid background in copyright/trademarks, licensing, royalties, labor disputes, contract negotiations, libel and slander, and taxes.
Whichever music business career path you take, your master’s in music business can give you an edge on the competition.
Learn more about the Frost Master of Music in Music Business and Entertainment Industries online program.
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