Navigate Our Site
Search Site

Music Business Careers

The music industry needs quality business professionals as much as it needs talented performers. The music industry is constantly evolving and offers an expanding range of music business careers.

Examples of Music Business Careers:

  • Artist Manager
  • Booking Agent
  • Business Manager
  • Music Publisher
  • Internet Marketing Specialist
  • Media Promotion Specialist
  • Concert/Event Promoter
  • Arts and Entertainment Writer/Editor
  • Product Manager
  • Recording Studio Owner/Manager

Artist Manager – If you like working with musicians, you may want to consider a music management career. An artist manager handles the business aspects of a performing artist’s career – from paying bills and bookkeeping, working with venues and tour managers to creating marketing plans and helping design or refine an artist’s public image.

A manager should help their artists create goals and a direction for their careers and also has or helps to assemble the tools, peoples and resources needed to meet those goals. To be most effective, an artist’s representative needs to stay on top of industry trends, that affect their artists or the market. A skilled manager is crucial to making sure an artist is successful. An artist manager may also be known as an artist’s representative, agent, manager, music manager or personal manager.

Booking Agent – Booking agents help artists find gigs and venues where they can perform. They schedule live performance events for the clients by working with venues, promoters, and sometimes, other agents. A good agent takes care to match an artist or band with the right venue and the right audience for them.

An artist or band hires a booking agent to negotiate the details of performances for them, increase their exposure to new audiences and, ideally, to find them more gigs than they have time to discover on their own. The agent will talk to the venue (or promoter) and work out the dates, times and fees for the artist. A booking agent may also help artists or bands create a gigging strategy to help them meet the career goals they have developed with their manager.

Business Manager – A business manager takes care of an artist’s financial affairs, by managing income and expenses. If not an accountant, the business manager should have knowledge of accounting, as well as negotiation, investments and tax laws. Business managers are authorized to make payments on the artist’s behalf for equipment, insurance and services (i.e. musicians, studio time, etc.). A business manager also advises his or her artists on retirement saving and investment and tax issues.

Road Manager – The road manager oversees travel logistics when an artist is touring. He or she makes sure contracted items are provided as agreed and that all monies are paid on time.

Tour Manager – A tour manager coordinates all the details for a touring artist and may have many of the duties of the road manager. (In fact, sometimes the road manager and tour manager are the same person). These duties include communications, merchandising, contract details, artist payment, as well as the cities and venues that make up the tour.

Music Publisher – Composers and songwriters depend on music publishers to help them promote, exploit (i.e. get the most use out of) and protect their works. A publisher collects the money from all the different ways a songwriter or composer’s work is used (i.e. songbooks, movies, recorded by an artist, live performance, etc.) and pays the author. These payments are known as royalties. Music authors, rely on their music publishers to ensure that all uses of their music are properly licensed and that they receive royalties for all the uses of their music.

Internet Marketing Specialist – Working as an Internet marketing specialists requires a wide range of skills. Marketing specialists need to have a strong familiarity with search engine optimization, social networking sites and email marketing. They may also be responsible for supplying content in the form of copy, audio or video for web sites, emails and blogs.

Media Promotion Specialist – The media promotion specialist is responsible for maintaining and growing a company’s, band’s or artist’s relationships with the public and media for his or her client. She or he will also create promotional materials and sell and promote products and services.

Concert/Event Promoter – Live performances are important events for performing artists and their fans. The concert or event promoter organizes, promotes, and often books the acts and raises funds for concerts at a variety of venues, from arenas to nightclubs. Depending on the size and scope of the act or event, the promoter may arrange ticket and playbill printing, hire security, oversee merchandise setup and sell tickets at the door.

Arts and Entertainment Writer/Editor – An arts and entertainment writer develops original written work for publication in a number of places, such as books, magazines, online publications or company newsletters. An A&E writer may research an artist or band for a profile, investigate a current trend in the music industry or review a musical event.

Product Manager – The product manager develops and puts in to place the marketing for a specific artist or artist product. She or he also analyzes the promotional activities of competitors and uses these results to plan future product development, pricing, promotion and distribution.

Recording Studio Owner/Manager – The studio manager oversees the day-to-day business of running the recording studio, including the managing the budget. She or he hires and schedules qualified engineers to run the studio equipment, books artists into the studio, negotiates prices and markets the studio to prospective customers.

More Music Business Careers

  • Post Production/Television Producer
  • Independent Radio Promotor
  • Intellectual Property Licensing Agent
  • Digital Content Manager
  • Record Label Owner/Entrepreneur
  • Entertainment Lawyer
  • Publicist