Managing Creativity

Introduction to Artist Development - Coursework One
To ensure a solid foundation on which to develop a strong and positive working relationship, it is important to have an agreement between the manager and the artist. This may be in the form of a verbal agreement, or set out in a formal management contract. Both these forms of agreement are in use in today’s music industry and both have their own individual merits and drawbacks.
Managers must convince the artist that they can provide the best possible management of their career. The relationship between a manager and an artist is personal and built on trust. A manager who is willing to work without a formal contract is showing confidence in their own ability to provide the best service; this is a good way of cementing a long term relationship. A verbal agreement is often more acceptable to an artist as it allows them to see proof of the managers acumen and the advantages they would gain by having that manager representing them. If an unknown manager is approaching an artist, it is unlikely that they will want to sign an exclusive contract, in which case a verbal agreement is one way of keeping interest, allowing for later negotiations when confidence in the manager has been established. It is likely that a manager will be required to work for a long time without an income for their efforts. A verbal agreement can be successful, as in the case of Peter Grant and Led Zeppelin, but it is more usual to formalise the relationship in to a management contract.
The first step to formalising an agreement with an artist is the approach. The Music Managers Forum (2003, p.64) suggests that:
‘’Many agreements have failed due to the manager being too demanding in the initial stages by perhaps insisting that a full long-form management agreement is signed before they will do any work.’’
When presenting the artist with a contract it is vital that they receive expert independent advice from their own solicitor (MMF, 2003)....