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Music Managers Challenges in 2022

Music Management International Challenges
Music Management International Challenges

Andalucia Music Forum 2022 - Music Managers Challenges in 2022

by Chris Chaplow

The Andalucia Music Forum billed at the -International Music Industry Meeting in Southern Europe- was an opportunity for artists, managers, promotors and venues to network and learn about the music industry. It was part of the AndaluciaBig festival.

The first Andalucia Music Forum took place in the quaint historic Cine Albeniz, Malaga city.

 

 

Music Management International Challenges

The first session on the 6th September 2022 was titled Music Management International Challenges and was a panel discussion calling on the experience and expertise of music managers. Their views on the current state of the industry and giving advice to help artists and bands can grow in the digital age.

Moderator – Jake Beaumont-Nesbit  (International Music Manager Federation)

Panelists:
Patricia Hermida (AGEM) from Galicia, Spain
Amie Therrien (MMF / Canada)
Neeta Ragoowansi (MMF – USA)
Ana Rodriguez (MMF – Mexico)

The Music Managers Association (MMF) is a trade association for music (artist and band) managers. There are 60 chapters worldwide so is a wide global network. The International Music Managers Federation (IMMF) is  the umbrella global federation.

Opening question

Jake opened the discussion by asking panellists their take on the current legacy from the Coronavirus  Pandemic.

The consensus was it was still very tough for the industry, on the positive side, the managers had been.  “Trying to bring the industry together” as Amie Therrien explained, “We worked online, before it had never occurred to us to do this. We were finding solidarity in communities through online meetings”.  Ana Rodríguez added that “We were building out networks”.

Jake pointed out that managers are in competition with other, “Why do you talk?”  

The panellists disagreed -  No the music industry is a community, the pandemic brought it together. Next, we need to bring together the importance of industry to wider community.

Jake asked, Unlike a secret manager, are Music Managers the artists’ CEO?

Ana Rodriguez agreed, “Yes, CEOs but the problem is that the legal structure is not suitable for this”.

Patricia Hermida addedover the years I have found all type of contract models including English contracts that do not fit, here in Spain.

Jake carefully explained to the audience, that the record label is akin to a property investor whereas the manager is a service provider.  The panel agreed, and pointed out that their job had changed and had widened in scope in the digital age.  It was no longer yelling for the royalty fees to be promptly sent through.

Downloads are 70% on old music

Jake moved the discussion on and pointed out that some years ago album sales were 70 % new music, now downloads are 70% on old music. Whilst this means that the Indie label model is dead; however can there be specialist curation?

Patricia noted that in Spain bands were currently bidding for festivals. Maybe this is moment to hear new bands?   All the new bands need start-up cash funding.  

Neeta Ragoowansi pointed out that in the USA there is an Alternative Model based on data downloads. New investors, not from the industry, are now interested in Music this based on the statistics.    

Other panellists commented, whilst interesting it is not for all. Stream data does not say anything about what an artist or a band is or what they have as a start-up.    “We have to tell the world the importance of music and the industry” was a rally cry.

Jake asked -  An industry of micro and larger business?

Ana commented that Patricia has been to Brussels on behalf of the MMF and had explained about the details of the industry. The politicians there were interested to hear, especially since they were more used to the voice of the big recording industry lobby.

Has the old investment had dried up?

Jake asked - Has the old investment had dried up?

Ana Rodriguez   pointed out that artists had to adapt to the new environment, She believed merchandise is the new growth area, certainly in Mexico. Artists need to consider merchandising as a formal side of the business.

Other exploratory areas are artists putting themselves out there as part of social campaigns that they believe in. There can be income for this. For example, a song that is taken up by a government public health campaign.

Artist biggest problem

Jake asked the audience if any artist present would like to outline their biggest problem.

Alberto Dominguez and Hector Varela a duo band called Dulzaro from Castille La Mancha, Spain explained that their bands biggest problem was marketing. They were not trained in marketing, and we released a song in a flamenco playlist did very well, but as we did not follow with more material, it died.

I was true, many artists struggle with social media. “The more content you upload the more recognition you have,” another artist commented, “But Instagram is only delivered to up to 30% of you followers, you have to pay to go wider”.

Ana Rodriguez replied, “Yes, but you have to see it like a business”.

Another question from a delegate from Denmark asked if managers had ever structured the business side as a company with Managers taking an equity share?

Neeta Ragoowansi replied that this was possible but, “What does artist say when you propose that?” It used to be the record label that dictated, but this new model is coming. The first step is to persuade the band that this is best business model.   Actually, this is a historic problem.

A question from the floor mentioned the dreaded word “Tik-Tok”?

Neeta Ragoowansi said that you have to look on it as art in all its forms, as another part of the creative process.  Artist telling stories, making records, merchandise, not just the standard model.

The panel also underlined that not all social media platforms were good. Don’t be obsessed with reach on them all. The benefit depends on their segment of the audience.

Closing

In closing it was noted that of interest to Latin music where Miami was becoming more and more important for the whole music industry. A new MMF chapter in Miami had just been set up.

Jake closed the sessions by saying that if any bands contact him, he will put them in touch with their local MMF member.

It was a very interesting hour long session enjoyed by the 50 or so industry experts that attended.

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