CMU delivers ‘Mechanics Of Music Management’, a training programme offered by the UK’s Music Managers Forum. Over six seminars, it puts the spotlight on how artist businesses work, the role of the manager, and the artist’s copyright and fanbase revenue streams.

Is the 20% commission model still fit for purpose?

The role of the artist manager has changed a lot over the last decade. And the manager’s role can change dramatically as an artist’s career progresses too. We look at all the ways artists make money, all the business partners they work with along the way, and then where the manager fits into it all. Plus what do modern management deals look like and why do so many managers take so long to get that deal written down? We share MMF’s guidance on deals, contracts and the artist/manager relationship.

Questions answered include:
• How do artists make money in 2024?
• What business partners do artists need in 2024?
• What role does the manager play?
• How has the role of the manager changed?
• When do you need a management contract?
• What goes in a management contract?
• What’s the deal – does a 20% commission model really work?

Companies, finances and growing your business

Once an artist starts making money from their music they become a company and the manager is basically the CEO of that company. But what even is a company? We run through what the law says about companies and explain the formalities you need to go through to ensure your artist’s business is legal, solvent and secure. Plus top tips on band agreements, hiring an accountant and raising money.

Questions answered include:
• What needs to go in a band agreement?
• When should artists set up limited companies?
• How do you keep your artist’s business solvent?
• How do you keep your artist’s business legal?
• What are the pitfalls you need to be wary of?
• What about your management company?
• What finance and funding options are available in music?

How to make sure your artists aren’t missing out on royalties

Whenever artists write songs or record tracks they create copyrights. And those copyrights can generate revenue. We provide a user-friendly guide to copyright: what it is, how it works, how it makes money and how managers can ensure their clients properly manage, monetise and enforce their rights. We’ll also explain what PRS, PPL and MCPS do – and why getting copyright data right can be the difference between being paid and seeing nothing from your plays, syncs and streams.

Questions answered include:
• What kind of creativity does copyright protect?
• What kind of control does copyright provide?
• Who owns your artist’s copyrights?
• How does copyright make money?
• What is stopping your artist’s getting paid?
• Where do PRS, MCPS and PPL fit in?

Where do record labels fit in to your artist’s business?

Just like the role of the manager has evolved in the last decade, so too has the role of the label. Not least because the distributors who used to only work with labels now also provide services to artists direct. We explain how recorded music makes money and then review all the different kinds of label and distribution deals now available to artists. How do decide what is best for your client? Based on the ‘MMF Deals Guide’, we’ll explain the pros and cons of each approach.

Questions answered include:
• How do sound recordings make money in 2024?
• How does your artist get paid when their tracks are played? 
• What services does your label or distributor provide?
• How do you pick a label or distribution partner?
• What are the pros and cons of different label and distribution deals?

Where do music publishers fit into your artist’s business?

How can artists get the most out of the songwriting side of their businesses? Collecting societies PRS and MCPS actually manage many of a songwriter’s revenue streams, but music publishers can nevertheless bring significant value to the table creatively, commercially and administratively. This session looks at the songs business, the different ways songwriters can work with music publishers, and the pros and cons of each approach. It also explores why the societies are more powerful on this side of the industry, and looks at the relationship between those societies and songwriters and publishers.

Questions answered include:
• How do songs make money in 2024?
• What is the role of a music publisher?
• How do publishing deals compare to record deals?
• What is the relationship between the publisher and PRS?
• What are the pros and cons of different publishing deal types?

The latest trends in music marketing and direct-to-fan

An artist’s business begins and ends with the fanbase: build a fanbase, understand the fanbase, sell to the fanbase! We provide an overview of all the tools and tactics the music industry now employs to grow an artist’s audience, and the different ways you can generate additional revenue streams through the online direct-to-fan relationship. Find out what data, products, platforms and strategies can unlock the massive potential of direct-to-fan.

Questions answered include:
• What are the key tools in the music marketing toolkit today?
• Who leads on fanbase building at different stages of an artist’s career?
• What data is required to successfully grow and monetise the fanbase?
• How can artists make sure they have access to all the fan data?
• What direct-to-fan revenue streams are growing in 2024?
• Where do Bandcamp, Patreon, NFTs and digital gifting fit in?