Welcome to EvO:R Entertainment
The EvO:R-Pedia Musicians Tips Section
Welcome to the EvO:R Tips Section. We call this section EvO:R-Pedia because it is like a complete
reference library for Indie musicians...Just about every tip has been used so you won't find false
promises and a series of books to buy after reading each tip. This section was put here by musicians
so that people that followed can take this knowledge and use it's power.
Shopping Agents and Managers?
By: Phil Frazier, Indie Journal (Open Post)
What's the difference between a manager and a shopping agent (signing agent)? The short answer: A manager usually shops a band to labels and for other contracts. A shopping agent only shops.
A manager usually earns a commission of the actual gross earnings of everything regarding the artist being represented. The average commission rate is 15%. Gross earnings means earnings before taxes or deductions of any kind. The manager's commission may include royalties of CD sales, publishing royalties, merchandising sales, live performances, film revenues, endorsements, any other revenues the artist garners in relationship to the manager's representation. Some manager's take a commission from advances, although in my view they should not do so.
The responsibilities of a manager are wide ranging, as has been written about in previous articles. The shopping agent has only a specific task of making a good faith effort of securing the artist various contract offers. It is the artist's responsibility to provide the shopping agent with whatever is required to work on this endeavor. The shopping agent is not a consultant or in any way a promoter of the artist unless that role is decided upon by the agent and the artist.
Most artists do not have a problem with the mnnager receiving 10% up to 20% of the artist's earnings, yet many
begrudge the shopping agent of receiving a commission. I have heard comments like: Why should a shopping agent
receive such a high commission, such as 10% of a recording advance for just making a few phone calls, which results in
a recording contract offer? Of course, this does not take into account a number of possible factors, such as the many
years that the Shopping agent has been in business, the knowledge accumulated, the contacts accumulated, the savvy
and sales skills that a shopping agent may possess.
Also, it may require many more than several phone calls or sending out a few packages. Even so, setting aside any
of those factors, I say it does not matter if it takes six months of hard work for a shopping agent to secure a label
offer or other sorts of contract offers or one hour. The bottom line is: The deal. Could the artist have secured that?
The commission of a shopping agent varies in amount and kind. A standard fee is between 10 to 15% of a recording advance.
It may also be 10 to 20% of the advance of the first full CD release & single CD release. It could be three points
( one point equals 1% ) of the royalty rate of all the releases of that recording contract that the shopping agent has
secured. This could be three percent of a 15% royalty rate, which is 20% of that. Shopping agents can ask for
whatever they wish. There are no restrictions, laws or rules about this. A contract and legal advice are strongly
advised before anyone moves forward with this type of situation.
As a Manager and Shopping Agent, I always insist that artists whom I have sent a contract to,
seek the best legal advice they can afford. I have it written into the contract that they have been advised
by me to seek legal representation or waived their own right to do so.
Of course, it is foolish not to seek legal advice before signing a contract, yet I know of many who
have not done so to save money or they claim that they could not afford to do so.
These articles are not meant to be full explanations regarding any of the topics within them. They are meant to be
brief overviews. I strongly encourage all artists to read at the minimum three books on the music business. If you
cannot afford to buy books, please do not use this as an excuse. Public Libraries do have books on the music business.
OK, I am a little sarcastic at times, but I am serious, as well.