Music Connection July 2018

Page 24

– BERNARD BAUR first five venues on the trek. With almost 398,000 tickets sold (so far), the six-month world tour could potentially top $400 million in sales. At press time it was already at the $54 million mark. The pop star launched her tour with an opening four-week run stateside, kicking off in Phoenix. The debut show at University of Phoenix Stadium set new venue records in both gross and attendance, topping Metallica’s $5.2 million gross earned in August 2017 by almost $2 million. With 59,157 tickets sold, she also broke the attendance record set during One Direction’s Where We Are tour in 2014 by 2,633 seats. During the opening weekend on the road, Swift played her first two-night engagement on the tour at Levi’s Stadium in the San Francisco area. With a $14 million take from 107,550 sold tickets, she topped her own gross and attendance counts set during the 1989 world tour in 2015. For additional information, go to



Apple Music is stepping closer to becoming a record label, as it is reportedly launching a publishing division. This would make it easier for Apple to license music, and it could also create a channel for the company to establish direct development deals with new artists. Many artists’ paths to wealth and fame, after all, start with development deals, not recording contracts. Apple promoted Elena Segal from the iTunes legal team to the head of the new publishing entity, which will comprise “operations, commercial, publisher relations, and A&R” divisions. Apple Music got a new leader last month in Oliver Schusser, and the new publishing arm may be part of his artist relations strategy. BERNARD BAUR was voted one of the “Top Music Business Journalists” in the country. Bernard is the connection between the streets and the suites. Credited with over 1,200 features in a variety of publications, he’s a Contributing Editor at Music Connection.

The Term The “term” of the agreement refers to how long the agreement will last. For recording artists, it is typically three or four years. From the artist’s perspective, it is better to have a shorter term in case things don’t work out. If you are happy with your manager, you can always mutually decide to renew the agreement. The agreement must state when the Term starts and ends. Authority What will your manager have the right to do under the agreement? Often, the agreement will give

Latin-Pop artist Alessa Ray released her debut single “Mamacita” (with an accompanying video) to rave reviews. In fact, the Paraguayan-born, Los Angeles-based “Spanglish” singer-songwriter put herself right in the midst of current Latin cross-over hits, such as Luis Fonsi’s “Despacito.” A finalist in the “Music Record Contest” (in Paraguaya), Ray exudes a spicy Latin flavor with a song that is infectious, memorable and sensual. Indeed, The JW Vibe, a popular review blog, raved, “Mamacita” is a great track that invites many repeated listens and should be on everyone’s summer playlist!” To learn more about this exciting new artist, visit

Your Management Agreement The 5 Most Important Provisions

the manager authority to (with the artist’s consent, not to be unreasonably withheld) permit the use of artist’s name, photos, likeness and voice, for the purposes of advertising and publicity, engage and discharge business managers, agents, attorneys, and accountants and other business professionals. I have had artists bring me proposed management agreements whereby the manager is also given “Power of Attorney” This article will discuss the five most important provisions in a recording artist’s personal management agreement (“Agreement”).


ment industry. So if the artist earns money on the stock market, obviously, the manager cannot commission it. But what happens when the recording artist is also an actor? Sometimes the artist can exclude non-music industry income. For instance, if an established actor decides to pursue a music career, the artist can argue that the acting income should not be commissioned since acting income existed before the signing of the agreement.

“Your agreement should provide where your earnings will go.” to sign contracts. Sometimes the agreement provides that the manager can only sign certain types of contracts if the artist is not reasonably available. Usually, I would strongly advise my clients not to agree to give the manager a power of attorney to sign contracts. Commisions Commissions are the compensation paid to the manager under the agreement. In the music biz, managers usually ask for 20% of gross earnings earned in the entertain-

Collection of Money Your agreement should provide where your earnings will go. Will it be paid directly to you, your manager or your business manager? Or perhaps monies are deposited into a manager/artist joint bank account The agreement may provide, for instance, that once the artist’s gross earnings exceed $15,000 in any calendar year, the artist will have the right to appoint a business manager to collect money. The artist may feel he or she should be able to pick his or her own business manager

without the manager’s approval. But the manager may argue he or she should have input since some of the money collected by the business manager belongs to the manager (commissions). In any event, the artist and the manager should agree to maintain true and complete books and records of income and audit rights for each of the parties should be provided for. Boilerplate Provisions These are typical provisions that are included in many agreements. For instance, a provision which provides where will a dispute be litigated or arbitrated. Another example is what is known as an “integration” clause, which is a provision that says the written management agreement is the entire agreement (no oral agreements), and any revisions must be in writing.

This column is a brief discussion of the topic and does not constitute legal advice.

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GLENN LITWAK is a veteran entertainment attorney based in Santa Monica, CA. He has represented platinum selling recording artists, Grammy winning music producers, hit songwriters, management and production companies, music publishers and independent record labels. Glenn is also a frequent speaker at music industry conferences around the country, such as South by Southwest and the Billboard Music in Film and TV Conference. Email Litwak at gtllaw59@ or visit

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