What Artists' Managers Really Earn (It's Not Cheap to Be Available 24-7)
Billboard followed the money to determine who's pulling in the largest (and smallest) paychecks in the industry: from the tens of millions in equity awards reaped by Apple executives to a radio-station mascot's minimum wage.
* PERSONAL MANAGER: No gig in the industry demands a closer 24/7 relationship with an artist or band than this position. In addition to handling all aspects of an act’s career, personal managers like Brandon Creed (Bruno Mars) and Bradford Cobb (Katy Perry) -- or “day-to-day managers,” as they’re known at large agencies -- function as a combination consigliere, advocate, crisis intervention specialist and therapist. And their income is tied to their artist’s success. The typical fixed commission rate is 15 to 20 percent of gross income, but some managers work with a variable rate: For instance, 10 percent on income to $100,000, 15 percent on income to $500,000 and 20 percent above that. But when an artist hits superstar level and generates millions, commission rates tend to move the other way.
All salaries are annual unless otherwise specified.
Reporting by Jem Aswad, Megan Buerger, Ed Christman, Shirley Halperin, Andrew Hampp, Glenn Peoples, Alex Pham, Jeff Rabhan, Phyllis Stark and Ray Waddell.
This story first appeared in the June 27 issue of Billboard.