As with any business, the more a band grows and generates income, the more employees it will need to take care of its day-to-day operations. Band finances, particularly when the money really starts coming in, can get extremely complicated very quickly. While a young band generally can take care of these issues in conjunction with their artist manager and occasional input from a lawyer or accountant, artists that reach the success of, say, Madonna or R.E.M. have money coming in from so many sources (as well as money going out to a wide variety of sources), they need at least one person to manage that money, investments and tax issues.
This is where the music business manager comes into play. Different from an artist manager, this position only oversees the business and financial aspects of a band’s career. Usually having a business degree, business managers monitor how much money is coming in from record sales, tours, licensing, and any other sources, then determine where the money will go. They direct how much the band is paid, how much goes to the crew, how much must go to taxes, and any number of other variables, depending on the size of the band. Business managers also often advise the band on investment opportunities and other ways to expand their earnings potential.
Since the music industry’s principals of business often vary from general business practices, the business manager should have extensive knowledge of the music business in addition to a business degree. To help those looking to enter the music business manager field, many schools offer courses and degrees geared specifically for those wanting to learn about careers in the business side of music. Berklee has a Music Business/Management degree and the University of Georgia recently added a Music Business program to its business college. Amongst others, these schools showcase the growing need for knowledgeable music business professionals in an ever-changing business climate in today’s music industry.