Music Marketing Interview: L.A. Music Manager Michael Haddad (Part 6)

This 7 part interview with Michael Haddad is an astounding look at the state of the music industry today.

TheRealMusician Recommends:

If you want to take marketing your music to another level, then I can't recommend enough John Oszajca's music marketing manifesto. My favorite aspect of his complete program was his stance on email marketing, where he really leverages the that "1000 true fans" philosophy.

His website is a bit hokey (Flaming guitars? Seriously?), but his program really shows independant artists how to get a leg-up on signed artists.

Learn about how you can promote your band from this incredibly deep and experienced look at the inner workings of the music industry. Be sure to check out all 7 parts, as the whole interview gets quite intense (especially nearing the end!)

It's a Must-Read/Hear for any band looking to make it in the world of music today!

You can see Michael's LA B-roll website here.

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

Part 4

Part 5

Part 6

Part 7

Read While You Listen

Andrew:
(Last Question) If somebody were to hire you [a music manager] for example, how does that relationship work? Do you take a certain percentage of what they are making? Do they pay you a flat rate? What types of responsibilities are you expected to have?

Michael:
The basic relationship is a percentage. I would say it's common worldwide to range from 15-20% of the bands' gross income, although it can be the net income of the record label and it becomes very confusing.

A lot of these agreements say "Everything the band does pertaining to their music, 20% of their gross income".

It's definitely the gross so I would typically receive a percentage of everything they make, off the top.

Andrew:
What types of things are you doing then, I mean, where are you earning your money?

Michael:
Well I think the role of a manager has really changed in the last 3-5 years. I think a manager is now expected to do a lot of things.

A manager needs to be able to help guide them and keep them to a plan. A lot of bands aren't quite sure what to do, and in what order. They need to have someone who will take charge of that, and do it with them all together in a collective effort.

So they need to create a good plan, and help them execute it. Help them decide what songs they like, why they like them, the viability of the songs, and what are the best songs they are recording. To help them through the creative process as much as possible.

Those are the things that managers were always supposed to do.

Now it's changed, because in addition to that, they are now responsible for driving all that income. Helping them find that ancillary income, and not only help them find a label but find an agent and a publisher, and all that revenue.

The role of a manager is harder now, because it's much harder to get a record deal. And the deals that you do get are not huge million dollar contracts, or huge advances where everyone says "I've got my 20%, I've got cash, we can go into the studio and don't have to worry about finances for a while".

There are so many other things that come back to finding that additional income, and the manager is now really responsible.

Andrew:
What are you looking for in a band before you take them on then? Because 20% of nothing is still nothing. If you have a band that you can't seem to promote, there are going to be key things that say to you "I can work with this band".

What are you looking for? What are those key things?

Michael:
I can't say I've ever actively pursued a band. We've sort of always found each other, every single time. We found each other and developed a relationship over a really long time, sometimes over a year. We just talked a lot for a year until there was a really high level of trust, and the relationship was on a level where we could do work.

Andrew:
So it's a lot more than the "I'm a business man working with business things" kind of attitude?

Michael:
Well two things have to happen. I have to personally love the music, it has to be music that I would put on my iPod and listen to. A lot of people ask me what kind of music I listen to, and I say "Why don't you ask me what kind of music is on my iPod?"

Andrew:
I like that a lot actually, because I've never really been able to answer that question. I could tell you a band from every genre that I like, but what kind of music does that even mean?

Michael:
"What kind of music do you put on your player?" To me that really shows what you really like, and what you want to listen to. We like a lot, but what do we really want to listen to?

When you go to the gym, or go out and plug it into the car.

Andrew:
It's kind of like a modern day proverb. Like when you were a child and your grandma goes "Measure twice, saw once!" This will be like what we tell our children: "Whatever is on your iPod is what you like!"

Michael:
Kind of. If you really think about it, I ask people that and a lot of people have their whole library on their iPod, but I'm not that person because I listen to it on shuffle; I don't want the Bee Gees to come up on my iPod.

Andrew:
I personally only keep the music I listen to on my iTunes, I only keep the good stuff on there.

Michael:
I'll be the first to admit that I don't want to have to forward [through my iPod] too many extra times. I want all shit to happen over-and-over-and-over, so I'm a little bit pickier that way.

Anyways, for management the music really has to grab me. It really, really has to grab me. You know, I have to really love it. And secondly I have to really like the people.

I know people will watch this, and they will say "Yeah that's just a manager, and he just wants to make money", but you know quite honestly; I don't want to babysit some people who have a bunch of issues and are not completely committed to it, where we are not all on the same page.

I want to be able to hear what their idea's and plan should be, and it should all come together, and we should all have an invested ownership in that plan.

And I think when everybody is on the same page, everybody says "Yes", and we all agree that we want to only tour on the west coast, and our next goal is in the UK, and we are all on board with that.

These are all things that you have to find out, before you enter into these agreements. These are all things that become a problem down the road when 1 or 2 individuals aren't in agreement.

These are things that really have to be ironed out.

I have to really like the people though, it's a huge part of it for me. Some of them are a challenge, and I'm dealing with artists and some of them are very eccentric and quirky, and their communication is not the best that it could be. A lot of my job is rounding up the troupes, and redirecting during communication breakdown; these are all the things that come standard with the job.


Go to part 7 for the final section of this music marketing interview with Michael!

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

Part 4

Part 5

Part 6

Part 7

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My name is Andrew Muller. I love creative art, music, television shows, movies, video games, and a good story.

If you had to find me somewhere, you would probably find me down at O'neils home cooking eating an organic sweet-potato bun breakfast sandwich with ham.

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