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MMF publishes report on songwriter and producer managers

By | Published on Monday 13 December 2021


The UK’s Music Managers Forum has published a new edition of its ‘Managing Expectations’ report, focussing on managers who represent songwriters, composers and producers.

Coming at a time when there is increased attention on this strand of the industry, the MMF’s research shows that an increasing number of its members manage at least one full-time songwriter or producer, ie writers or producers who are not also performers.

However, it says, there is little understanding within the wider music business of how managers who work with more behind the scenes artists operate. The report aims to provide the necessary insight, and also calls on all labels and publishers to sign up to the government’s Prompt Payment Code.

The report concludes with four recommendations:

• For the MMF to further support the diversification of skills development for songwriter / producer management, and increase advocacy for their contribution.

• For industry partners – especially labels and publishers – to sign up to the UK government’s Prompt Payment Code, which aims to support small businesses and freelancers by ensuring they get paid on time for their work.

• For wider support of streaming market reforms – including an overhaul of the way unallocated royalties, aka the streaming black box, are distributed, and more effort to dismantle the cumbersome ‘royalty chains’ that diminish songwriter and producer payments.

• To work with other members of the Council Of Music Makers to promote greater business sustainability, especially around issues of wealth management, financial planning and pensions.

“After publishing our landmark ‘Managing Expectations’ report in 2019, the MMF felt the work of specialist writer and producer managers was deserving of some specific and additional focus”, says MMF chief exec Annabella Coldrick. “These individuals are absolutely crucial to the smooth running of the streaming economy, and yet there’s a real lack of understanding about what they actually do”.

“We hope this report helps demystify their role, and also raise important recommendations to better sustain and support their businesses”, she goes on. “At the very least, we’d love every UK label and publisher to sign up to the government’s Prompt Payment Code and ensure they’re paid on time!”

The report can be downloaded for free here and will be discussed in detail during a free online event on 17 Jan.