Music promotions manager
£12,000 + per year
Music promotions managers publicise recording artists or live music events. If you've got knowledge of music and the music industry, and you are persuasive and good at negotiating, this job could be ideal for you.
In this job you will need excellent spoken and written communication skills. You will need to be able to stay organised when working under pressure.
There is no set entry route to become a music promotions manager. Having experience and contacts in the industry can help you find employment. Many people move into this job from other roles within the music industry.
As a promotions manager or music promoter working for a record company or artist, your duties would include:
- writing press releases to publicise your client's music or tour
- organising publicity events such as media interviews and personal appearances
- going to publicity events with clients
- getting airtime on radio and TV shows
- networking with contacts in the music industry
- organising tours
- dealing with designers, printers and marketing staff
- negotiating contracts
- listening to new acts and deciding whether to offer them a contract.
You could also work as a promoter for a live music venue or festival, where you might:
- choose and book suitable acts
- deal with agents, caterers and suppliers
- arrange a full programme of gigs
- identify suitable audiences
- organise marketing and publicity
- arrange entertainment licences.
- Your work might also involve dealing with budgets and administration.
Visit the Creative Choices website to find out more about careers in music.
Working hours and conditions
Your working hours would vary. You might go to concerts and events at night, and deal with administration and promotional events during the day.
You would have an office base, but you will spend a lot of your time going to music venues and promotional events. This can involve travelling around the UK and possibly overseas, and periods staying away from home.
Starting salaries for assistants can be around £12,000 to £16,000 a year.
With experience this can rise to £25,000 a year or more.
Successful and well known promoters running large or established events can earn over £60,000 a year.
It is common to work freelance or on short contracts, so income may vary. Many promotions managers agree a fixed payment or take a take a percentage of the profit made from the event.
Figures are intended as a guideline only.
There is no set entry route to become a music promoter. The key is to get practical experience and develop a network of contacts in the industry.
You would often start in an administrative job for a record company, TV or radio station or a music venue. You would then work your way up to the promotions, marketing or artists and repertoire department, as you get to know the industry.
You may wish to take a course before you look for work. It could help you to develop practical experience and contacts. Relevant subjects could include:
- business studies
- music business.
Qualifications including foundation degrees, HNDs and degrees are offered by many different course providers. Visit the UCAS website to find out more about universities and the courses they offer.
Experience is highly valued and will help you begin to build contacts and show employers that you are committed to the music industry. Different ways of getting practical experience could be through:
- finding work placements with record companies or music PR agencies promoting local bands
- organising and promoting local gigs or festivals
- writing gig reviews for local or student press, websites and social media
- getting involved in student or community radio.
You may find it helpful to have experience in a related area such as sales and marketing, public relations, event organisation or advertising. Knowledge of accounts and contract law can also be useful.
You may be able to become a music promoter through a Music Business Apprenticeship. The range of Apprenticeships available in your area will depend on the local jobs market and types of skills employers need from their workers. Visit the Apprenticeships website for more information and to search for opportunities.
Visit the Creative Choices website to read the career profile of a music promoter.
Training and development
You will usually develop your skills on the job as your experience grows.
You may wish to join a professional body such as the BPI. It runs networking events, business seminars, and training and education events. The Association for Independent Music also publishes an events calendar.
The British Institute of Innkeepers Awarding Body (BIIAB) offers a Level 2 Award for Music Promoters (AMP) qualification.
If you already hold a degree, you could work towards postgraduate qualifications such as an MA in music business management.
Once you are working in music promotions, you could also join the Music Managers' Forum (MMF), for advice, workshops, networking opportunities, and a range of short courses from MMF Training.
Skills, interests and qualities
To be a music promotions manager you should have:
- excellent spoken and written communication skills
- good sales and negotiation skills
- knowledge of music and the music market
- the ability to work under pressure
- good organisational skills
- the ability to work well alone and as part of a team
- drive, motivation and persistence
- computer skills.
Music Managers' Forum (MMF)
Tel: 0207 700 5755
Tel: 020 7582 5566
BPI - The British Recorded Music Industry
Westminster Bridge Road
Tel: 020 7803 1300
Creative & Cultural Skills
Get Into Music
Most jobs in record companies are based in London, although some opportunities are also available in other major cities. Jobs with music venues are available all over the UK.
Some jobs may be advertised in music magazines and websites, but it is more common to find work through word of mouth and networking. You could also approach record companies and venues directly. Competition for jobs is very strong.
With experience, you could move to a larger company or you could specialise in an area such as legal advice. Alternatively, you could work freelance, start up your own promotions company or become an artists' agent or manager.
You may find the following useful for job vacancies and general reading:
Job market information
This section gives you an overview of the job area that this profile belongs to. You can use it to work out your next career move. It can help if you’re looking for a job now or want to do some further training.
The 'Market statistics' charts are based on figures from the UK Commission for Employment and Skills (UKCES) and the Office for National Statistics (ONS).
The list of job vacancies under 'Apply for jobs' is from the Universal Jobmatch database. The vacancies are not from the National Careers Service.