Artist Management Agreement in Cameroon embodies terms and conditions that will define the relationship between an artist and the manager. These terms and conditions define the structure of the total management of the artist in relation to the scope of representing the artist, duration of the agreement, rights of both artist and the manager, the terms of authority, compensation of the artist, sharing formula, the consequence of any breach of the terms of the agreement and other clauses that affect the agreement.
An Artist is a broad classification of persons who are involved in creating and demonstrating the art of entertainment in respect of comedy, music, dance, acting, etc. A Manager on the other hand can be an individual or a company that helps to guide the growth in the professional career of an Artist in terms of representing the best interest of the artist that will in turn be beneficial to both parties in the entertainment industry.
The Manager of an Artist is saddled with the responsibility of ensuring that the Artist maximizes his full potential in the entertainment industry, which in turn will lead to the success of the artist since the success of an Artist is dependent on the strategic management, promotion, and publicity by the Manger.
In Cameroon today, there are individuals and companies that operate strictly on representing and managing artists. The management serves as a link to provide an artist signed under its management with career guidance, communication with the right record labels where the artist is a musician, booking shows and getting endorsement contract with companies among others.
Furthermore, because of the heavy responsibility placed on a manager in managing an artist in Cameroon, it is very important that a form of contract is executed between the artist and manager to ensure the successful smooth-running relationship between parties. This contract is usually referred to as an Artist Management Agreement. This Agreement as earlier mentioned is executed by both the artist and the manager and will serve as a guide in the professional affairs of the artist and ensuring that the rights and interests of both the parties are protected.
Content of an Artist Management Agreement
The following terms must be included in an agreement to be executed between the Artist and the Manager:
- Parties Clause: the name and address of the manager or managing company and the artist including the alias name must be expressly stated in the Artist Management Agreement.
- The Responsibilities of the Parties: in the Artist Management Agreement, parties must negotiate and expressly state the responsibility and duties to be rendered by parties to the agreement. The responsibilities of both parties to the agreement will range from the general responsibilities such as the representation of the artist to specific responsibilities.
- Terms and Duration of the Agreement: The Artist Agreement like every other agreement is for a time certain. The duration clause of an Artist Management agreement will state the duration in which the relationship between the artist and the manager will be in effect. It is advisable to give a short term of duration like one or two years to evaluate the compatibility and success of the relation between the artist and the manager and further insert the option to renew the agreement where parties are desirable to extend the contractual relationship. Parties to the agreement are expected to comply with the terms and conditions contained in the agreement until the date the agreement ends.
- Authority: the authority of the manager must be expressly stated in the Agreement. The authority must be such that there is a balance between actions the manager can undertake on behalf of the artist with his approval and actions that can be done without seeking the artists’ approval. Authorities such as representing the artist, negotiating on behalf of the artist, publicity of the artist, branding of the artist, etc.
- Expenses: in a relationship between an artist and a manager, it is pertinent that money will be expended on the artist, such as rebranding the artist to gain public acceptance, booking shows.etc. to get more profit for the management. Money is an important factor that is highly disputed and can make or mar the relationship between an artist and his management. Therefore, it is important to include a clause in the agreement to ensure that parties are in the cohesion of mind to reduce any dispute that may likely arise when the artist to be managed has gained career growth. Nowadays, there are a lot of disputes between artist and their management which has led to breaking up the relationship and several court cases. These disputes arise because the artist signed becomes so successful that they either rip off their management or the management are in the habit of reaping off their artist. As a result of this, it is important that an artist is involved in the decision-making process especially in the expenditures made in the course of managing the career of the artist.
- Sharing formula: the sharing formula of the profits made from managing the artist must be contained in the agreement. A manager is paid based on the monetary success of the artist. The sharing formula must be such to represent the best financial interest of both parties. The sharing formula is dependent on the financial input and efforts of the management. Where management spends more to brand an artist, it is expected that the management will get the bulk share of whatever profit is made from the artist. It is important that parties are in agreement on the percentage formula that will be suitable to avoid any financial dispute.
- Compensation: the success of an artist cannot be guaranteed in the entertainment industry. It is possible for management to invest a lot in the career of an artist only to yield the unsuccessful growth of the artist. This redundancy can be caused by various factors. When the success of the artist is not guaranteed, it becomes difficult for the manager to reap the profit from his investment. The most feasible method to be compensated for the career growth of the artist is by calculating based on the percentage of the money made by the artist. Typically, the industry standard of measuring the compensation rate is within 15% -20% of the earnings of the artist. The success rate of an artist is derived from an endorsement contract with companies, album sales, show performance or deals sealed. It is important that the Agreement states the compensation is derived from all incomes.
- Termination: like every contract agreement, an Artist Management Agreement must have a termination clause. The agreement may be terminated upon the conclusion of the term of the agreement or as a result of a breach of any party to the agreement. The termination clause must also contain the consequence of bringing the Agreement to an end before the stipulated time as contained in the Agreement. Where a party to the Agreement fails to perform any part of the Agreement, it may lead to the untimely termination of the Agreement. Where there is a breach of specific performance, the aggrieved party may seek action in Court for specific performance.
- Notice of Termination: where the Agreement is to be terminated by any party to the agreement, it must be stated that proper written notice must be given by the party to end the agreement.
In sum, the responsibility of drafting a well detailed Artist Management Agreement is given to a legal practitioner. The lawyer ensures that all the rights, obligations, responsibilities, and duties of both the Artist and Manager are well represented.
To avoid the complexity of an Artist Management Agreement, it is advisable that any agreement executed between parties must be simple, clear, and free from any ambiguities. All issues relating to the finance, division of labour and duration of contract must be included. An Artist Management Agreement executed between parties in Cameroon is a binding contract that can be enforced by a competent court.
An Artist Management Agreement is an important factor in determining the successful relationship between an artist and his manager and thus, it should be properly drafted by to contain all essential clauses to serve the best interest of both parties.
Article by Barr. Mafany Victor Ngando
“The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstance”