The Music Managers Forum (MMF), in partnership with YouTube Music, has launched the first ever independent funding and professional development initiative designed solely for music managers.
Providing 12-month grants of up to £15,000, the Accelerator Programme For Music Managers (APMM) is aimed at people looking to make the leap into full-time music management with their own company.
“The role of music management has undoubtedly been elevated across the past decade," said MMF general manager Fiona McGugan. "It’s a challenging profession, and a good manager needs to be across all aspects of their client’s business - be they an artist, a songwriter or a producer. However, many managers also face financial uncertainty, particularly in the early stages of their career, and we fear that without proper support the music industry will lose vital talent from across the country.
“By partnering with YouTube Music, the Accelerator Programme offers a way of addressing this dilemma.The programme is for managers who are already building a track record, and our aim is to encourage applications from across England and Scotland, from all genres and backgrounds, and to leave a lasting legacy that serves a whole generation of artists.”
Successful applicants will benefit from an intensive year-long training and mentorship programme, delivered in partnership with CMU Insights and Music Ally.
“We believe passionately in the importance of managers in developing the next wave of UK talent," said Azi Eftekhari of YouTube Music. "YouTube Music is proud to partner with the Music Managers Forum on the Accelerator Programme which we hope is a game-changer in providing emerging managers the opportunity to hone their skills and focus on their business.”
APMM has also partnered with the Scottish Music Industry Association (SMIA) to ensure that managers living in Scotland can participate.
Dougal Perman, SMIA executive chair, said: “As an organisation that exists to represent and develop the music industry in Scotland, the SMIA is delighted to contribute to this exciting programme from the Music Managers Forum and YouTube Music and open up the opportunity to emerging Scottish managers.”
Consulting partners include Urban Development, Small Green Shoots, I Luv Live and Generator, while partners providing business support include Harbottle & Lewis, Sheridans, Simkins, Simons Muirhead & Burton, Music Insurance Brokers and SRLV.
The Accelerator Programme has also won the backing of some of the UK’s most respected music managers.
Paul Craig, MMF chair and manager of Biffy Clyro said: “This is a transformative initiative and one that the MMF and YouTube Music should be very proud of. When I started in management, the opportunity to apply to a fund to help me focus on being a full time manager was only something that I could dream about. The inclusion of the business support, training and mentorship makes it even more remarkable.”
Martha Kinn of Machine Management (Years & Years) said: “Being a full time manager is a luxury, we’re looking at an average of at least 2-3 years before an act is generating any income. An initiative that supports managers financially and through mentorship is so important, not only for the managers themselves but for the health of the music industry. This fund will give managers the opportunity to make decisions based on their artist’s long term needs - rather than their short term financial needs- hopefully leading to more longevity in both artist and manager's careers."
Zeon Richards (Wretch 32) said: “The business is tough, and it’s lonely as well. As an independent manager, you are working in a place of solitude; you don’t have an office, or a community you can feed in to, it’s essentially you against the world. A lot of the managers in my world aren’t from London and you can imagine if they need to take a train or bus in for a meeting in London, it could cost them £100 that they just don’t have. The Accelerator Programme gives managers the opportunity to submerge themselves in this business. It could take them three or four years further forward than they would have been.”
Clarisse Quinn and Matt Greer, ATC Management (Faithless, Kelly Lee Owens, Frank Carter & The Rattlesnakes), said: "Despite offering some of the world’s most exciting musical talent, the UK sadly falls way behind countries such as Sweden, Norway and Canada in supporting managers and artists at a critical stage in their careers. This fund is the first of its kind and sends a strong message by recognising the increasingly crucial work managers do in building artist businesses. We are very grateful to YouTube Music and the MMF for taking the lead on this issue and listening to the needs of up & coming managers!"
Amy Morgan (Glass Animals) said: “Good managers are the ones that have the initial belief in an artist and are usually the ones taking all the risk. A manager now has a million things they need to be across, and expected to do this with lack of resource, community, tools, or most importantly financial support. By giving the manager a lifeline where they can immerse themselves into their work and dedicate the time needed to do that is a very special thing.”
Jazz Sherman, Rocket Music (Anne-Marie), said: “This is an amazing initiative for managers to have access to. Going it alone is nearly impossible without some injection of cash as there’s a lot of instability in management. I love this idea!”
Applications for APMM are open now for managers based in England and Scotland. First round applications must be submitted by midday Wednesday, October 31. Full details are available at this link.