European artist managers form new alliance
Trade bodies representing artist managers in Europe launched the European Music Managers Alliance (EMMA) to “ensure creators’ representatives can have closer involvement in all discussions and decisions that impact future direction of the global music business”.

The artist management community has become much more organised and vocal in recent years on issues affecting the ever-evolving music industry. National manager trade groups are already connected through an organisation called IMMF. However – in much the same way IMPALA and GESAC specifically represent, respectively, indie labels and song right collecting societies in Europe – EMMA aims to do the same for managers who are based in Europe, or whose artists are particularly active in the region.

At launch, music manager trade groups from the UK, France, Sweden, Netherlands, Poland, Norway and Finland will all be members of EMMA. There will also be links to trade bodies in Australia, Canada, New Zealand and South Africa, whose members often help manage artist businesses that are very active in Europe. The new body says it will “collectively represent over 800 managers across Europe and another 600 worldwide”.

The new organisation’s inaugural Chair will be Keith Harris, well known in the UK music community for his management work with Stevie Wonder, as well as his roles at Westminster University’s Music Tank and record industry collecting society PPL.

EMMA says that its priorities at launch are a fairer and more transparency digital music sector; increased participation of artists and their representatives in relevant policy discussions in Europe; and the sharing of knowledge, information and research across the global music management community. A common code of practice will also be developed, with plans to launch that at MIDEM in June.

Commenting on all this, Harris said last night: “As the business representatives of artists, songwriters and producers, the role of the music manager has assumed ever greater importance in the digital era”.

He went on: “For the future health of our business, and particularly with Brexit on the horizon, it is therefore vital that managers can maintain close contact and participate fully and openly in all commercial and policy discussions that impact on our clients. The creation of EMMA will make this possible. Going forward, digital services, legislators and other industry partners will have opportunity to connect with the widest range of music managers via a single networked organisation”.