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Investigating ethical and successful music artist management



Further information

Case study and data collection





What will my project involve?

This project aims to deep dive into the convergence of ethics and success in the music industry, exploring how ethical practices within artist management allign and enhance the success of both artists and their managers. This research is not just about understanding what makes a music management practice ethical but also unraveling the relationship these practices have with their artists.


I aim to focus on the intersection of ethical practices and success metrics. looking into how ethical considerations in artist management correlate with traditional indicators of success. By conducting interviews, surveys and case studies this project seeks to define the core elements of ethical mamagement in music and understand their impact on both artists and managers, additionally the influences of these ethical practices on well-being and career development of artists, hopefully fostering a more sustainable and ethically sound environment for aspiring industry professionals

Conduct a case study on successful ethical practices in the music industry adressing how current artist managers consider ethics when dealing with artists and develop an understanding on practices for aspiring industry proffesionals to work towards, additional to gaining information to compare to current avaliable studies and articles on unsucessful practices.

Assess how ethical management affects artists' mental and emotional health, examining the role of ethical management in fostering creative freedom and artistic growth. Thus Determining the influence of management practices on career trajectories and long term success in the industry

I aim to determine key success metrics in artist management such as financial stability, artist longevity and audience growth, examining the relationship `between adherence to ethical practices and these success metrics investigating wether ethical management contributes to sustainable long term success for both artists and managers.

Define what constitutes ethical management in the music industry, identifying common ethical dilemmas faced by music managers and how they're resolved ontop of evaluating existing codes of conduct and their relevance and enforcement.

what are my goals for this project?


Conduct successful case study researching industry practices

Understand the impact of management on artist well-being and career

Correlate ethical practices with success in the music industry

Identify and analyse ethical practices in music artist management





In an industry with rapid change and intense competition, effective artist management is crucial for identifying and capitalising on opportunities, shielding artists from potential pitfalls and guiding them through the evolving landscape of the industry. In essence, artist managers are the unsung heros behing the scenes, orchestrating the harmony between artistic vision and business acumen which is essential for thriving in the dynamic and multifaced world of music.

Artist management plays a key role in the music industry serving as the link between the creative talents of artists and the complex and demanding world of the music business. A manager navigates the industries intricacies, from contract negotiations and brand development to tour management and public relations ensuring that the artists can focus on creativity. They're vial in crafting an artists career trajectory, marketing strategic decisions that impact not only commercial auccess but also artistic integrity and logevity. .

The importance of artist management

The project extends beyond the music industry to potentially influence cultural and social norms. By highlighting the importance of ethical practices, it encourages a broader conversation about ethics in entertainment and business, creating a culture of accountability and respect.

The findings and reccomendations from this research have the potential to elevate the overall standards of the music industry. By establishing and communicating best practices for ethical artist management, this project can help set a new benchmark for professionalism to help influence industry change

The insights and guidelines from this project will serve as a valuable resource for emerging artists and managers. By understanding the principles of ethical and successful management, they can make more informed decisions and foster healthier artist-manager relationships.

This project aims to improve the welfare of artists by promoting ethical management practices. By prioritising the mental, emotional and financial well-being of artists, it can lead to more sustainable careers, helping artists to thrive in an industry full of challenges.

Positive cultural and social impact

Informed decision making for emerging industry professionals

Elevation of industry standards

Enhancing artist welfare and career sustainability

Why im persuing this project?

benefits of study

An article following ethical decisions and guidelines to be made in the industry

Ethics in the Music Business and its Impact on Popular Music, Society and Culture

A research artcile following the moral considerations to be made when managing a mussic artist

Moral Music Management: Ethical Decision-Making After Avicii

What articles I will be referncing and how they will be used in my project

existing literature

This case study will help further develop the artefact and its liability additionally comapring it to that of additional resoruces out there

Conducting interviews giving me an inside perspective from successful industry professionals and

Surveys for music consumers and workers to gather data collected maintained and tailored to this project

Case study

How ill be conducting research and collecting data

research methods



I chose George Ezra because his appeal extends beyond music, his management team have created a public image to increase his marketability so ill be looking mostly into his managers/management company and how they've managed him to success and what ethical considerations are taken


My project will feature a case study on George Ezra, discussing topics on manager artist relationships, talent development, record label negotiations, touring and live shows, ethical considerations, personal branding, fan engagement, adapting to industry trends and overcoming challenges and setbacks

case study

  • Managers
  • Artists
  • Consumers
    • Online music listeners
    • Live music supporters
  • Paul Mcdonald - James Bay's manager and co-manager of company
  • Ryan Lofthouse - George Ezra's manager and co-manager of company
  • Josie Smith - General manager of closer artists



Write a subtitle here

data collection

To further my research I will be doing a confidential survey, gathering data on ethical practices within the industry and consumer knowledge of how informed they are of industry ethics and how listeners contribute to success in the industry.I will be sending my survey to a range of people that I have selected and devided into categories, such as:

Alongside my case study i will be conducting a series of interviews with industry professionals to enhance the reliability of my project and gain further insight into todays working practices.I will be conducing interviews with various managers from the 'closer artists' mnagement company who look after artists such as James Morrison and Snow Patrol.The managers I am interviewing are;

For this project multiple ethical considerations will be taken including; ensuring informed consent, confidentiality within all surveys and the avoidance of harm to participants. Maintain a balanced representation of diverse perspectives, manage conflicts of interest and uphold transparent research practices. Foster continuous reflection regarding own biases, comply with ethical guidelines, seek feedback and responsible distribution of findings. These considerations aim to uphold integrity and contribute meaningfully to understanding ethical and successful music aartist management

Ethical considerations

  • Writing of final document presenting findings and discussing them
  • Final checks and submission
  • Defining objectives and reviewing literature
  • Identify case studies and research subjects
  • Conducting interviews and distributing surveys
  • beginning analysing data and completing case study
  • Submit research proposal for ethical review
  • adress feedback and adjust accordingly

Write up and finalise


  • Developing research tools for data collection
  • Designing interviews and surveys

Data Collection and analysis

Feb- March

Ethical review and approval


Methodology design


Preliminary research


project timeline





Access to confidential information

Some industry-specific information may be sensitive or confidential, posting a challenge in obtaining comprehensive data on management practices

Varied perspectives on ethics

Different people in the industry may have diverse perspectives on what constitutes ethical behaviour in management leading to potential biases in data interpretation

Industry resistance to change

The industry may resist adopting new guidelines or practices. There could be reluctance to embrace cganges percieved as desrupting establised processes

Participant reluctance to share

Some industry-specific information may be sensitive or confidential, posting a challenge in obtaining comprehensive data on management practices

Artists and managers may be hesistant to share negative experiences or unethical practices due to fear or professional repercussions or damage their public image

Engaging in extensive industry outreach and collaboration and highlighting long term benefits of artist managers ethical practices in the industry

Employing diverse research to enhance objectivity. Clearly defining and communicating ethical criteria to participants, allowing for transparency in everyones perspective

Ensuring confidenciality and anonymous data collection. Building trust with participants to encourage openness without compromising confidentiality

challenges and setbacks

How can this project impact the industry?

This research project has the potential to profoundly impact the music industry in several key ways. Firstly, it could significantly enhance ethical standards within music management, leading to more transparent and fair industry practices. Secondly,the insights gained could be pivotal in improving the mental and financial well-being of artists, thereby promoting longer and more sustainable careers. Additionaly, the findings have the potential to influence industry norms and regulations. FInally by raising awareness and emphasising the importance of ethical management, the project could foster greater industry-wide accountability and inspire the development of new, ethically minded business models. These outcomes collectively aim for a more ethical, equitable and thriving future for the music industry.

Impacts and applications

In conclusion, this research project stands at the intersection of ethics and success in music artist management, offering a path to transform industry practices for the better. The findings hold the promise of fostering a more ethical , transparent and sustainable music industry, where the welfare of artists is held to high regard. This project is not just about understanding the current landscape; its about helping to sculpt a future for the music industry that is as responsible as it is successful, ensuring the artistic talent thrives in an environment of fairness, respect and integrity.


'Spotify are selling adverts, not music': how to stream ethically

Rhian Jones (2021), The Guiardian

Ethical Considerations in the Music Industry: A Comprehensive Review

Yellowbrick (2023)

Ethics in the Music Business and its Impact on Popular Music, Society and Culture

Alan Golden (2001), Vicotria school of management

Moral Music Management: Ethical Decision-Making After Avicii

Gerardo Chaparro, George Musgrave (2020), International Journal of Music Business Research




Thank you