Jim Carroll

Music, Life and everything else

Why the pop manager rules OK

How managers like Troy Carter, Scooter Braun and co are moving from music into other fields

The kiss-off: Troy Carter and his former managerial client Lady Gaga

Fri, Nov 15, 2013, 09:55


Even before the news about Paul McGuiness and U2 broke, it’s been an interesting few weeks for high-profile pop managers. It started with Lady Gaga’s parting of the ways with Troy Carter, the manager who has guided her fortunes since 2007. “Creative differences” were cited for the split.

All of which means Carter will have time to devote to his other projects, including ongoing investments in a range of tech start-ups, including Spotify, Dropbox and Uber, as well as his other management charges.

Then, there was the news from the Scooter Braun camp about the bundling of a $120 million investment fund. Braun, who manages Justin Bieber and others, has been the key-man in assembling a cabal of managers and musicians to invest in a rake of different ventures.

As the music business continues to morph, the role of the manager has grown in importance and size. In many cases, the manager has taken on many of the traditional roles of the record label. Case in point is Scott Rodger at Quest Management with the last two Arcade Fire album campaigns, where everything from A&R to releasing the record in Canada was done in-house (interesting interview with Rodger from Music Week here).

It should come as no surprise then to see successful managers like Carter and Braun move into other fields to see if they can replicate their successes there. Of course, there is nothing new about this – for instance, Paul McGuinness has invested in the past in radio and TV stations, including TV3 and Phantom FM, and may well decide to diversify again following his parting of ways with U2 – but the scale and scope of the investments made by the new players has changed enormously.

Many in other sectors clearly believe music managers, who’ve seen their own business model change beyond all description, are ideally placed to help guide them through choppy waters. For the likes of Carter, Braun and others, that’s definitely good news as they seek to grow their influence and expertise elsewhere.