What is the capital value of an artist to his/her agency?

What is the capital value of an artist to his/her agency?


norman lebrecht

December 01, 2014

A note from the latest accounts of IMG Artists (UK) Limited:

The value of the purchased artist management list (…) is capitalised and amortised on the following basis:

Artist management – straight line basis over ten years.

Artists are expected to have a working life of at least ten years and are unlikely to change managers, thus are amortised over ten years.

So now you know.


wissman gheorgiu

pictured: Pirgu and Gheorgiu with the Wissmans of IMG



  • Sasha says:

    I am amortified…

  • MWnyc says:

    Well, the posted excerpt says, “The value of the purchased artist management list“.

  • Anonymous 2 says:

    I must disagree with you, Anonymus. There is a significant initial investment cost when representing an artist. When an Artist Manager makes the decision to sign an artist, they are essentially signing up for 2 years without seeing a single cent! Most agencies are “full service agencies” where each Artist has at least two people working for them at all times — the Manager and the Assistant. Do not forget the Booking/Sales departments, the Marketing departments, and even the Accounting departments, all of whom are involved in working for these artists every day! Any artist who joins an agency will affect the workload of many people — that is time and money right there which, over two years, adds up to a number which even the most successful Artist will not earn back in the first few years of “being profitable.”

    I am not saying that IMG’s way of thinking is correct. I am simply pointing out that it is not a ridiculous thing for an agency to analyse their Artist roster and earning potential based on the average lifespan of a Manager-Artist relationship.

    All of this being said — I agree with Norman that Artists who are currently represented by IMG should be rethinking whether it is the wisest thing to continue to work with such an agency. Regardless of the sugar coating which the current managers use to smooth over their artists’ worries, they cannot deny that the pressure is on to make money and that every artist will be judged on their earnings.

    As the rest of the classical industry knows, IMG stands for –