Music Business For Dummies
eBook - ePub

Music Business For Dummies

Loren Weisman

  1. English
  2. ePUB (disponibile sull'app)
  3. Disponibile su iOS e Android
eBook - ePub

Music Business For Dummies

Loren Weisman

Dettagli del libro
Anteprima del libro
Indice dei contenuti

Informazioni sul libro

Start your music career off right with this fun guide to the music industry

Music Business For Dummies explains the ins and outs of the music industry for artists and business people just starting out. You'll learn how file-sharing, streaming, and iTunes have transformed the industry, and how to navigate your way through the new distribution models to capitalize on your work. It all begins with the right team, and this practical guide explains who you need to have on your side as you begin to grow and get more exposure. Coverage includes rehearsing, performing, recording, publishing, copyrights, royalties, and much more, giving you the information you need to start your career off smart.

Music industry success has never been easy to achieve, and recent transformations and disruptions to the business side have made the whole idea even more daunting than before. This guide gives you a roadmap around the landmines, and provides expert advice for starting out on the right foot.

  • Find the right players, agents, and business managers
  • Make more money from your work with smart distribution
  • Build your brand and get people talking about you
  • Get gigs, go on tour, and keep on growing

If music is your calling, you need to plan your career in a way that sets you up for success from the very beginning. Put the right people in place, get the most out of your investments, and learn how to work the crowd both virtually and in person. Music Business For Dummies is your companion on your journey to the music career you want.

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Part I

Getting Started in the Music Business

Visit for great Dummies content online.
In this part …
  • Learn the difference between the music and the music business, and discover how to separate the two to get a greater understanding of how they both work together.
  • Understand recent changes in the music business and how they affect the industry as a whole.
  • Examine all the different options — such as musician, recording engineer, manager, and more — to find the perfect fit for you.
  • Learn about different options for funding your career, and how to create a music business plan to wow investors.
Chapter 1

Getting on the Path to Results

In This Chapter
Discovering the best musical path for you
Jump-starting your plan to get what you want
Knowing who to listen to and who to avoid
Differentiating between the music and the music business
The journey into the music business starts with two steps. The first step moves you forward toward the creativity, writing, performing, and love of the music and the art. The second step takes you toward the organization, optimization, planning, and structure of the business side. The best path to achieving the greatest results in the music business mixes the creativity of the music with the budgeting and organizational nature of the business side. It combines the spontaneity of the music with the planning and contractual structuring of the legal side; a yin and yang mix of freedom to create with the conformity of recordkeeping.
This chapter gives you an overall look at the two sides of the music business. I talk about social media and a little about the legal stuff you need to know about conversions and your music business plan. Odds have it, you’re already familiar with the creative side of this industry, and you now need an insight into the business aspects. Throughout this chapter (and the book, actually), I stress that the music business is a career. Hopefully it’s your career.

Differentiating between the Music and the Music Business

There’s a big difference between your music and the music business. That might sound like a “big duh” statement, but take a minute to think about it. As much as you’re already established on the creative side of music, you might have little to no experience in the business world or the business side of music. A great musician might have no knowledge about or experience in business — one discipline encourages freedom to create; the other demands left-brain practical thinking. Music and business are truly two entirely different forms and practices.
All too often, the lines blur between the two and cause musicians to make big career mistakes that cost them in the moment and often in the long term. As much as the lines get blurred, always remember that your music is your art. Whereas you might be in the beginning stages of business, never let anyone make you doubt the music you create and love. That’s the creative part, not the business part.
Some claim there are formulas to writing hit songs, and million-dollar successes bring all the fame in the world. But the reality is that for every formula presented or example of how the ten best songs of any given year were hits, there are millions of other songs that went nowhere that followed the same exact structure and at least another ten songs that did just as well in completely different molds.
Even though you need to know the business side of the music industry, regardless of the job or role you take, trust in your art and your creative side so you can learn and grow in your craft. Don’t make the music all about business, or there will be nothing creative to it.
Many different tasks are presented to and required from you throughout your career, but those activities make up the business side. When you separate and differentiate the two, both are much easier to do and give you a greater understanding of how they both work together.

Why you need to grasp the business

You don’t need to go to business school and get an MBA, just like you don’t need to learn every aspect of the music business to succeed. Still, taking business and accounting classes as well as intellectual property, copyright, and marketing courses can help to supplement your knowledge. Learning about each position, each expense, each revenue, basic legal and copyright information as well as the fundamentals of contracts inside and outside of your music, your band and the people involved with you gives you a better understanding of everything happening around you. Also, networking and connecting with the right people can also help. Never feel bad about asking questions regarding contracts, copyrights, and other legal aspects.
When you have a basic knowledge of what goes on in your career, you have a better idea if you’re going in the right or wrong direction. In turn, you can make better decisions when things are going wrong and make things grow even larger when things are going right.
When you let others take care of your career, you have no idea if your business matters are being handled in your favor or to benefit others. Many artists who have lost money and prestige, more often than not, let it happen to themselves by being ignorant or uninvolved in decisions that directly affected them.

Understanding the basics of the music biz buffet

The music business can be compared to a buffet composed of tables with platters of copyrights, publishing, sync licensing to television and movies, CDs, performances, digital downloads, download cards, T-shirts, hats, glassware, posters, bags, performance royalties, mechanical royalties, online advertising revenues, and many other revenue-generating and tasty choices.
Sitting at these tables with you are producers, mixing engineers, managers, publicists, publishers, promoters, graphic designers, SEO people, mastering engineers, lawyers, investors, web designers, distributors, photographers, videographers, consultants, songwriters, talent buyers, venue owners, booking agents, insurance agents, radio promoters, fundraisers, and others who want their share of each dish.
It can seem overwhelming and intimidating; many avoid it all together. But the best way to simplify everything while still addressing every detail is to make sure the following five elements are covered for every person and every product.
  • Understanding and planning: Make sure everyone has a clear understanding of what each person is doing, what they’re getting, and how long they’re involved. Also make clear how monies are spent and how work is being done. I discuss more of this in Chapter 9.
  • Protection and contractual obligation: This is where you and your legal team draw up and sign binding contracts that clarify each role and what each gains from revenues also discussed in Chapter 9.
  • Problem solving and preventative maintenance: Make certain that you have an emergency preparedness and readiness plan in place and that you have solutions ready to resolve the issues. I go deeper into this in Chapter 18.
  • Education and updating your learning: Stay up to date with new products, old contracts, and changes in the law for entertainment, intellectual property, and other related issues.
  • Due diligence and fact checking: Before working with anyone or signing any agreement, making sure to verify your information, and check up on the people giving you that info before you go into business with them. From calling references to checking reviews and past clients, make sure the people you’re working with and the path they want to walk leads you where you want to go.
You don’t need to know every aspect of every job and every detail, but the more familiar you are with the basics of all the different people, jobs, companies, and requirements, the better the decisions you make and the more you’re able to take for yourself at the music biz buffet.

Disconnecting the business from the music

Understand that on any given day, you have to focus time on the business side of things to make your music thrive and succeed. This takes time and effort away from actually making music. Just keep in mind why you’re in the music business and the business side will be less stressful and tedious.
It’s okay to get lost in the creative side of your music and let it take you to another place, somewhere carefree, inspiring, and almost like you’re lifting off and flying. But don’t let that happen with the business side. Keep a firm grip on all things and all people around you, and you won’t have to feel the sensation of your legs being swept out from under you.

Practicing Responsible Career Tactics

Creating the plan for your career or any career in any business is a great first step, but if you aren’t using responsible tactics in your plan as you begin to execute that plan, it could cost you a lot in the long run. By asking all the questions that you need to know, preparing ...

Indice dei contenuti

  1. Cover
  2. Title Page
  3. Table of Contents
  4. Introduction
  5. Part I: Getting Started in the Music Business
  6. Part II: Making Music and Creating Your Brand
  7. Part III: Marketing and Promoting For the Long Haul
  8. Part IV: Maintaining Your Successful Career
  9. Part V: The Part of Tens
  10. About the Author
  11. Cheat Sheet
  12. Advertisement Page
  13. Connect with Dummies
  14. End User License Agreement
Stili delle citazioni per Music Business For Dummies

APA 6 Citation

Weisman, L. (2015). Music Business For Dummies (1st ed.). Wiley. Retrieved from (Original work published 2015)

Chicago Citation

Weisman, Loren. (2015) 2015. Music Business For Dummies. 1st ed. Wiley.

Harvard Citation

Weisman, L. (2015) Music Business For Dummies. 1st edn. Wiley. Available at: (Accessed: 14 October 2022).

MLA 7 Citation

Weisman, Loren. Music Business For Dummies. 1st ed. Wiley, 2015. Web. 14 Oct. 2022.