everything you need to know about the music industry


Make no mistake: Loving music and knowing a lot about it is required if you want to do well in the music industry (well, not really REQUIRED; some people running music businesses don't know much about music and are just skating, but they eventually end up falling through the ice). A graduate of the University of Texas and Harvard Law School, Don got his start in music when he picked up accordion, which led to other instruments including guitar and five-string banjo. However, don't enter the music industry with the idea that a lifetime of music nerd-dom has made you a music biz expert. But you’re right. They also make money off their catalogs, which still sell quite well and make some money for them as well. The real breakthroughs in life, whether in business or in art, come from those who are driven, passionate and feel they simply have to do what they are doing. Not only will you annoy people, but you'll also be dead wrong and miss out on the chance of really learning what makes things tick.

I think being in the music business is all about relationships. If you're a musician, your priority should be your music, every time. Required fields are marked *. Beware PR people and others who want you to pay them to show you how to do what some wildly successful band did.

If you aren’t getting feedback from your fans, many artists purchase.

This allegedly cost them millions of dollars. You have to know your fanbase. The vast majority of labels are run by music lovers who want to make sure people hear your songs and who handle some of the non-creative things that may be tough for you to do yourself.


In the Eighth Edition, the biggest updates were around the digital area of the music business, which is just changing so rapidly and radically.
You can read books and a blogs about it how that works, but at a certain point, you just need to give it a try and learn as you go (another option is hiring a manager or agent to help you through the business of getting famous, but it'll be tough finding someone willing to support an artist without fans). I don’t think that’s unique to the music business. But eventually, based on my musical talent, I discovered that I wasn’t going to be able to make a living at it, so I moved over to the business side. And of course, you’ve written a really great book about the music industry that has had many new editions over the years. The ultimate goal is to access these three common revenue streams for a musician: touring, publishing, and branding.

Heritage artists are mostly making their money off touring. That’s a familiar story, a lot like mine. Of course, Spotify is huge. Digital has really experienced the greatest shift, though obviously, there are other elements that have shifted around.

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