The Music Industry, when we hear those words many of our
minds automatically think of a musical artist(s) creating, releasing and
performing their music. However, the music industry is so much more than that.

In this article, I’ll be focusing on exploring the four principal areas of the
music industry, which are live performances, record companies, music publishing
companies and artist management.

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A Live Performance is a showcase performed by an artist or
musicians to an audience who are fans of the performers music. A Live
Performance is more than just a musician performing to their fans it’s about
the setup of the performance, how it’s promoted, how the tour and management
team plan the performance, this can include retailing, tickets, backstage,
front of house, performing rights, riders and health and safety.

power shift in the music industry reflects a money shift. Following the trend
of Internet file sharing, a whole generation of music fans don’t pay to download
music, but they will pay to go see their favourite artists perform live, or for
a T-shirt because it’s seen as a once in a lifetime experience that you can’t
download. Major artists might now get three-quarters of their income from

In the last decade Live Performances has increasingly been a
vey vital part of the music industry for the lives of artists and musicians
because of the global decrease in sales for recorded music because of the way
technology has changed and allowed music listeners to easily access recorded
music online for free. This has caused artists and musicians’ main source of
income to come from live performances and merchandise. Some of the most popular
live arenas to perform in the UK are The O2 Arena, The Manchester Arena, The
Barclaycard Arena in Birmingham and Wembley Arena.

In the Live Performance sector, there are many people needed
for different jobs to ensure that a live performance is successful. This
includes agents, promoters, technicians/crew and security. An agents job is to
secure gigs/shows and work with artists and their management. They establish
contracts with promoters to send press releases to print newspapers, magazines,
media, radio, TV, performance and billboards to promote live performances.

Promoters can get journalists to write reviews and interviews. Promoters
purchase acts directly from agents and are responsible for organising
gigs/shows and live venues and ensuring that all those who need to be paid are
paid. Promoters send press releases to all social media like Facebook, twitter
and Instagram and print out and organise posters, flyers for the upcoming shows
around the area of the performance. Promoters will also provide a rider which
is a set of requests or demands that a performer sets as criteria for
performance, riders include technical and hospitality. Dera Shelton who works
in Music Publishing for Sony/ATV advise promoters on how to have successful
show to promote a show as soon as it’s booked and to get the performers to
communicate through videos with fans through social media. Another great idea
Shelton spoke about is having a ticket giveaway which will encourage fans to
post about it which will get their followers interested which will ultimately
bring new fans to get involved. Shelton said, “A targeted plan and budget are
essential for successfully promoting a show”. She encouraged the performers
that have an established mailing list they can send out emails periodically
details about tickets and transport. Shelton made it clear that you shouldn’t
make the mistake of promoting last minute and to make sure target promotion
efforts to the right target audience.

 Event/Tour Managers
are hired by the artist or the artist manger to deal with the daily management
tasks whilst on the tour, this can include getting the band from show to show
to accumulating expenses, booking hotels and flights, provide security if
needed. They also need to provide a merchandising space, box offices,
stagehands, sound and lights and refreshment outlets. Music events require much planning,
and many suggest that a team, which is usually the crew/technicians, is put in
place to take control of this planning process. To ensure
health and safety rules are put into place a risk assessment which includes an
emergency plan and a first aid plan that should be prepared for crowd surges,
injuries and other major incidents including crowd clashes with neighbouring
sports and social venues. The
risks must not be ignored, and solutions should be put in place. The
crew/technicians pay extra attention to laws and legislations to ensure that
they provide a safe environment for the artist/musicians, workers and audiences.

It’s greatly advised that they follow The Health and Safety at Work Act 1974
and the Noise at Work Regulations 2005.

The world’s biggest concert promoter is Live Nation and it
owns or operates gig venues, giant rock arenas and music festival sites in more
than 40 countries around the globe which include the Brixton Academy and
Wembley Arena in London.

Front of house is the part of a performance venue that is
open to the public, there are many types of front of house. One type of Front
of House is someone who controls the sound for example Jim Bedon who is the
controls the Front of House for Maroon 5. Brian Gaynair, who works as the Front
of House manager, works in a theatre and is responsible for the day to day
running of the theatre, taking care of the audience and making sure they are


Record Companies

A record company is a brand or trademark associated with the
marketing of music recordings and videos, they sign, develop, record, promote,
publicize and sell music.

There are many functions of a record company which is to
recruit new artists, get their A to develop them, sort out copyright
enforcement and music publishing.

Before signing artists, record labels would create a
contract which included terms and conditions for their artists, this can
include the amount of money the artist earns. They can use contracts to control
the lyrics used and the genre of music the artists chose to record; many even
own the masters of the artists’ tracks. Many record labels say the contracts
are always in the artists favour but there have been many cases where that
statement has been disproved. In many cases the relationship between artists
and record labels has been tarnished because many contracts are not mutually
beneficial especially for the artist.

Before technology advanced through the internet record labels
would have their record label logos and their contact information in the centre
of vinyl records, which is how labels such as Arista, Capitol and Epic became
household names.

In the most recent years, the popularity of signing to a major
record label has rapidly decreased because the internet has allowed artists to
be successful independently through social media at a much lower cost.

Record labels now offer 360 deals
where artists receive money from their album sales, media appearances and
product appearances, and product endorsements like perfumes or sportswear.

List of Record Labels in the UK:

Sony Music UK


EMI Records

Warner Bros Music


Atlantic Records


A, which means artist and
repertoire, oversees discovering new talent through many different platforms
like YouTube, where Justin Bieber was found, social media and listening to
demos that are sent in.

A are responsible for developing the artists they find and their music
until they are ready to be marketed, and initiating their involvement with the
label do everything from assisting
with song selection to choosing the people that will produce the album to
deciding where the album will be recorded.

Record labels have contracts with distribution companies that send
their records to stores, whether physical or digital. Sending records to stores
digitally has now become the primary format because of the advancement in
technology and has also caused a cost reduction of not having to produce
physical products like vinyl’s and CDs, most labels only release records
digitally through digital stores like iTunes, Spotify and Apple Music.


Record Companies – majors and independents, finding and
signing artists, recording studios retail, distribution, internet sales

promotion, distribution and retail, merchandising

Popular Record Labels in the UK:

Sony Music, EMI Records, Universal, Warner Music and Atlantic

A record label or record company is a brand or trademark
associated with the marketing of music recordings and videos.

Independents only account for 15% of the market – there are
far more labels now than at any point


Music Publishing Companies

Music Publishing Companies – finding songwriters/composers,
A, promotion, music sales and live broadcast, intellectual property and
copyright management, performing rights and piracy, and industry organisations.

Publishing, copyright, sales, composer and artist

Music Piracy

Geoff Taylor from the BPI

Music piracy s copying and distributing of copies of s piece
of music for which the musician or copyright-holding record company did not
give their consent. Composers like Beethoven was affected by pirated copies of
his music which caused him to lose out on a lot of income he could’ve made from

The cost of piracy to the UK is 200 million pounds a year

The bpi is the British recorded music industry’s trade

BPI represents the UK’s
recorded music industry, which is one of the most exciting and thriving music
sectors in the world. British artists account for one in eight albums purchased
by fans around the globe.


RIAA – Recording Industry American Association

In the music industry, a music publisher (or publishing
company) is responsible for ensuring the songwriters and composers receive
payment when their compositions are used commercially.

Music Publishers Association

Technology has revolutionised the business

Caroline Elleray

Head of A

Universal Music Publishing

The publisher – songwriter relationship

Jake Gosling – Songwriter

The Internet helps you see how your music has communicated
with the audience from the views

Stephen Navin – Chief Executive of Music Publishers

Nigel Elderton – European President, peermusic

The writer writes and composes, or some perform as well

Making the dreams of the artist is the job of the publisher

Hunt down income that they haven’t received

Invest time money creativity and passion

Advocate – Get people to believe in the artist and make them
want to be a part of it

Business infrastructure

Commissioning work, registering the work and promoting the

Opportunities to raise their profile


Publisher sends the music it to radio turns it into sheet
music, increases record sales

Send it to films, the tv, games and apps and performing live


PRS – Performing Right Society

Venues & Festivals



MCPS – Mechanical-Copyright Protection Society

Synchronization –

Becca Gatrell – Head of Film + Television Creative

Types of publishing companies –

Elaine van der School, VP Production

Production Music – user signs up to the PRS

Easily clearable worldwide instantly

Easy to budget


Streaming sites – Spotify

Sheet music downloadable on technological devices


Artist Management


Artist Management – business management, sponsorship, tour
management, artists’ and managers’ rights and merchandising

Artists, songwriter/composer, manager

Managers oversee managing all business aspects of the
artist’s or the band’s career this allows the talent to focus entirely on
creating the music.

Marc Oswald – Artist Manager

Top 10 of all live concerts produced in the world history
with events over 340,000.

His job is to articulate the vision of the artists

Touring television, merchandising, publishing, record label,
booking agency, public relations, radio promotion

Oversee each component of the business part of their career

Jeff Dorenfeld

This guy worked with Ozzy Osbourne tours alongside Sharon
Osbourne and was the personal manager of the multiplatinum band Boston. Under
his management, the band has no.1 Billboard charting album and a $25 million
grossing tour.

Artist should have a vision and the manger should help make
that vision come through.

Artist controls art and the manager controls the business

The manager drives the artist in the direction they want to
go in.

Recording live performances to promote new consumers

Increases income for artist gain more fans from online

Merchandise to promote artist/brand, which they can make
money from

Artist Managers in the UK:

Richard Griffiths and Harry Magee – Modest!
Management – Little Mix, One Direction, Niall Horan, Olly Murs, 5 Seconds of

Jonathan Dickins – September Management – Adele

Colin Lester – Wildlife Entertainment – Craig


Small Label:

The role can be varied. A manager
responsible for an unsigned band or musician or signed to a small label (such
as 4AD, Matador Records or XL) often multiple hats, promoter, agent,
accountant, or any kind of professional the artist needs to perform and have a
viable career.


Big Label:

A manager working for an artist
working for a large label (such as Warner Music Group, EMI or Sony Music)
functions in more of a managerial capacity and supervises the other people
employed by the musician(s). These managers have oversight and ensure that
essentials such as advertising and PR (Public Relations) campaigns are running
smoothly, that tours are being booked and that artists get paid.