8.3 Understanding The Industry

The music industry is filled with different types of people: musicians, managers, songwriters and everything in between. This module will explain a few different roles within the industry that you will encounter as a producer.

The Artist

It’s important to understand the artist’s vision. Do they just want to record one song? Do they want to record a whole record? Do they want to tour it nationally/internationally?

The Manager

A manager is more likely to become involved after the artist has some sort of established material. It’s their job to help book gigs, organise sales of merchandise and plan recording sessions. If required, they will also be the middleman between the artist and the label.

The Label

Sony, Mushroom and Future Classic are all forms of labels. The job of a label is to work with the artist in order to achieve the best possible product and get it out to the consumer. They are the promoters, the marketers, the main engine behind the artist. They will also often pay upfront for the recording of the artist’s single/album. These perks are not free though. Labels will take a percentage of sales, merch and touring income to recoup their costs. Think of them as a bank that loans capital to get the product desired by all parties.

A label will commit to an artist by signing them to that label. This contract will vary depending on the artist. It might be a three or a five record contract, meaning that the artist needs to deliver three or five records with that label before they can consider closing the contract. These relationships can be great when handled wisely.

Digital Services.

Digital services generally encompass all of the streaming services of which we are aware: Spotify, Apple Music, Amazon Prime, Google Music etc.

Digital services are actually a fairly new arm of the music industry which is now out performing vinyl, cassette and CD, so it is essential to understand how they work.

To upload our music to the major streaming services, we need to use third-party platforms to funnel them in correctly.

  • Distrokid.
  • Tunecore.
  • AWAL (Artists Without A Label)
  • Ditto.
  • LANDR.
  • Stem.
  • Symphonic.
  • CD Baby.

Each of the above have pros and cons, so make sure you do some research on which one works best for you.

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