There are 4 main areas in the music industry,
namely; record labels/companies, live performance companies, music publishing
companies and artist management all of which are interlinked and worked
together in order to help an artist to become successful.
companies work to;
Promote live performances- putting dates of shows online, through ads on social media,
making posters and flyers etc.
Setting up for shows- hiring workers, designing sets, building sets etc.
Health and safety- making sure that everything is safe, that all the necessary
permits are acquired. Live show companies have to ensure the safety of the
people that come to their shows. They have to plan/check their set designs to
ensure the safety of the performer to make sure that they are safe. They also
have to know and be able to follow fire safety protocols that in the case of an
incident people would be able to get to safety. It’s important for them to be
able to communicate with and manage the crowed if necessary in all the
different types of arenas. Purple guide health and safety has been written by
The Events Industry Forum in consultation with the aim to help organizers who
are duty holders to manage health and safety, particularly at a large-scale
music event. The health and safety executive were also consulted.
· Tour/event management- retailing tickets; backstage passes; front of
house; performing rights etc.
The Berklee College of Music found that
individual concert promoters can earn up $1 million per year depending on the
size of the venues they book; the popularity of the music acts they promote and
how many shows per year they produce.
Front of house:
Front of house managers are in charge of
making sure that shows run smoothly and is in charge of making sure that the
stage sound levels are correct. There are different types of for example Brian
Gaynair is a front of house for Broadway shows. He is responsible for the day
to day functions of the Broadway production they are working for and making
sure the audience is happy. On the other hand, you have Jim Ebon who is the FOH
manager for Maroon 5. Jim is in charge of making sure that the bands show set
up is all in order, he has to lead and direct all the tech workers and ensure
that they are doing everything right.
Record labels are the companies that market recorded music and music
videos. Music publishers are often linked to record labels however they should
not be mistaken to be the same thing. Music labels main priority is the
development of artists and not the promotion of artists as well as A.
Record labels engage in a wide range of functions in the music industry
including new artist recruitment and development (known as A), music publishing
and copyright enforcement. Marketing is one of a record label’s most important
functions seeing as public awareness is the only way for them to make their
There are many record companies in the UK, and big record labels often
join forces with good studios, some of the majors being;
Universal & Polygram
Warner, Virgin & EMI
Sony SME & Columbia
However, this is only representative of the stock ownership seeing as
many sublabels operate in different genre. Most major labels, such as Sony and
Universal Music Group, own their distribution networks which put the music of
the artists signed to them exclusive contracts in the hands of the millions of
consumers in a matter of hours or days. Major record labels may also own
sub-labels that specialize in publishing, recording and promoting a wider range
of genres. However major companies have their artist sign a range of agreements
(including licensing and distribution agreements) which give the labels
significant cuts of the artists earnings worldwide, this means that it would be
quite some time before the artist saw any profit. As a result of this many
artists prefer to join independent labels as the threat of being ‘cheated’ out
of their earnings may be diminished.
Independent labels account for approximately 15% of the market and are
not to be underestimated, independent companies have contributed to the success
and development; of many successful artists such as Adele who up until last
year was signed to XL (XL also has Jack White).
Examples of some independent record companies:
Sarm music village
Artists and repertoire (A&R)
is the division of a record label or music publishing company that is
responsible for talent scouting and overseeing the artistic development of
recording artists and songwriters.
Music publishing companies
In the music industry, a music producer, publisher (or publishing
company) is responsible for ensuring that the songwriters and composers receive
payment when they are used commercially. There are many companies that are
dedicated to making sure that musicians are protected; The Musicians Union,
MCPS (Mechanical- copyright protection society).
The Music Publishing
Association believe in ‘Creating, protecting and promoting music’
There are a few things that music
publishing companies have to take into consideration when planning shows; the
weather (if it’s outside.), popularity of the artist(s), location, time of sale
(do fans have enough time to buy tickets before the show), promotion (do fans
know about the show) and accessibility (will fans be able to get to the show).
What does a publisher do?
A publisher puts in time, passion, creativity and money, they are in
charge of royalty commissioning (they hunt down income for songwriters), they
are advocates for the artist and try to get people to believe in them, in charge
of business infrastructure and they are also in charge of record sales, the use
of sheet music; radio; synch; T.V; film; games and websites. Publishers are also in charge of the
synchronization of a piece of music (basically anyway there is that many can be
made from as piece of music.
It is very common that an album is replicated and transcribed to
guitar, and sold online or on highstreets or used in production music in theme
tunes, adverts, ringtones, feature films and trailers.
Publishers also support and nurture, resource, provide editorial
services for composers and creates individual parts for musicians to play from.
Managers are in charge of running all aspects of the business side of
the artist’s or the band’s career. This allows the talent to focus entirely on
creating music. A manager’s job is to articulate the vision of the artist, to
oversee each component of business operation, PR and touring.
In small labels the roles of manager can be varied. A manager can be
responsible for an unsigned band of musicians, or, if they’re signed to a small
label (such as 4AD, matador records or XL) often has a lot of roles; promotor,
agent, accountant, or any other kind of professional so that the artists can
perform and have a viable career. whereas a manager for an artist signed by a
big label (such as warner music group, EMI or Sony) functions in more of a
managerial capacity and supervises the other people that are employed by the
musician. These managers have oversight and ensure that essentials such as
advertising and PR campaigns are running smoothly, tours are being booked and
artists get paid.