Welcome to the “music business self-directed learning certification” course.
There is a great need for everyone working in the South African music industries to have a common groundwork of knowledge about the business of music. On this page you can learn the basics and take an exam to test your knowledge and if you wish get the Ibilion Basic Music Business Certificate – once it’s finished of course…
This content is currently under construction. Please check back later.
Written by Jonathan G. Shaw
Last update: 16 June 2020
LESSON 1. Industrial Sectors
The business is made up of three major sectors: 1) the music publishing sector, 2) the recorded music sector, and 3) the live music sector. These three sectors make up what is referred to as the ‘music industries’. People often say ‘music industry’, but by using the plural of industry you show that you understand there are many sectors.
One way of understanding these sectors and how they work, is to look at a supply chain. For the music industries, we can use a fundamental supply chain which links creators, enablers, revealers and facilitators to consumers. Here, rights owners of works (creators) transfer ownership or licenses of those works to managers like music publishers and record companies (enablers). These managers then try to get broadcasters, online retailers, film companies, and other ‘users’ (revealers) to use the copyright works to make money in the form of royalties. Other organisation, and government, smooth the relationships between these different role-players (facilitators). I refer to this as the ‘fundamental creative industries supply chain’.
LESSON 2. Copyright
The music industries are built upon the ownership and financial interest in intellectual property (IP). Significantly, a sub-category of IP called copyright.
Songs are separate to recordings. Owners of songs have their own rights, while owners of recordings also have their own rights. Broadly, these rights can be summarised together as:
- Performing / performing / performer rights
- Reproduction rights
- Publishing rights
- Adaptation rights
Copyright exists for categories of works. The owner of those works has particular rights for each category of work they own. Categories of copyright works include:
- Literary works
- Musical works
- Artistic works
- Sound recordings
- Programme-carrying signals
- Published editions
- Computer programs.
LESSON 3. Contracts
Here I’ll discuss music industry contracts.
What king of contracts have you entered into while doing business with music?
LESSON 4. Revenue Streams
Money can be made in a lot of ways from music, from royalties to live performances, Here I’ll discuss broad revenue streams.
How have you been able to make money in the music business?
LESSON 5. Collective Management
Rights licensed together are often called ‘blanket’ licenses, as they set one price, or tariff, for a lot of copyright works. These royalties are collected by groups of owners, referred to as ‘collective management’. Being a member of these organisations, you can participate in how they operate.
Collective management organisations (CMOs) can be divided into four broad categories:
- Performing rights (musical and literary works, i.e. songs)
- Mechanical rights (reproduction of musical and literary works, i.e. songs)
- Performance or neighbouring rights (sound recordings)
- Performer rights (artists that feature on sound recording performances)
The Southern African Music Rights Organisations (SAMRO) administers performing rights on behalf of copyright owners of musical and literary works (songs):
The Composers, Authors and Publishers Association (CAPASSO) administers ‘mechanical’ rights on behalf of copyright owners of musical and literary works (songs):
SABC committed to local content: Kganyago
Music video deal between AIRCO and SABC, April 2015
SAMPRA and AIRCO, SABC deal, April 2020
LESSON 6. Artist Management
Artists need to know how to run their business, and when to take on a manager.
Who is helping you achieve your goals in the music business?
LESSON 7. Marketing
More than ever, artists and their representation have so many ways to get their music out to the public.
How are you getting people to listen to your music?
eNCA: SA music industry reaches all time low
8 October 2015
eNCA: New artists being charged to get radio air time
EXAM TIME. Test your knowledge
We are busy working on an exam to test your knowledge and issue a self-directed learning certificate.
Do you have any questions? Give us a shout!