Industrial sectors of the music business

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’.

Arts Amuse and NAC online music business workshop 14 video series with Jonathan G. Shaw (2021)

Listen to my interview on The BOMB Podcast (2021)

Lesson 1. Questions

1.1 How many main sectors are there in the music business?
1.2 Can you describe the music industries’ supply chain?
1.3 What is the role of an ‘enabler’ role-player in the music industries?

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