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 organisations, 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)

Interview with LIMUSICO (2022)

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?

4 thoughts on “Certification: Lesson 1

  1. 1.1 Three Sectors (Music Publishing Sector, Recorded Music sector and live music sector.

    1.2 The fundamental creative industries supply chain is as follow : Creators license there works with Music publishers and record companies, Then these managers get the works to broadcasters, online retailers, users and film companies and this process is helped by the facilitators e.g. government and over organizations

    1.3 The Enablers try to get the works of the creators to broadcasters, online retailers, film companies and user to use the copyright of the works to make money in the form of royalties


  2. I’m from Soweto n am in Senaoane secondary school. I started rapping at 13 and am working on my debut project. I need assistance with beats and production but especially signing and have no problem with sending a demo or recording at your studio


    1. Hi Kagiso, first things first: finish school. I say this because you need to have the necessary knowledge about life, and the music business, to really be successful. You also need to take music and recording lessons and prepare to work on your music. Next, you are welcome to book studio time and come and record, just visit our studio website at to find out more and get support in developing your debut music production. In the meantime, I would encourage you to review our free music business course and try the certification exam. You are also welcome to book a 15 minute introductory consultation to talk about your career and needs. All the best of luck!


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