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All You Need to Know about the Music Business

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For fifteen years, "All You Need to Know About the Music Business" has been universally regarded as the definitive, essential guide to the music industry. Now in its sixth edition, it has been completely revised and updated with crucial, up-to-the-minute information on the industry's major changes in response to today's rapid technological advances and uncertain economy. V For fifteen years, "All You Need to Know About the Music Business" has been universally regarded as the definitive, essential guide to the music industry. Now in its sixth edition, it has been completely revised and updated with crucial, up-to-the-minute information on the industry's major changes in response to today's rapid technological advances and uncertain economy. Veteran music lawyer Donald Passman is in the thick of this transformation and understands that anyone involved in the music business is feeling the deep, far-reaching effects of it. This latest edition of what the "Los Angeles Times" called "the industry bible" will lead novices and experts alike through the fundamental practices as well as the new, uncharted territory of one of this country's most dynamic industries.In the music business, the key to success lies in knowing how to protect yourself. To do that, you need the best and most up-to-date advice available. Whether you are -- or aspire to be -- a performer, writer, or executive, Passman's comprehensive guide to the legal and financial aspects of the music world is an indispensable tool. Drawing on his unique professional experience as one of the most trusted advisors in the industry, Passman offers authoritative information on how to: Select and hire a winning team of advisors -- personal and business managers, agents, and attorneys -- and structure their commissions, percentages, and fees in a way that will protect you and maximize these relationshipsMaster the big picture and the finer points of record dealsNavigate the ins and outs of songwriting, music publishing, and copyrightsMaximize concert, touring, and merchandising deals This latest edition also includes information on: Music downloads, webcasting, streaming-on-demand, and podcastingThe new video streaming servicesHow royalties are computed in the digital ageThe latest developments in deals with independent labels, including upstream dealsUpdates on all the traditional industry matters, such as royalties, advances, video budgets, and copyright lawIn "All You Need to Know About the Music Business," one of the industry's most influential figures shows you how to thrive in the most exciting business in the world. It's a book that no musician, entertainment lawyer, agent, promoter, publisher, manager, record company executive -- anyone who makes their living from music -- can afford to be without.


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For fifteen years, "All You Need to Know About the Music Business" has been universally regarded as the definitive, essential guide to the music industry. Now in its sixth edition, it has been completely revised and updated with crucial, up-to-the-minute information on the industry's major changes in response to today's rapid technological advances and uncertain economy. V For fifteen years, "All You Need to Know About the Music Business" has been universally regarded as the definitive, essential guide to the music industry. Now in its sixth edition, it has been completely revised and updated with crucial, up-to-the-minute information on the industry's major changes in response to today's rapid technological advances and uncertain economy. Veteran music lawyer Donald Passman is in the thick of this transformation and understands that anyone involved in the music business is feeling the deep, far-reaching effects of it. This latest edition of what the "Los Angeles Times" called "the industry bible" will lead novices and experts alike through the fundamental practices as well as the new, uncharted territory of one of this country's most dynamic industries.In the music business, the key to success lies in knowing how to protect yourself. To do that, you need the best and most up-to-date advice available. Whether you are -- or aspire to be -- a performer, writer, or executive, Passman's comprehensive guide to the legal and financial aspects of the music world is an indispensable tool. Drawing on his unique professional experience as one of the most trusted advisors in the industry, Passman offers authoritative information on how to: Select and hire a winning team of advisors -- personal and business managers, agents, and attorneys -- and structure their commissions, percentages, and fees in a way that will protect you and maximize these relationshipsMaster the big picture and the finer points of record dealsNavigate the ins and outs of songwriting, music publishing, and copyrightsMaximize concert, touring, and merchandising deals This latest edition also includes information on: Music downloads, webcasting, streaming-on-demand, and podcastingThe new video streaming servicesHow royalties are computed in the digital ageThe latest developments in deals with independent labels, including upstream dealsUpdates on all the traditional industry matters, such as royalties, advances, video budgets, and copyright lawIn "All You Need to Know About the Music Business," one of the industry's most influential figures shows you how to thrive in the most exciting business in the world. It's a book that no musician, entertainment lawyer, agent, promoter, publisher, manager, record company executive -- anyone who makes their living from music -- can afford to be without.

30 review for All You Need to Know about the Music Business

  1. 4 out of 5

    Abby

    For school. Already had a copy from over ten years ago, but finally updated to the newest edition. Passman is great about including accurate and relevant information as the industry continues to change. Have heard this labeled "the music business bible" time and again, with due reason. For school. Already had a copy from over ten years ago, but finally updated to the newest edition. Passman is great about including accurate and relevant information as the industry continues to change. Have heard this labeled "the music business bible" time and again, with due reason.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Matt Jasper

    I recommend this book to people through my work all the time (Disclaimer: I work in the music business). When I was hired, my boss commanded me to read this book. It really is the definitive starting point for understanding how the music industry works. You can get the overview, or the advanced view, depending on how far you want to dive in. Passman has a good sense of humor, even about subjects that can cause musicians' eyes to start to glaze in many other industry guidebooks. Be on the lookout I recommend this book to people through my work all the time (Disclaimer: I work in the music business). When I was hired, my boss commanded me to read this book. It really is the definitive starting point for understanding how the music industry works. You can get the overview, or the advanced view, depending on how far you want to dive in. Passman has a good sense of humor, even about subjects that can cause musicians' eyes to start to glaze in many other industry guidebooks. Be on the lookout for the 7th edition, about to come out!

  3. 5 out of 5

    William Steffey

    This is an amazing book for anybody that wants or needs to conduct any business within the music industry. In depth and up-to-date examples of record deals, publishing agreements, and licensing are conveyed with a funny and often sardonic flair. I've always heard there are two kinds of musicians: those who want a record deal, and those who want to get out of their record deal. My takeaway after reading? Stay independent and retain control over your own work. This is an amazing book for anybody that wants or needs to conduct any business within the music industry. In depth and up-to-date examples of record deals, publishing agreements, and licensing are conveyed with a funny and often sardonic flair. I've always heard there are two kinds of musicians: those who want a record deal, and those who want to get out of their record deal. My takeaway after reading? Stay independent and retain control over your own work.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Tim Gordon

    Well...now I know everything about the Music Business. Truthfully, the title is a misnomer. It really should be "All You Need to Know About the Bloodsucking Lawyers Within the Music Business." Because that's really what it is. It was written by a lawyer, and the lawyer side of things take predominance. Though that title wouldn't sell nearly as many copies. And since lawyers are basically America's version of The Mafia, knowing how to run through the loopholes is absolutely essential. This book is d Well...now I know everything about the Music Business. Truthfully, the title is a misnomer. It really should be "All You Need to Know About the Bloodsucking Lawyers Within the Music Business." Because that's really what it is. It was written by a lawyer, and the lawyer side of things take predominance. Though that title wouldn't sell nearly as many copies. And since lawyers are basically America's version of The Mafia, knowing how to run through the loopholes is absolutely essential. This book is designed for people who are already musicians with a budding music career. Those who have products to sell and at least some buyers interested in picking it up. If you want something a little more ground level, a little bit more about how to get things going from the start, then you'll need to look elsewhere. Which, coincidentally, is what I'm trying to create right now. Considering I stumbled upon this book on my library's randomly recommended book list, it seems serendipitous that it'd recommend potential competitors to my start up. But enough about me. This is a well written, easy to understand book. I would 100% recommend it to anyone looking to sign a contract in the music world. This will help you keep your work yours. And most likely keep those billable hours down.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Malcolm

    I've been meaning to read this book for a while but wanted to wait until it had more current info on how artists were getting paid from streaming. Wow. There was so much information to digest about the different parts of the music industry. Learning how artists get screwed from publishing and label splits was eye-opening. You always hear about how terrible records deals are but damn. The book helped shed light and helped make me understand that you need leverage to get a fair shake in music. The I've been meaning to read this book for a while but wanted to wait until it had more current info on how artists were getting paid from streaming. Wow. There was so much information to digest about the different parts of the music industry. Learning how artists get screwed from publishing and label splits was eye-opening. You always hear about how terrible records deals are but damn. The book helped shed light and helped make me understand that you need leverage to get a fair shake in music. The book also showed me the various ways artist can and do make money in the music industry. One of my biggest takeaways from this book is that every musician should learn as much as they can about he industry as early as possible because learning a lot of lessons the easy way can set you up for a fruitful career.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Matt B

    Not for the casual music fan (such as myself) who is curious about the industry. This is for people in the trenches of the business. From a writing perspective, the first half of the book is interesting and even funny at times. The second half is a grueling death march of absolute boredom. The author himself seems a little bored as the topics become dull.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Phil

    More of a reference book than a gripping cover-to-cover read, but well-written in a clear and enjoyable style. Definitely a go-to guide for anyone looking to makes sense of the music industry's mind-numbing but essential management, legal and accounting issues that determine the all-important answers as to who gets paid what and when. More of a reference book than a gripping cover-to-cover read, but well-written in a clear and enjoyable style. Definitely a go-to guide for anyone looking to makes sense of the music industry's mind-numbing but essential management, legal and accounting issues that determine the all-important answers as to who gets paid what and when.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Ashti

    In my senior year of high school i interned at an entertainment compnay and 1 of my bosses sensed my passion for music and how serious i was about getting into the music field so she gave me this book to hlep me along the road on embarking into the brand new world!!! Very intuitive!!!

  9. 5 out of 5

    Wontfor

    Was given this as a textbook for a class in school (Business of Music class) and it is a must-read for people going into the industry. Not just because it is greatly informative, but because it makes learning fun.

  10. 5 out of 5

    DJ Satoda

    Really comprehensive look into the music industry! Passman makes it very easy for a complete outsider to learn a bit about the business, including explicitly demarcating a “fast track” that skips more nitty-gritty nuance

  11. 5 out of 5

    Erin

    It was great overview and a must for anyone who wants to work in the industry, or just learn about the business side of it.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Craig

    Both the most informative and funniest book on music licensing and the music business I've ever read! Both the most informative and funniest book on music licensing and the music business I've ever read!

  13. 5 out of 5

    Rafael

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. I used to think that a business book was something very board that was made only for adults. But, I was wrong. When my dad told me to read “All you need to know about the MUSIC BUSINESS”, my life changed significantly. Since I read this book, I have developed new methods for having a better marketing place in the music industry. In general, no one understands the music industry and the changes it has undergone in the last years. For 20 years, Donald Passman’s book has offered detailed advice to I used to think that a business book was something very board that was made only for adults. But, I was wrong. When my dad told me to read “All you need to know about the MUSIC BUSINESS”, my life changed significantly. Since I read this book, I have developed new methods for having a better marketing place in the music industry. In general, no one understands the music industry and the changes it has undergone in the last years. For 20 years, Donald Passman’s book has offered detailed advice to artists, producers, managers, beat makers and executives to thrive in these volatile times. The first topic that was covered on this book was “Copyright.” In the book, copyright is defined as "a limited duration monopoly". The purpose of a copyright is to give the progress of useful arts by giving the creators rights to their works for a while. This means that you always need to be original for not getting copyrighted. On this book, more topics related to copyright were covered; however, I want to talk about how to manage your business. For example, if you are a music producer, you have two options for making money. A producer can give a instrumental with not an initial cost. At last, the artist will need to give the producer the 10% of the earnings; otherwise, the producer can demand the artist of stealing his work. If the artist makes $1,000,000, he needs to give the producer $100,000 or the equivalent to the 10% of the earnings. In conclusion, this book covers up multiple topics and secrets of the music industry. The author also gives us tips on how to be successful and how to reach high standards in the music business. In my viewpoint, I will recommend this book to someone who wants to be a singer, rapper, music producer or manager because it has many tips and topics that are covered on how to be successful. I rate this book 5/5 stars because it was amazing, and I know that in the future it will help me.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Benjamin Josie

    Passman's book is densely-packed with the nitty gritty details of Music Law. He has so much experience packed into this book shared through personal anecdotes, standard contracts, and a robust section on recent changes to the industry including Streaming Services and the Music Modernization Act. This book is DENSE, and will take some time to get through, if you are really trying to absorb everything he offers. Additionally, he offers insights on the mechanics of the music industry with plenty of Passman's book is densely-packed with the nitty gritty details of Music Law. He has so much experience packed into this book shared through personal anecdotes, standard contracts, and a robust section on recent changes to the industry including Streaming Services and the Music Modernization Act. This book is DENSE, and will take some time to get through, if you are really trying to absorb everything he offers. Additionally, he offers insights on the mechanics of the music industry with plenty of quantitative data, however, an artist should not rely on this book for advice for their career's overall direction. For example, this book will tell you all you need to know about a Record Label, but it offers an incomplete answer to the question, "Should I sign a record deal?" In general, a lot of the advice of this book is only relevant if you are a mid-tier artist, consistently earning substantial royalties, touring, releasing music, etc. Independent artists who are early in their career can learn a lot from this book, with an understanding that most of the lessons will not apply to them for awhile.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Gemma Laurence

    I've had this book recommended to me by a LOT of people – a major A&R executive, a music manager, my career counselor at Middlebury, the list goes on! I'm really glad I finally got around to reading it. It's a super informative book on the ins and outs of the music industry - the roles of labels, music publishers, managers, and agents, how sync licensing works, how streaming is affecting the music economy and indie artists, if it's worth signing with a label, how to negotiate a production contra I've had this book recommended to me by a LOT of people – a major A&R executive, a music manager, my career counselor at Middlebury, the list goes on! I'm really glad I finally got around to reading it. It's a super informative book on the ins and outs of the music industry - the roles of labels, music publishers, managers, and agents, how sync licensing works, how streaming is affecting the music economy and indie artists, if it's worth signing with a label, how to negotiate a production contract, merchandising, etc. It's written from a legal perspective, but the language Donald Passman uses is very accessible and entertaining. I'm not sure it's ALL you need to know about the music business, but it's essentially "How to Get Started In the Music Business Without Getting Ripped Off." Essential reading for any artist kicking off their career.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Al Medina

    I read this a looooooong time ago when I aspired to break into the (music) business. It truly is ALL you need to know about the music business. I'm thinking that what I read back then doesn't apply to today's scene but I'm also sure there have been updated versions of this book with additions and revisions. And, considering that I was reminded that I read this by a recent pic that someone had posted to facebook, it would appear that this book (or, at least the updated versions) may still be rele I read this a looooooong time ago when I aspired to break into the (music) business. It truly is ALL you need to know about the music business. I'm thinking that what I read back then doesn't apply to today's scene but I'm also sure there have been updated versions of this book with additions and revisions. And, considering that I was reminded that I read this by a recent pic that someone had posted to facebook, it would appear that this book (or, at least the updated versions) may still be relevant.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Marina González

    Grab your notebook and get ready to dive into a sea of percentages, different approaches and a lot of MUSIC LAW. This is what the whole book is about, so I recommend that you read this book only in the case that you are very interested in understanding the music business or in the case that you want to go deeper into music law (#2 is my case). My conclusion is: you need a good lawyer (which I already knew) but this book just confirmed it.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Alexandru

    The hereby is one of the most comprehensive works regarding the music industry. It has every insight worth mentioning and one thing that comprised an important part of it was that it drew attention to both mainstream and underground mediums. Further on, although some people and even the author see this work as an ambitious and difficult read, it proves to be straightforward and insightful without being cramming. Will prove to be a worthwhile investment for anyone interested in the subject

  19. 5 out of 5

    Casey Ryan

    Got everything I needed from here. As I referred to it with my friends, the Passman - the bible of the music business - was super informative and educational. When I have to, I will dive back into it for the specifics. It was a little dry, even though Passman tries to work around the dry moments with his humour

  20. 5 out of 5

    Spacewalk

    An eye-opening read, and a great reference. A comprehensive and honestly-written guide to the music industry, which demonstrates why it makes less and less sense to hand over your music's ownership to those (major labels) who are not remotely willing to give the artists the profit share they deserve. An eye-opening read, and a great reference. A comprehensive and honestly-written guide to the music industry, which demonstrates why it makes less and less sense to hand over your music's ownership to those (major labels) who are not remotely willing to give the artists the profit share they deserve.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Stephanie

    Exceptionally well written, informative handbook made for frequent referencing. I took up this read out of pure curiosity and found myself note taking for a few days. Donald is super detailed and amazing in ensuring every type of reader is reached. I will definitely be re-reading this as well as recommending it to well every entrepreneur.

  22. 5 out of 5

    J.S.

    Finished my preliminary read through for All You Need to Know About the Music Business. This is a book to have on the shelve for future reference. This is a must-have book for anyone interested in the music business as a career.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Thomas O. Seiling

    For Anyone Interested in the Music Business This book was very informative ! Plus, it's written in a very informal style. I totally understand why it's in it's ninth edition. Great book ! For Anyone Interested in the Music Business This book was very informative ! Plus, it's written in a very informal style. I totally understand why it's in it's ninth edition. Great book !

  24. 5 out of 5

    Gregory Williams

    Incredibly in-depth. This will sit on my shelf and be referenced routinely for years to come. Passman releases an updated edition every few years, and as detailed as he is, I most definitely plan on buying newer editions.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Jack

    This books help me to find the best music marketing provider. I was very pleased with the podcast promotion service and attention to detail. They really know what they're doing with podcast marketing, promotion and targeting. https://uvibe.co/podcast-promotion-se... Wow! Uvibe--Awesome find! This books help me to find the best music marketing provider. I was very pleased with the podcast promotion service and attention to detail. They really know what they're doing with podcast marketing, promotion and targeting. https://uvibe.co/podcast-promotion-se... Wow! Uvibe--Awesome find!

  26. 4 out of 5

    David Melbie

    This is probably the third time I have read this. I now own a copy and will reference it often.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Hangi Tavakoli

    I read the 2017 edition of this book and it was really helpful.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Jennifer M

    This was our textbook in my music industry class. Very good read for anyone interested in music.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Aaron Sztarkman

    A must for every musician. Know your business so you don't get stiffed. A must for every musician. Know your business so you don't get stiffed.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Jon Robnett

    Long and at times boring, but literally teaches you everything about the business of music

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