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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. 5 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.

  2. 5 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. 4 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.

  4. 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!!!

  5. 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.

  6. 4 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.

  7. 4 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.

  8. 5 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.

  9. 5 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.

  10. 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

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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 !

  15. 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.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Hangi Tavakoli

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

  17. 5 out of 5

    Jennifer M

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

  18. 4 out of 5

    Aaron Sztarkman

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

  19. 4 out of 5

    Jon Robnett

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

  20. 4 out of 5

    harry panini

    Informative, easy to read and understand.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Vernita Naylor

    All You Need to Know about the Music Business It takes gut and wisdom to become a part of the music and entertainment industry. It take much more to stay and make a living in it. All You Need To Know About the Music Business is a tool designed to help you to better understand all of the intricate parts that is being played in the industry. It is also a great tool to help you to see (if you do not have an idea) what type of role may interest you from artist, musician, engineer, publisher, promoter All You Need to Know about the Music Business It takes gut and wisdom to become a part of the music and entertainment industry. It take much more to stay and make a living in it. All You Need To Know About the Music Business is a tool designed to help you to better understand all of the intricate parts that is being played in the industry. It is also a great tool to help you to see (if you do not have an idea) what type of role may interest you from artist, musician, engineer, publisher, promoter and songwriter to owner. This book will teach you the roles and responsibilities and how they interact with each other and how everyone gets paid. I usually recommend this one or Everything You Better Know About the Music Business by Kashif depending upon the person's mentality. Let me tell you why because I believe that Passman's version provides you some quality, needed information from a business perspective and it is a little more technical and can be difficult to read while Kashif's version is much easier to read but offers advice from an artist perspective. I've read both books and both perspectives and can see the value from both sides. You will be a much wiser and equipped artist, musician, engineer, publisher, songwriter, etc if you learn everything you can about the industry and pick up a copy of both. This book is highly recommended.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Alex Gordon

    pretty much the basics of my music business class in one book... But you will need a whole lot more info... I've read a ton of "music business books" and the best ones for me were ones written by folks who do at least one of these things touring/writing/recording/producing/mixing/engineering/performing/booking/etc... for a living and give you ideas how you can make a living yourself Don Passman is an entertainment attorney. most music business class profs are attys. they don't teach you how to ma pretty much the basics of my music business class in one book... But you will need a whole lot more info... I've read a ton of "music business books" and the best ones for me were ones written by folks who do at least one of these things touring/writing/recording/producing/mixing/engineering/performing/booking/etc... for a living and give you ideas how you can make a living yourself Don Passman is an entertainment attorney. most music business class profs are attys. they don't teach you how to make money, marketing, sales, etc imho. don't waste time reading about business jargon. go get some business!!!! sell your stuff! if you can actually sell your music or shows and make a living... this info will come... reading this whole book without making money already as an artist is like a homeless person reading an tax law book. if you ever do make enough to matter, you'll be able to afford attorneys, accountants, etc that'll help you keep the most of it. anyway... a lotta talk and no rock if you ask me

  23. 5 out of 5

    Tue

    I took a fast approach to the book, as simply a music enthusiast. (The author recommends his own "Fast Track," as well.) The writing was entertaining enough for its arguably dry information (lots of royalty rates and music business lingo). But I took away some very valuable information about the roles in the traditional music industry and a vague idea of how much everyone gets paid. This book is truly geared toward an artist or band that is starting out in the industry, but I still found it a dec I took a fast approach to the book, as simply a music enthusiast. (The author recommends his own "Fast Track," as well.) The writing was entertaining enough for its arguably dry information (lots of royalty rates and music business lingo). But I took away some very valuable information about the roles in the traditional music industry and a vague idea of how much everyone gets paid. This book is truly geared toward an artist or band that is starting out in the industry, but I still found it a decent read. I do know, though, that the music industry is pretty dirty, and it's also changing due to the digital age. So I'll keep this book on my shelf for reference, but I'm also intrigued by how the industry may change in the (near) future.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Jane Sorensen

    If I had known about this book when it first came out in the 1990's, my life would be dramatically different today. Or maybe not. At least I would not have believed that there was no hope for a normal human being like me to make a living in the music business; at the time I thought they were all either hopelessly skanky and corrupt, or else breathing rarefied air. All or nothing thinking tends to plague lots of people, not just the young. Now I know that if I apply myself even now, I could publis If I had known about this book when it first came out in the 1990's, my life would be dramatically different today. Or maybe not. At least I would not have believed that there was no hope for a normal human being like me to make a living in the music business; at the time I thought they were all either hopelessly skanky and corrupt, or else breathing rarefied air. All or nothing thinking tends to plague lots of people, not just the young. Now I know that if I apply myself even now, I could publish the songs I write in my head. They're better now than then, anyway, it's just now I'm too far removed. In any case it was a good read.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Adam

    The 5 star rating is in the context of the book's genre. This is a manual/reference for anyone who wants to understand royalties, licensing, publishing and all the other eccentricities of the music industry. The book covers a lot of ground in enough detail to be useful but not too much as to bore the reader with legalese. It is also written with a dry humor that keeps things moving through some pretty dull topics. This is a must read for anyone who wants to understand how to structure music deal The 5 star rating is in the context of the book's genre. This is a manual/reference for anyone who wants to understand royalties, licensing, publishing and all the other eccentricities of the music industry. The book covers a lot of ground in enough detail to be useful but not too much as to bore the reader with legalese. It is also written with a dry humor that keeps things moving through some pretty dull topics. This is a must read for anyone who wants to understand how to structure music deals and how the industry works.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Amys

    I bought this book because I wanted to know about record deals, music publishing, royalties, copyright etc. Passman's writing style (which is at times humorous) and the way he treats each topic makes this book an easy and interesting read. He also includes diagrams of industry structure and examples of how royalties are worked out. I've read this title once and find it to be a great source for reference.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Kimberly

    This book has really heped me learn the ins-and-outs of praciticng Entertainment Law. I liked how Passman discussed how the Entertainment industry operates and what roles the different parties play in the industry (i.e. agent, manager, accountant, lawyer). Furthermore, his analysis of the contract provisions that are common in Entertainment Law was incredibly easy to understand and helpful in my pracitice.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Jay Cruz

    Since the music industry has collapsed, or starting over and reinventing itself, it all depends on how you look at it... the irrelevancy of this book is not even funny. Specially this edition. I mean, it mentions A&R people. There's definitely good advice in it, copyright issues and what nots, but it's mostly founded on how the traditional music biz has worked. You can safely stay away from this one. Since the music industry has collapsed, or starting over and reinventing itself, it all depends on how you look at it... the irrelevancy of this book is not even funny. Specially this edition. I mean, it mentions A&R people. There's definitely good advice in it, copyright issues and what nots, but it's mostly founded on how the traditional music biz has worked. You can safely stay away from this one.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Chhaya

    This is an important primer if you're a working musician who wants to understand the industry you're in. Yes, the examples are pretty hokey, but important to understand. It's well worth reading also if you work with musicians or are at all interested in knowing how the music business pies are divided up. Full disclosure: I didn't actually finish reading this version because I've read THREE previous editions and just couldn't take any more talk of puppies and lemonade stands.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Brad Branham

    A necessary book for anyone (musician, producer, or even just fans) who wants to understand the modern music business. It isn't *exciting* reading but it is informative and I really like that the author has kept up and released updated versions as business radically shifts through paradigms. I used it as one of my research tools for the writing of my fiction series about a rock band, "It Really IS Rocket Science".

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