Business Basics for Musicians (Bobby Borg)

The Complete Handbook by Bobby Borg from DIY to the Majors, Third Edition.
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ForlagRowman & Littlefield

Unleash your music career and conquer the dynamic new music industry! In a high-tech world overflowing with ever-changing information, don’t let the business side of music be your downfall. Business Basics for Musicians is the ultimate layperson’s handbook to mastering the industry.

The third edition provides:

  • Cutting-edge insights into AI, NFTs, and the limitless potential of the metaverse

  • Comprehensive knowledge on traditional and emerging music royalties to ensure fair compensation

  • New and captivating pro interviews and compelling anecdotes that ignite inspiration

  • Updated information on social media, including TikTok, Instagram, and YouTube

  • Major-label record, publishing, and merchandising deal updates that can propel your global presence

  • Game-changing DIY strategies that skyrocket your career and bring success on your terms

Writing in an engaging tone and easily digestible format, music industry veteran Bobby Borg provides a comprehensive resource that expertly simplifies complex concepts into actionable steps. He addresses five vital areas: pursuing a successful career, building powerful relationships, assembling a winning team, unlocking lucrative deals and dollars, and paving your path to success to 2030 and beyond.


Foreword by Michael Garcia, Chair of Music Industry, University of Southern California
Welcome Fam—both New and Existing. Here’s What’s Updated and Improved

1. PURSUING A CAREER IN THE NEW MUSIC INDUSTRY: 16 Tips (and then Some) for Career Success
Q&A with Michael Levine: Attributes of The Super Successful


2. BAND MEMBERSHIP, PART 1: Formation and Self-Management
How and Where to Look for Musicians
Criteria for Choosing Band Members
The Day-to-Day Operating Rules of the Band

3. BAND MEMBERSHIP, PART 2: Partnerships, Trademarks, and Business Entities
Band Membership Agreements
Q&A Jeff Cohen: Trademarks, Business Entities and More

Getting the Gig: How to Be a “Working” Musician
Seeking Fair Treatment and Guidance via the AF
Seeking Fair Treatment and Guidance via SAG-AFTRA

5. CONTRACT EMPLOYMENT OR SELF-EMPLOYMENT, PART 2: Employment Agreements and Negotiations
Working for Employers with Limited Budgets
Working for Employers with Larger Budgets
Working for Employers Who Offer a Salary and Percentages

Understanding Your Income Taxes: Ten Common Questions
Workers’ Compensation Insurance
The IRS: Qualifications for Employment

7. SOLO ARTIST AND EMPLOYER: Pros, Cons, and Responsibilities
The Advantages of Going Solo
The Disadvantages of Going Solo
Leaving Member Clauses: The Record Company’s Rights to Solo Artists
The Business and Legal Responsibilities of Solo Artists
Q&A with Justin Paul: Solo Artists and DJ Entrepreneurs


8. ENTERTAINMENT ATTORNEYS: What They Do and What They Cost You
The Role of an Attorney in Your Career
Hiring Your Attorney
Attorney Fee Structures
Getting The Most Out of Your Attorney
A Conflict of Interest
Changing Your Legal Representation
DIY Spotlight: Low- To No-Budget Tips For Handling Legal Matters

9. PERSONAL MANAGERS: Roles, Options, and Agreements
The Role of a Personal Manager in Your Career
Management Options
Management Agreements
DIY Spotlight: Self-Management Checklist For Fledgling Artists
Q&A With Michael Kaminsky: The Future State Of Management

10. BUSINESS MANAGERS: Bills, Investments and More
The Role of a Business Manager in Your Career
Hiring Your Business Manager
Important Terms of Your Agreement
DIY Spotlight: Self-managing Your Finances and Your Life

11. TALENT AGENTS: Work, Scope, and Contracts
The Role of an Agent in Your Career
Hiring Your Agent
Terms of the Agreement
DIY Spotlight: Methods For Being Your Own Booking Agent
Q&A With John Pantle: Words From A Seasoned Agent

12. RECORD PRODUCERS: Creativity, Budgets, and Fee Structures
The Role of a Record Producer in Your Career
When and How a Producer May First Get Involved
Additional Responsibilities of the Record Producer
Hiring a Record Producer
The Record Producer’s Compensation Structure
DIY Spotlight: Examples of How DIY Artists Pay their Producer


13. MAKING AND SELLING RECORDS, PART 1: Types of Record Deals and Companies
Do-It-Yourself Recording Companies
Independent Labels
Production Companies
Major Labels
Q&A with Tim Yasui: The Future and Relevance of Labels

14. MAKING AND SELLING RECORDS, PART 2: Key Deal Issues in Recording Contracts
Issue #1: Who Is the Label?
Issue #2: How Much Will I Get to Make My Record?
Issue #3: Can I Make the Record I Want to Make?
Issue #4: How Do I Know They’ll Release My Record?
Issue #5: Will I Get Guaranteed Marketing Support?
Issue #6: Do I Have a Say in How the Masters Will Be Exploited?
Issue #7: Artist Royalties: Will I Ever Make Money from the Label?
Issue #8: Controlled Composition Clauses
Issue #9: 360 Rights in Deals
Issue #10: How Many Records (Or Singles) and for How Long Is the Deal?
Issue #11: Can I Record Other Projects?
Issue #12: Everything Else Artists Should Be Concerned About
Issue #13: What Does the Label of the Future Look Like?
DIY Spotlight: How To Start And Run Your Own Record Label

15. MUSIC PUBLISHING, PART 1: Copyright Essentials
Copyright: Definition, Formation, and Benefit
Copyright and Work Made for Hire
Compulsory Licensing for Songs on Records
Copyright and Joint Works (aka Collaborations)
Duration of Copyright

16. MUSIC PUBLISHING, PART 2: Even More Copyright Essentials
Copyright Registration
The Copyright Notice
Copyright Infringement
More on Copyright: Sound Recordings Are Copyrights, Too
Q&A with Steve Winogradsky: Foreign Copyright
Q&A With Michael Eames: The Music Modernization Act

17. MUSIC PUBLISHING, PART 3: Income Streams—Mechanicals and Performances
Shares of the Publishing Pie
Types of Publishing Income
Mechanical Royalties
Performance Royalties

18. MUSIC PUBLISHING, PART 4: Income Streams—Synchronization and Print
Synchronization Fees
Print Royalties

19. MUSIC PUBLISHING, PART 5: Sources of Income Streams— Electronic Transmissions and Foreign Subpublishing
What Are Electronic Transmissions?
Foreign Sub-publishing Income
What Is Foreign Subpublishing Income?
Bonus Section: Subpublishing And the Mighty Subpublishers

20. MUSIC PUBLISHING, PART 6: Publishing Companies and Types of Deals
What Established Music Publishers Can Do for Your Career
Types of Publishing Deals
Other Contract Deal Points
Q&A with Neil Gillis: DIY-Level Synch Exploitation

21. MUSIC PUBLISHING, PART 7: DIY Publishing: Starting Your Own Company
Step 1: Affiliate with ASCAP or BMI
Step 2: File a DBA (Doing Business As)
Step 3: Register with the Copyright Office
Step 4: Prepare to Collect Royalties
DIY Spotlight: How to Pitch Your Music in Film, TV and Games

22. LIVE PERFORMING AND TOURING, PART 1:Purpose and Opportunity
When and Why to Perform Live and Tour
DIY Spotlight: How and Where to Get Gigs: 9 Tips to Consider
Q&A with Chris Arnstein: The Realities of Live Performing
Q&A Bonus With Kevin Lyman: Music Festivals and DIY Musicians

23. LIVE PERFORMING AND TOURING, PART 2: Deals, Negotiations, and Contracts
How You’re Paid for Live Performance Deals
How Live Performance Deals Are Negotiated
Live Performance Contracts and Riders

24. MERCHANDISING, PART 1: Rights, Types, and Companies
Merchandising Rights
Grants of Rights
Merchandising Companies
Types of Merchandising Deals

25. MERCHANDISING, PART 2: Contract Terms for Tour Merchandising
Key Touring Terms in Merchandising Contracts

26. MERCHANDISING, PART 3: Retail Deals and Independent Merchandising
Key Retail Terms in Merchandising Contracts
Q&A with Bob Fierro: DIY Merchandising
Q&A Bonus with Dave Cool: DIY “Online” Merchandising


27. THE MUSIC BUSINESS 2030: Future Predictions, Inspirations and Warnings
Key Issues of the Future
State of The Music Industry
Tech Advancements and Music Discovery
Deals and Dollars
Team-related Issues
The Artists View's / Creativity
A Global View
Touring and Merchandising
Wait: A Few More Things to Look Towards!

Chapter Review and Discussion Questions
Chapter Activity Assignments
Midterm Test (Chapters 1–14)
Final Test (Chapters 15–27)