Cover image for What they'll never tell you about the music business : the myths, the secrets, the lies (& a few truths)
What they'll never tell you about the music business : the myths, the secrets, the lies (& a few truths)
Thall, Peter M.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
New York : Watson-Guptill Pub., [2002]

Physical Description:
xii, 292 pages ; 25 cm
General Note:
Includes index.
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
ML3790 .T44 2002 Adult Non-Fiction Grosvenor Room-Reference-Music

On Order



An inside guide to the music business, this volume aims to disclose the hidden dynamics of the industry. It explores what really happens when a deal is prepared, contracts are signed and promises are made - and alerts musicians, attorneys, songwriters and anyone else interested in the business to the potent dangers lurking beneath the surface of the industry. There are over two dozen chapters covering aspects such as recording agreements, record royalties, artistic management, music publishing, music marketing and promotion, merchandising, copyright infringement and the international music scene. The author aims to steer clear of legal jargon and also focuses on the Internet and its great impact on the industry.

Author Notes

Peter M. Thall, an attorney for over 30 years, is a member of the International Association of Entertainment Lawyers and board member of the prestigious New York Festival of Song. He lives in New York City.

Reviews 1

Choice Review

Although this book's visual presentation is dull and sterile, Thall's writing style is quick and engaging--dotted with pertinent quotes and anecdotes. The author clarifies legal issues, royalties, personal management, touring, and merchandising; provides information about entrepreneurship, marketing and promotion, financing, contracts, self-publishing, and copyright; and offers one of the most concise and interesting historical essays available on hip-hop ("Urban Music: Hip-Hop") and a fascinating essay titled "The Odyssey of a Song." Also included is an essay on plummeting sales of classical music with a history of the genre within the industry milieu. A possible replacement text for M. William Krasilovsky and Sidney Shemel's lengthy This Business of Music (1964, now in its eighth edition), this volume will also benefit undergraduates and general readers curious about the industry, those considering a career in the industry, and those already in the industry. It is certainly strongly recommended as a reference for all teachers of music for its value in courses for majors in composition, musicology, and performance, and for its insights on an industry that has a profound impact on listening habits and tastes. V. Giglio Florida Atlantic University

Table of Contents

Prefacep. ix
Acknowledgementsp. xii
Chapter 1 Introductionp. 1
Selecting the Right Attorneyp. 2
Personal Representationp. 3
Deal Makers: Why You Need Themp. 4
Deal Blockers: How to Get Past Themp. 5
Staying the Course or Calling It Quitsp. 6
Chapter 2 Investors: The High Costs of Low Financep. 8
The Costs of Being Heardp. 8
Of Investors and Investment Agreementsp. 9
Should He Who Pays the Piper Call the Tune?p. 16
Chapter 3 Why Advances Seem a Lot Like Loans (and Vice Versa)p. 18
A Sad Story and a Happy Story about Advancesp. 19
Is One Person's Money Another Person's Motivation?p. 21
Chapter 4 Some Unvarnished Truths About Royaltiesp. 23
How the Royalty Pie Is Sliced and Who Gets the Piecesp. 24
Diabolical Deduction Devicesp. 29
The Beat Goes On: Other Important Deductionsp. 32
Prepayment of Royaltiesp. 35
The Myth of Royalty Escalationsp. 36
Free Goodsp. 37
Lost or Misplaced Royaltiesp. 38
AHRA Royaltiesp. 40
Accountings, Audits, and the Statue of Limitationsp. 41
The Effects of Digital Downloading on Pricing and Royaltiesp. 43
Chapter 5 Personal Managementp. 46
What a Personal Manager Should (and Should Not) Be Expected to Dop. 47
Managing The Five Stages of an Artist's Careerp. 48
Choosing Your Managerp. 53
Paying Your Managerp. 57
The Term of the Agreementp. 62
Extending or Terminating an Artist-Manager Relationshipp. 62
Chapter 6 Managing Your Business--and Your Financial Futurep. 68
What a Business Manager Doesp. 68
What Kind of Business Is Being Managed?p. 72
Money Means Options: Resisting the "Keep 'Em Poor" Philosophyp. 81
Managing Your Moneyp. 82
After You've Peaked: Catalogue Managementp. 90
Chapter 7 When Your Job is More Than a Gigp. 92
Term of Employmentp. 92
Dutiesp. 92
Reporting Linesp. 93
Confidentiality and Competitionp. 94
Stock Optionsp. 94
Perksp. 96
Terminationp. 96
Relocation and Re-relocationp. 99
Visasp. 100
Disability and Deathp. 100
Provisions That Survive Terminationp. 101
Vacationsp. 101
Employment Issues Specific to the Music Industryp. 102
Chapter 8 Record Producers: are They as Sharp as Their Points?p. 109
How 25 Percent Can Equal 100 Percentp. 109
Cross-Collateralization: It Does Not Apply to the Producerp. 111
Some Points for Producersp. 112
Producers and Neighboring Rightsp. 120
Chapter 9 Getting Your Record Heard: A Practical Guide to Marketing and Promotionp. 122
Marketing Toolsp. 122
The Goal-Oriented Campaignp. 123
The Record Contractp. 125
Record Companies Can Only Do So Muchp. 129
Victim or Victor?p. 130
Television Campaignsp. 131
Radio Promotionp. 132
The Same Old Song (Only the Coda Is New)p. 136
Chapter 10 Touring Concernsp. 140
The Club Tourp. 140
The Grand Tourp. 141
Tour Ridersp. 143
Foundations of Success: Team Planningp. 144
Elements of Touring Agreements: Commonalities and Idiosyncrasiesp. 153
Owners and Operators: Who Nets the Net?p. 154
Chapter 11 Merchandising: Your Band; Your Brandp. 156
Tour Merchandisingp. 156
Retail Merchandisingp. 165
Some General Considerationsp. 169
Chapter 12 Audits: Truth or Consequencesp. 174
Examining the Auditp. 174
Television Campaignsp. 179
Interest Chargesp. 179
Statutes of Limitationsp. 180
Conducting Audits In Foreign Countriesp. 181
A Few Practical Suggestionsp. 182
The Right to Audit: A Contract Issuep. 184
Chapter 13 Music Publishing: The Odyssey of the Songp. 186
What is a Music Publisher--And What Does It Publish?p. 186
Copyright: A Bundle of Intangiblesp. 188
Financial Secrets and Realitiesp. 191
The Administrating Functionp. 198
Foreign Taxesp. 199
At-Source vs. Receipts Dealsp. 199
The Black Box Revisitedp. 201
Copyright Reversionsp. 202
Chapter 14 The Pros and Cons of Being Your Own Music Publishing Companyp. 203
Self-Publishingp. 203
Why Both Doing It Yourself?p. 208
The Cost of Acquiring Copyrightsp. 209
Reversion of Copyrightsp. 210
The Value of the Copyrightp. 211
The Impact of Administrating Costs on True Earningsp. 213
The Cost of Giving Away a Piece of the Publishingp. 213
Chapter 15 When Rodgers Meets Hammerstein: Determining Songwriter Creditsp. 215
Co-writing Agreementsp. 215
Co-writers Who Are Band Membersp. 216
How to Split the Splitsp. 217
Chapter 16 Copyright Issues: A Samplerp. 220
Copyright Infringementp. 220
Realpolitik: The Impact of the Internet on Recording and Publishing Agreementsp. 225
Compulsory or Negotiated Licensesp. 227
The Fairness in Music Licensing Actp. 228
The Copyright Term Extension Act in Jeopardyp. 228
MP3: How Two Letters and a Numeral Terrorized an Entire Industryp. 229
Napster: A Seven-Letter Word for Revolutionp. 230
After Napster: Exit the Central Serverp. 231
Chapter 17 Compliance with Copyright Laws in the World of Cyberspacep. 233
Intangible Rights and the Internetp. 233
Licensing from Music Publishers and Sound Recording Ownersp. 234
Copyright Law Provisions Applicable to the Internetp. 236
Term of Copyrightp. 239
Sampling, Borrowing, and Stealingp. 239
Rights Managementp. 240
Dangerous Language Alertp. 240
Music Clearance: The Music Industry's Revengep. 242
International Issues: One-Stop Shoppingp. 242
What Is To Be Done?p. 243
Chapter 18 Internet Entrepreneurshipp. 246
Competing with the Big Boysp. 246
Artist, Songwriter, Performer--And E-Commerce Expert?p. 247
Making a Livingp. 248
Stealing and Protecting Against Itp. 249
Do's and Don'ts of Internet Entrepreneurshipp. 250
Manufacturing and Distributionp. 251
Which People Should Do It Themselves?p. 252
A Word of Warning--And Encouragementp. 253
Chapter 19 Urban Music: Hip-Hopp. 254
Rootsp. 254
The Milieup. 254
Urban Music: The Producer's Cosmosp. 256
Different Strokes for Hip-Hop Folksp. 256
Hip-Hop and Pop Culturep. 260
Business Management and the Management of Businessp. 261
The Changing Imagep. 262
Contractual Issues from the Hip-Hop Worldp. 262
The Rap Coalition: Self-Help Exemplifiedp. 263
Hip Hop Rulesp. 264
Chapter 20 Classical Musicp. 265
A Little Historyp. 265
Demise or Rejuvenation?p. 266
An Essential for Success: Spiritualityp. 268
New Life for an Old Genrep. 270
The Internet: Is It the Answer?p. 272
The Role of Record Companiesp. 274
The Composer-Artist: Special Considerationsp. 277
Classical Managementp. 278
Presenting the Singerp. 281
Music Educationp. 282
Indexp. 285