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The Music Industry Behind Closed Doors and How to get Signed

Music Industry Business. How the Music Industry Really Works in Practice, with Insider Tips and Secrets.
Music Industry Insider
75 students enrolled
English [Auto]
Do you wonder why other artists are getting breaks and you are not? I've spent two decades as an insider in the music industry and I want to give you tips and secrets to open doors and know how it really works

A completely NEW course by a real insider showing musicians how the MUSIC INDUSTRY REALLY WORKSand giving you insider tips, secrets and short cuts to success!

Are you fed up with the right doors not opening for your music? Do you want to know how the music industry really works? 

I’ve secured many, many record deals for my artists and many of my artists have tens of millions of paid streams and we turn down offers of record deals.

Having great music isn’t enough – arm yourself with the knowledge you need to put yourself ahead of all the other unsigned artists…

✅You will see how A&R really works…. The internal politics of A&R departments behind closed doors and my tips to get A&Rs chasing you and then what to do to get a great deal.

✅You are going to understand how record deals really work and I’m going to show you what happens when a deal gets competitive and multiple labels want to sign you.

✅You are going to learn the difference between live agents and promoters and how to get support tours and how to get festivals. Plus how to make money live and how to get your label to fund you when you need tour support.

✅You’re going to learn how to get a manager, not just any manager but the right manager. You are going to learn the pros and cons of big management companies vs solo managers. 

✅You’re going to learn how major and indie labels actually work in practice and not on paper. What the different departments do. When to use in-house promotion versus out of house promotion. 

✅You will find out the importance of lawyers and how they broker and shop deals

✅You need to make the music amazing, and I will teach you how to attract and get the right producer to do this. I will teach you about the kind of deals you should strike with producers and mixers and how to do backend deals. Plus the pros and cons of production deals.

✅You will learn about music publishing and the difference between publishing and label A&R. You will learn what a publisher does, how the deals work and what an ‘Admin’ deal is.

The course is divided into 10 very easy to follow sections:

1.     Course Introduction

2.     A&R

3.     Managers

4.     Lawyers

5.     Record Labels

6.     Live

7.     Publishers

8.     Accountants and Insurance

9.     Getting the Music Right

10.   Artist Well Being

Course Introduction

Who This Course is For and a Quick Background About Myself

Who is this course for? And what will it teach you? But first, a brief introduction to my background to show how my experience (and this course) can help you understand how the music industry actually works.


So What is A&R and What Do A&R People Do?

So what is it? And what do A&R people actually do? Here I go through the basic responsibilities of A&R, what makes a good A&R person, and how the role has changed within the modern music industry.

What is the Difference With Publishing A&R?

Learn about the difference between signing artists and signing song-writers. As well as having an insight into the politics of song-writing splits and the different kinds of publishing deals that are typically signed.

How Do A&R Departments Work Behind Closed Doors

Learn about the processes of A&R departments and the hierarchy, pressures and expectations that exist. Understand the motives of A&R departments and how that relates to the behaviours of the music industry as a whole.

The Structure and Internal Politics of A&R Departments

Learn about the responsibilities and behaviours of each role in A&R departments. I will also explain what label imprints are and how they work.

An A&R Scout Has Got in Touch, What Does This Mean?

Understand the motives of A&R scouts so you can recognise what it means if one of them reaches out to you and learn how best to deal with it.

The A&R Herd Mentality: Why Do A&R People Get Called Sheep?

Why do A&R people get called sheep? A&R’s share tips with lots of different people in the industry which means that everyone shows interest in the same acts at the same time.

Signing Out of Fear

Major labels are so competitive with each other… this lesson will teach you why this makes them sign people out of fear.

What Happens When a Deal Gets Competitive

A&R’s and good industry gossips will hype up a deal. Watch this lesson to learn how the major labels act when this is happening, so you can stay smart when dealing with them!

Tips on Getting A&R People Chasing You

What you should and shouldn’t do to attract and maintain the attention of A&R’s through media, streaming and self-marketing.


What Does a Manager do and Why are They so Important

Managers are responsible for guiding the artist’s career, overseeing business affairs, and advising on professional matters. This lesson will help you understand just how important a manager is and how to tell a good one from a bad one.

Key Terms in a Management Contract

Develop your awareness of different terms of a typical management contract and learn how best to handle the process of signing a management agreement.

Why Modern Managers Often Take on the Role of a Label

A good manager often develops and self-releases first. This lesson will help you understand why this is advantageous within the context of the modern music industry.

Big Management Companies vs Solo Managers

Should you sign to a big management company? Or a manager who works on their own? There is no right or wrong answer… but this lesson will help you decide what is best for you.

How To Get a Manager

Tips on how to go about getting a manager. In the modern marketplace, managers are aware that they need to do more of the heavily lifting for artist development. 


Importance of a Good Lawyer and How They Broker and Shop Deals

Lawyers serve many purposes in the music industry. They are real power brokers. They negotiate deals and key terms and are very well connected. They also have a reputation of being the first to find new talent.

What Kind of Contracts Will Your Lawyer Negotiate For You

The lawyer is the artist’s key advisor, so they are of fundamental importance. This lesson will help you decide on the kind of lawyer that is right for you and make you aware of just how influential lawyers are through the contracts, deals and terms that they negotiate.

Record Labels

Current Music Industry Landscape for Labels

In the last few years there has been a huge evolution in the music industry due to the advent of streaming. Corporate label groups now make over 50% of their money from streaming. This lesson will teach you how the changing landscape of the music industry has affected the network of the major record labels.

How Record Companies are Structured and Work

This lesson explains the structure of the average major label with extra information about the responsibilities and behaviours of each role.

In House vs Out of House

This lesson explains the difference between in house and out of house promotions teams and weighs up the pros and cons of each.

International Departments
Indie Labels vs Major Labels

I don’t like to sit on the fence, but both have competitive advantages! This lesson will explain the differences, pros and cons between each and will increase your understanding this aspect of the industry.

Record Deals and Contracts

This lesson explores the key terms in a record contract. A recording contact is often the thing musicians dream and strive for but nowadays they seem to be offered when an artist is further on in their career. It’s important to approach with a modern view to deal structures and terms.


It is very common or a successful artist to renegotiate with a label. The bigger you become as an artist, the more leverage you have.

What are Ancillaries?

In the 60s to 90s, artists made the majority of their money from recorded music sales. But online sales and piracy changed this, so labels had to think of different ways to make money from their artists.

Singles Labels

Singles labels are great for new artists and provide an alternative to major labels when putting out your first few releases. This lesson will explain how singles labels operate and contribute to attracting the attention of major labels.

What are Label Services?

Label services have seen huge growth. For a percentage fee, they can provide the same services of major labels across sales, distribution, promotion and marketing. Artists are able to plug into a global infrastructure. This lesson goes into the details of how label services actually operate.

How to Motivate Your Label and Get Focus

Most label staff are ridiculously overworked and have way too many artists to work on. This lesson gives you ways of getting around this and making sure you are always a priority!

The First Few Years as a Signed Artist

What to expect? Now the real work begins… Don’t lose momentum! You need a constant stream of content, more shows and a continuing digital strategy.


What's the Difference Between Agents and Promoters?

Labels are not in control of the live aspect of an artist’s career. Agents oversee the booking of all live shows whilst promoters take all the financial risk and guarantee the money. This lesson goes into detail about each role and explains why they are so important for an artist’s career.

What is Tour Support

This lesson will teach you about how early touring is funded. What tour support is and how and when to apply for it.

How to Get Support Tours

This lesson discusses all the different ways to try and get support tours. Ultimately the headline band gets final say… but it’s also about utilising different relationships to try and secure them.

How to Get Festivals

Festivals are so important for breaking artists but they are selected differently than tour support. There are a lot of politics with promoters, this lesson will explain why and help you make sure you get the best slots at the right time for you.

Making Money Live

Tours used to be seen as a way to promote records. But now artists make most of their money live. You need a great manager, strategy and discipline to maximise profits.


What do Publishers do?

There is a difference between a song and a recording of a song. They have different rights so are dealt with differently. This lesson will teach you about royalties, different licences and how publishers operate.

Publishing Deal vs Admin

How to handle your music publishing depends on a lot of factors. With an admin deal you still own 100% of your songs but doesn’t include creative services! Weighing up which to choose is complicated. This lesson will give you an idea of the pros and cons.

Accountants and Insurance

Accountants and Insurance

Some accountants offer a full scale ‘business manager’ service. Accountants have an important role in overseeing all financial aspects of life. This lesson outlines the criteria you should have when choosing an accountant.

Getting the Music Right

How to Make Music that's Going to Compete

Your music has to be amazing! Nothing else will do as it’s too competitive a market. Spotify have 15,000 new songs ingested every day. Getting the music perfect is the difference between doors opening and them not. This music discusses strategies to get the music right.

Producers and Producer Points and Deals

What does a producer do? It means different things to different artists and people. This lesson explains all the components of production and how producers are involved with the creative process.

Production Deals

Good producers and songwriters have talent and great connections, so it’s common for big producers to have imprints or their own labels. A production deal is when a producer takes a bigger role in developing the artist. This lesson goes through the details of this kind of deal.

Artist Well Being

Getting Dropped

Artist welfare is hugely important. Being a musician and artist is VERY challenging, whether you are successful or not. Sadly, getting dropped is a common reality, which we explore.

What if You Don't Make it?

Making it in music is very, very hard. Although perseverance is key, it’s important to have a life outside music and keep a balance. Make sure you love the process as the realities and frustrations pre-record deal do not change after success!

Rethinking Success and Final Thoughts

The recent evolution of the music industry has changed how success is measured. Streaming money drips in slowly over time, and you don’t need to be signed to be streamed!

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