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What They'll Never Tell You About the Music Business: The Myths, the Secrets, the Lies (& a Few Truths)

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“For someone on the way up, this book is a must; for everyone else, it’s a bible.”—Danny Strick, co-President, SonyATV Music Publishing, Inc.   This completely revised and expanded edition of What They'll Never Tell You About the Music Business is a must-have reference not only for aspiring songwriters, record producers, and performing artists but also for record company ex “For someone on the way up, this book is a must; for everyone else, it’s a bible.”—Danny Strick, co-President, SonyATV Music Publishing, Inc.   This completely revised and expanded edition of What They'll Never Tell You About the Music Business is a must-have reference not only for aspiring songwriters, record producers, and performing artists but also for record company executives, personal and business managers, agents, and attorneys. You’ll learn:  *How the Internet has affected every aspect of the music business, from copyright and royalty issues to censorship *How many musicians have seized do-it-yourself Internet opportunities to create successful business models *How satellite radio, digital jukeboxes, and video games are affecting the music market *How artists can maximize their chances for long-term financial health *How the royalty pie is sliced—and who gets the pieces *What snares and pitfalls to avoid when signing an employment contract *And much more.   “The music business is complicated, and this book is very helpful in deciphering its pitfalls, opportunities, and challenges.”—Clive Davis, Chief Creative Officer, Sony Music Entertainment Worldwide   “Thall’s book simplifies a complicated business, and it provides the reader with knowledge that otherwise is available only to those on the inside.”—Scott Francis, President, Warner/Chappell Music and Chairman & CEO, Warner/Chappell Music U.S.   “Whoever reads this book is getting expert advice from one of the most respected and knowledgeable players in the music industry today. I wish this book was available when I was looking to begin my career in the music business.”—David Renzer, Chairman & Chief Executive Officer, Universal Music Publishing Group   "Intelligent and accessible--rich in references, but easily understandable."—David Geffen   “A clear contender for the one indispensable work on the topic, this book delivers the goods. There is no one involved in the music business who will not learn and benefit from this ambitious work.”—New York State Bar Association


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“For someone on the way up, this book is a must; for everyone else, it’s a bible.”—Danny Strick, co-President, SonyATV Music Publishing, Inc.   This completely revised and expanded edition of What They'll Never Tell You About the Music Business is a must-have reference not only for aspiring songwriters, record producers, and performing artists but also for record company ex “For someone on the way up, this book is a must; for everyone else, it’s a bible.”—Danny Strick, co-President, SonyATV Music Publishing, Inc.   This completely revised and expanded edition of What They'll Never Tell You About the Music Business is a must-have reference not only for aspiring songwriters, record producers, and performing artists but also for record company executives, personal and business managers, agents, and attorneys. You’ll learn:  *How the Internet has affected every aspect of the music business, from copyright and royalty issues to censorship *How many musicians have seized do-it-yourself Internet opportunities to create successful business models *How satellite radio, digital jukeboxes, and video games are affecting the music market *How artists can maximize their chances for long-term financial health *How the royalty pie is sliced—and who gets the pieces *What snares and pitfalls to avoid when signing an employment contract *And much more.   “The music business is complicated, and this book is very helpful in deciphering its pitfalls, opportunities, and challenges.”—Clive Davis, Chief Creative Officer, Sony Music Entertainment Worldwide   “Thall’s book simplifies a complicated business, and it provides the reader with knowledge that otherwise is available only to those on the inside.”—Scott Francis, President, Warner/Chappell Music and Chairman & CEO, Warner/Chappell Music U.S.   “Whoever reads this book is getting expert advice from one of the most respected and knowledgeable players in the music industry today. I wish this book was available when I was looking to begin my career in the music business.”—David Renzer, Chairman & Chief Executive Officer, Universal Music Publishing Group   "Intelligent and accessible--rich in references, but easily understandable."—David Geffen   “A clear contender for the one indispensable work on the topic, this book delivers the goods. There is no one involved in the music business who will not learn and benefit from this ambitious work.”—New York State Bar Association

42 review for What They'll Never Tell You About the Music Business: The Myths, the Secrets, the Lies (& a Few Truths)

  1. 5 out of 5

    Nathan Albright

    [Note: This book was provided free of charge by Blogging For Books/Watson-Guptill Publications in exchange for an honest review.] It is easy to see, upon reading this book, how this more than 400 page tome fulfills its obligation to be a complete guide to the business side of the music business. For those of us reared on horror stories about how much trouble artists and songwriters have had because of various trickery in the music industry and how artists have struggled to maintain business succe [Note: This book was provided free of charge by Blogging For Books/Watson-Guptill Publications in exchange for an honest review.] It is easy to see, upon reading this book, how this more than 400 page tome fulfills its obligation to be a complete guide to the business side of the music business. For those of us reared on horror stories about how much trouble artists and songwriters have had because of various trickery in the music industry and how artists have struggled to maintain business success as well as personal integrity [1] for a long time, this book offers a guide to how to survive in the music industry no matter what one's role that sits somewhere in the sweet spot between cynicism and realism. The author is an entertainment lawyer and he definitely has written something of use to a wide audience, and if he does not spare too many feelings in the process, he tells a straightforward story that will hopefully be a wake-up call to many. There is no doubt, for one, that this book is immensely worthwhile for anyone who has any sort of role in the music industry, and as someone who sings, writes, and has been a college radio dj [2]. If there are any friends or acquaintances similarly involved even on the margins of the music industry or with any ambitions as far as writing and performing are concerned, this is a good book to buy and I will happily lend it to those who are curious about reading it. It is a demanding read, but an excellent one. The lengthy and detailed contents of this book are divided into reasonably short but extremely detailed chapters about such matters as: investing, advances, royalties, personal management, managing one's financial future, employment agreements, record producers, marketing and promotion, touring, merchandising, audits, music publishing, songwriter credits, owning one's own music publishing company, internet entrepreneurship, largely unknown royalty opportunities, urban music, classical music, termination of copyright grants, compliance with copyright law, catalogue valuation, copyright issues, and solving piracy. The book's contents are of use to business-savvy musicians as well as those who are songwriters or A&R people and help the readers become aware of special concerns in various genres, and aware of the legal demands as well as the general business climate. As might be expected, the laws and customs in the United States are fairly backward about the property rights of intellectual property creators and much stronger at seeking to protect the privileges of business, but that ought to surprise few readers. Seeing as many artistic types of people are the sort of people who are easily taken advantage of when it comes to business deals, the main purpose of this book is to be a reference so that if artists are going to have to sign dodgy contracts or engage in trade-offs between present comfort and future security, or avoid giving away huge revenue streams, they will at least be forewarned about the dangers faced in contracts and will be well-equipped to at least think seriously about the need to hire good counsel in those aspects where they do not wish to be directly engaged on a regular basis. Many artists have to wear many hats--part time businessmen aside from their duties in writing and performing, and this book is worthwhile in equipping artists on how to do what they want to do best, and to earn a decent living at it. And when it comes to enjoying the fruits of one's creative labor, it is worthwhile to at least have some insight in how one can go about living a decent life while one creates beautiful art, and how one can continue to earn after one's active career is over. If you want to make any money in any part of the music industry, this is a good book to have as part of one's library. [1] See, for example: https://edgeinducedcohesion.wordpress... https://edgeinducedcohesion.wordpress... https://edgeinducedcohesion.wordpress... https://edgeinducedcohesion.wordpress... https://edgeinducedcohesion.wordpress... https://edgeinducedcohesion.wordpress... https://edgeinducedcohesion.wordpress... https://edgeinducedcohesion.wordpress... [2] See, for example: https://edgeinducedcohesion.wordpress... https://edgeinducedcohesion.wordpress... https://edgeinducedcohesion.wordpress... https://edgeinducedcohesion.wordpress... https://edgeinducedcohesion.wordpress...

  2. 5 out of 5

    Cathy Cermele

    II requested this book for my husband and I to read and discuss together. He was in the process of recording and when I saw this I thought it would come in handy. This book provided insight and made him realize that there are so many things to consider. He was very appreciative of the information provided and has referred to it many times. I find him reading this and he has discussed it with friends and has recommended that they purchase a copy for themselves. It’s a book that has provided both II requested this book for my husband and I to read and discuss together. He was in the process of recording and when I saw this I thought it would come in handy. This book provided insight and made him realize that there are so many things to consider. He was very appreciative of the information provided and has referred to it many times. I find him reading this and he has discussed it with friends and has recommended that they purchase a copy for themselves. It’s a book that has provided both knowledge and enjoyment. The way I see it, that’s the best kind of book you can have. I received this book from Blogging for Books and have given an honest opinion.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Blog on Books

    Peter Thall knows the music business, and he doesn’t sugar coat it. As a prominent New York based music attorney, Thall has seen nearly every kind of deal in his multi-decade career representing some of music biggest names. In “What They’ll Never Tell You About the Music Business,” Thall explains the ins and outs of contracts and dealmaking in way that cuts to the bone of backroom reality. Think you are getting your masters back? Think again. Do you understand your split of licensing fees? Maybe Peter Thall knows the music business, and he doesn’t sugar coat it. As a prominent New York based music attorney, Thall has seen nearly every kind of deal in his multi-decade career representing some of music biggest names. In “What They’ll Never Tell You About the Music Business,” Thall explains the ins and outs of contracts and dealmaking in way that cuts to the bone of backroom reality. Think you are getting your masters back? Think again. Do you understand your split of licensing fees? Maybe not. Recoupment? They charged for what!?! In this work, Thall systematically takes the reader through the process of what both sides are thinking and need to be aware when it is time to get down to the real nitty-gritty of dealmaking. His details and experience are enough to make useful reading, not just for aspiring musicians, but for many managers, publishers or label execs who still think they know it all. Thall covers the runway from forming legal partnerships, to getting your music heard, how to manage relationships with managers and producers and of course, the final act of auditing the result of all of this action. Of particular emphasis is the area of music publishing where Thall devotes several chapters explaining the ins and outs of publishing (ownership, reversion, rights, termination) in ways that are often dense and apt to be misunderstood by those with limited experience. If you are a musician wanting to be heard, “What They’ll Never Tell You” will teach you just about everything you need to know about going about it in a way where you will not be disappointed in the result, while almost anyone in the business will learn something they didn’t already know.

  4. 5 out of 5

    London Mabel

    If you're in the music business, this is probably more of a 4-star read -- it's a really detailed explanation, by an entertainment lawyer, of all the details an artist/manager/lawyer needs to be aware of to manage their career properly. I wouldn't really recommend it for the casual music reader (I was doing research.) Though you will learn a lot about how crappy the industry treats its artists. If you're in the music business, this is probably more of a 4-star read -- it's a really detailed explanation, by an entertainment lawyer, of all the details an artist/manager/lawyer needs to be aware of to manage their career properly. I wouldn't really recommend it for the casual music reader (I was doing research.) Though you will learn a lot about how crappy the industry treats its artists.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Kari

    I thought this might have something to do with what I wanted to read about, but no. The music business is a hairy place, and I'll try to stay out of it. I thought this might have something to do with what I wanted to read about, but no. The music business is a hairy place, and I'll try to stay out of it.

  6. 4 out of 5

    David Sage Johnson

  7. 4 out of 5

    Selin Yildiz

  8. 5 out of 5

    Pete Den Uyl

  9. 5 out of 5

    Mariano

  10. 5 out of 5

    Alexandra Schwinn

  11. 5 out of 5

    Timothy

  12. 4 out of 5

    Damyen Davis

  13. 4 out of 5

    Cody

  14. 5 out of 5

    Felipe Gabriel

  15. 4 out of 5

    Dan Helton

  16. 4 out of 5

    Farnan

  17. 4 out of 5

    Marit

  18. 5 out of 5

    Donna

    The music business is no joke. I've never read or known of an industry that is so.....unfair. :( The music business is no joke. I've never read or known of an industry that is so.....unfair. :(

  19. 4 out of 5

    Manic

  20. 4 out of 5

    Alex

  21. 5 out of 5

    Satyros Brucato

  22. 4 out of 5

    mariola

  23. 5 out of 5

    Aaron

  24. 5 out of 5

    Mike

  25. 5 out of 5

    Katie

  26. 4 out of 5

    Charles

  27. 4 out of 5

    Shiri Watkins

  28. 4 out of 5

    Chris

  29. 4 out of 5

    Daniel

  30. 4 out of 5

    Chelsea

  31. 5 out of 5

    Vanessa

  32. 5 out of 5

    Yonis Kintero

  33. 4 out of 5

    Rosalind Brown

  34. 5 out of 5

    Julia

  35. 5 out of 5

    Racquel Richards

  36. 4 out of 5

    Kaahil Worley

  37. 5 out of 5

    Nikhil P. Freeman

  38. 5 out of 5

    Lisa Katz

  39. 5 out of 5

    Lawrence Tuck

  40. 5 out of 5

    Josée

  41. 4 out of 5

    Ezra Mendoza

  42. 4 out of 5

    Footballsinger

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