How to Become a Music Entrepreneur

Are you a music lover and want to start a business in the niche?

If you are a person who understands the music and the ins and outs that happen in the music industry, then you can become a music entrepreneur.

A music entrepreneur can start the business from the prospect of a music publisher, as an artist, manager, or label.

If you are a newbie to the musical business, you may find it difficult to arrange a business plan that demonstrates the rights, revenue deals, royalties, etc.

How to Become a Music Entrepreneur

Whether starting as a rap artist, manager, or publisher, the music industry has three components you must understand well to succeed. These include;

  • Various rights which prevail in the music industry.
  • How to acquire those rights.
  • How to commercially exploit those rights.

If you succeed as a music entrepreneur, you must be ready to work hard, continuously put out excellent and engaging content, and outlive your competitors.

Various Copyrights That Exist in the Music Industry

Music lovers can enjoy music in many ways: through a radio, CD player, download soundtracks, YouTube, etc. Music fans merely download or buy CDs of their favorite artist or songs.

However, from the music entrepreneur’s prospect, the actual thing proceeding is that the music rights and copyrights that these entrepreneurs own or control are consumed in such a way that generates income for them.

The main aim of a music entrepreneur should be to create revenue from all these activities and maximize this income by developing various strategies.

They can focus on generating revenue from any of these;

  • Composition Copyrights

The composition has two main copyrights: lyrics protected by the copyright law, known as a “literary work,” and music covered by the copyright law, known as a “musical work.”

The two, however, can be referred to as joint copyright and held by the music publisher as one copyright.

  • Recording Rights

The recording company usually holds these.

  • Performer’s Rights

These rights allow performers to control who can commercially exploit their performance. The two fundamental rights are property rights and non-property rights.

These are usually assigned to a recording company. It is worth noting that companies receive some form of remuneration whenever their records are played, whether they have property or non-property rights.

How to Get These Rights?

The copyright comes into perseverance whenever an original work is created, such as composition, sound recording, etc., and is reduced to a physical form.

The work will naturally qualify for the copyright protection law in this phase.

The producer of the work is considered the first proprietor of the copyright.

The copyright, once created, will last for the specified period:

  • Musical Works or Music

It will continue till the composer’s life, an additional 70 years. In the case of the co-written tasks, it remains till the last composer or author is 70 years old.

  • Literary or Lyric Works

It will last till the author’s life with an additional 70 years.

  • Sound Recordings

It lasts for 70 years.

Copyrights, like any other property rights, can be sold or licensed by the copyright owner to any other party. Therefore, publishers can acquire copyrights either by

  • Licensing or assigning content from any third-party company or individual.
  • Signing deals with performers, songwriters, and artists to create confined content for them.

How to Commercially Use These Music Rights

As an entrepreneur, making money from copyrights means returning to where your consumers interact with your music.

This involves tracking the systems that allow them to access your music, such as the radio, downloading online shows, live performances, and CDs.

This will enable you to get your share of the profit when your music is consumed.

Although this is realistic, it might not be achieved practically as there might be many agencies you need to monitor. Here is where societies that license your work come in.

These societies are businesses that ensure they track the consumption of your recording, following all the amount of money generated. This makes it easy to benefit from copyrights.

Entrepreneurs can also seek to reduce the intermediary in the chain and provide the recordings to the direct consumers. This might be more expensive in the long term.

  • Marketing Your Music

Every release of your music needs proper marketing to reach the targeted audience. Understanding various marketing, promotion, and distribution channels is required to evolve and explore.

Like any other commerce, the music business also needs a proper platform to showcase. Reasonable promotional efforts are made so the artist’s theme can be played on the radio or secure a television appearance.

  • Collaborate

Collaborating with other players is very ideal when starting in music.

This is because it gives you the exposure you need and the market base you did not have. Creating a collaboration also requires careful selection, as this is the foundation you are building.

Using industry key players such as famous musicians and recording companies can help spread the word.

Creating collaborations also ensures you gain feedback and experience on what will work and what will not. This calls for the selection of excellent and well-experienced partners.


To become an entrepreneur in the music industry, like any other business owner, proper industry knowledge is the key to success.

The above points will guide you to know the facts that prevail in the music industry.

There may be numerous reasons why you want to be a music entrepreneur, so don’t let a single failure stop you from succeeding.

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