Music Industry Terms Every Artist Should Know

  1. 360 Deal: A contract where the label gets a percentage from all artist income streams.
  2. A&R: Artists and Repertoire department responsible for talent discovery and signing.
  3. Artist Manager: Guides an artist’s career, managing relationships and decisions.
  4. Back Catalogue: Collection of an artist’s past music releases.
  5. Big Three (Major Labels): Sony, Universal, and Warner, the largest record companies.
  6. Blanket License: Permission to play any song in a rights holder’s catalog for a set time.
  7. Collaboration: Working together to create music, involving various roles.
  8. Copyright: Legal protection for original music, preventing unauthorized use.
  9. Cover Art: Visual representation accompanying music releases.
  10. Digital Service Provider (DSP): Platforms like Spotify and Apple Music.
  11. Door-Split Deal: Financial arrangement between a venue and performer.
  12. EP: Extended play, a shorter musical release than an album.
  13. EPK (Electronic Press Kit): Digital promotional package for artists.
  14. Intellectual Property: Legal protection for creative work.
  15. LP: Long-playing, refers to a full-length album.
  16. Mastering: Final preparation of a recording for commercial distribution.
  17. Master Recording: Original recording of a song.
  18. Merch: Items featuring artist branding sold to fans.
  19. Metadata: Additional data about music files, including rights and details.
  20. NFT (Non-fungible Token): Unique digital collectible tracked on the blockchain.
  21. One Sheet: Single-page document summarizing an artist’s bio and work.
  22. Performance Rights Organization (PRO): Ensures songwriters receive performance royalties.
  23. Per Diem: Daily allowance for artists, often while on tour.
  24. Pre-Save Link: Allows fans to pre-save upcoming music on streaming platforms.
  25. Royalty Advance: Pre-payment of royalties applied against earnings.
  26. Sampling: Copying a section of one recording for reuse in another.
  27. Song Identifiers: Codes identifying various elements of a musical work.
  28. Split Sheet: Document detailing songwriting contributions and royalty splits.