As a newbie getting started in the music industry, you might get confused with the different terms or lingos popular amongst various music professionals. While most of these terms might be new or baffling to you, many of these buzz words have specific meanings which can be beneficial to you if you know them.
In this post we will help you understand and know the meanings of these common terms used in the music industry.
Here is a list of 20 Popular Buzz Terms & Lingos Used In The Music Industry You Need To Know.
1. Tour Support: When music artists and their team go on tour, tour support is the money paid out to cover the costs of a tour, usually by a record label.
2. Demo: Demos are the early versions or rough recordings of song in progress. It can also be likened to a draft when publishing articles.
3. Tour Manager: When music artists go on tour, the tour, road or logistics manager takes charge of the details of the tour. They travel with the artist and his team and do all of the jobs like checking into hotels, liaising with promoters and generally trying to make things go as smoothly as possible.
4. “Big Three” Record Labels: Just three major record labels control the global music space. The Big Three record labels are: Sony BMG, Universal Music Group, Warner Music Group. As at 2016 these labels made up almost 80% of the music market.
5. Sound Engineer: Although there different roles for a sound engineer. One can be working with the music artist during music production, while the other is to be in charge of making the sound for a live show or gig.
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6. Booking Agent: A booking agent helps liaise with event promoters and venues to book shows for an artist.
7. Radio Plugger: To be specific radio pluggers help promote music releases to radio stations.
8. 360 Deals: This is a revenue structure used by major record labels which enables them to not only earn income from the sale of the recorded music of their artists but also gets a cut of other artist income, including money generated by touring and merchandise sales.
9. Music Publishing: Music publishing is the collection and payment of royalties whenever a song is “used” or in exchange for a portion of those royalties and some rights to the song. A Music Publisher works on behalf of songwriters or composers to collect and pay out all of the royalties they earn from their compositions.
10. Promoter: Promoters help promote both an artist’s music or live performances and shows as the case may be.
Also Read: #MusicBrainer: 4 things you need to do to create hype for your next song release.
11. Promo: This is a promotional copy of a recording, different from a demo in that it is usually a finished version of the recording. Promos can be complete copies of an album complete with artwork, or they can be CDs in cardboard or plastic sleeves.
12. Playlists: These are lists of songs curated and played by disc jockeys (DJs), radio stations and in recent times digital music streaming platforms.
13. Performing Rights Royalties: This is a type of royalty paid to a songwriter when a song they have written is performed.
14. Digital Music Distribution: Firstly, distribution is the process of getting music from artist to store, making it available to the public for purchase – this is called physical music distribution. While on the other hand instead of transporting albums to a physical store, the distribution company will distribute music in digital format (usually mp3 or .wav). The music is sent to online music platforms such as iTunes, Spotify and AmazonMP3. It is then the distributors job to ensure that royalties for the use of the music is passed back to the artists and rights holders.
15. Music PR: PR is an acronym for “press relation” or “public relation”. However, it is also used as an initial to refer a person who works in media/press relations. A PR agency or PR strategist is usually hired to work on a campaign basis to promote a new album, single or tour. Some other roles of a music PR include; promoting to print media, websites, press publishers, television and radio stations.
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16. P.D.s: P.Ds is an acronym for “per diems” or “per day“, it refers to the stipend paid by record labels daily to it’s music artists, band members and crew on a tour for their personal expenses, such as food and drinks.
17. Mechanical Royalties: This is a type of royalty earned by a songwriter through the reproduction of copyrighted works in digital and physical formats. Songwriters are paid mechanical royalties per song sold, downloaded, and streamed via “on–demand” streaming services.
18. Artist Manager: An artist manager is the professional representative and advisor for a music artist or band. Managers help build an artist’s career and get their client’s music in the hands of producers and label executives, as well as negotiating contracts, setting up tours and book shows.
19. Indie Labels: An independent record label (or indie label) is a record label that operates without the funding or distribution of major record labels. They are not connected to one of the big three major labels — Universal, Sony and Warner. These type of record labels operates like a home based to a highly profitable large business firm.
20. Door Split: This is a type of payment deal paid for a show or live performance, in which the music artist or band and promoter agree to split the proceeds of the show after the promoter has recouped their costs.