Careers in Culture – Careers in Music and Sound Recording

> Show me the money

How much you can earn in the music and sound recording industry varies. In many cases, especially in performing, earnings depend on your popularity and the demand for your services. Here's how some music people make their money.

Artist manager
Usually charges 3 – 10% of a musician or band’s income.

Booking agent
Gets a percentage of the money earned from bookings, plus a salary if he or she works for an agency.

Concert promoter
Fees are negotiated (there is no standard).

Earns remuneration dependent on the reputation/prestige of the orchestra and may receive royalties from recordings.

Disk Jockey (DJ)
Earns remuneration based on the size of the market and the DJ’s popularity.

Orchestra member
Earns remuneration based on the terms of the master agreement.

Recording engineer
Earns remuneration from a recording studio.

Staff producer
Earns remuneration from a recording studio.

A popular recording artist can generate income in many ways:

  • Record sales – both records and digital format
  • Concert tours
  • Public appearances
  • Merchandising
  • Songwriting royalties (if the artist writes the song)

A popular song can generate income in four principal ways:

  • Mechanical reproduction rights – paid by the recording company to the copyright holder for each record or CD sold.
  • Performance royalties – paid to copyright holder, by a performing rights society such as SOCAN, based on the level of performance a song receives on radio or in concerts.
  • Synch rights – paid to the publisher for a song's performance on TV or in movies.
  • Neighbouring rights – paid to the performers and record producer for a song’s play on radio, TV, in film and online.