top 10 music industry books to read in 2020

Passion for music, fanaticism for groups that are on the other side of the world, fan clubs, mega shows with more than one million people. All of these factors are linked to the process of creating a cultural industry, which occurred in the 19th century. Long before the appearance of record labels, there was already a fetish for the product, whether cultural or not. This phenomenon is linked to the industrialization process, which influenced the creation of the cultural industry, the mass media and mass culture. This article gives you the top 10 books to read about the music industry in 2020.

1 Real Artists Don’t Starve, by Jeff Goins

In this book, the author discusses the challenge experienced by any creative individual and company in an effort to balance inspiring existence with a realistic road to success. Creatives also realize that no-one is born an artist, from web designers and authors to photographers and industry professionals. The groundbreaking rules that are introduced in this book honour the idea of being an artist, an individual who makes profound use of the imagination.

2 All You Need to Know About the Music Business, by Donald S. Passman

This detailed guide offers accurate, reliable guidance about how to find and recruit a successful team of advisors and arrange their rewards and fees; negotiate the ins and outs of album sales, songwriting, marketing, and copyright; optimize music, performing, and merchandising opportunities; and how things work in a streaming environment.

3 Get More Fans: The DIY Guide to the New Music Business, by Jesse Cannon

This book provides you with thousands of ideas on how you can get people to listen to your music and turn them into fans who pay to support your music. Whether you’re a “label owner, musician, manager, reservation agent, or advertiser, this book contains information that will help you do better”, says Patricia L. Olson, writer at Australian Help and BigAssignments.

4 Streaming, Sharing, Stealing: Big Data and the Future of Entertainment, by Michael Smith and Rahul Telang

This book is about niche products and product differentiation, price discrimination, and user incentives made not to steal content. Businesses must adapt swiftly and creatively to survive and succeed. Smith and Telang explain what they do.

5 How to Make It in the New Music Business, by Ari Herstand

You can build a stable career by taking advantage of the many tools at our fingertips. The book presents inspirational success tales around the world, plus new events and innovations. For anyone navigating the complex yet advantageous landscape of modern music, it’s a must-have.

6 The Song Machine: Inside the Hit Factory, by John Seabrook

This interesting trip into the unusual world of pop music reveals how a modern approach to producing mega songs changes ads, technologies and even the minds of listeners. Once again, you will never hear about music the same way.

7 Unlabel: Selling You Without Selling Out, by Marc Ecko

This book empowers you to harness your imagination, find the strength to challenge tradition, and gather the trust to succeed and behave in any setting. This digital roadmap shows you “how to evolve creatively and strategically by checking your specific mark against the Authenticity Rule principles”, says Vanessa M. Fisher, music journalist at Paper Fellows and Boom Essays.

8 Six-Figure Musician, by David Hooper

This book essentially tells you that you can make a lot of money as a musician if you know what to do. With your music, you’ll know just how to make money: at the bar, on the phone, and on the streets.

9 How Music Works, by David Byrne

This book reveals almost as much how music arises out of societal conditions as the human imagination. This is the very epitome of information when it comes to the music industry, and an impassioned argument for the liberating, life-affirming power of music.

10 The Plain and Simple Guide to Music Publishing, by Randall Wixen

This book presents a clear, succinct approach to how present-day music publishing works. It breaks down intricate information in a readable and humorous way which is sufficiently detailed for professionals and accessible enough for promising songwriters.

The creation of a product for the masses resulted in the rapid and large-scale sale of material produced by artists and packaged as a product. Hence, expressions that were widely used when studying the cultural industry were created: superior culture, media and mass culture.


Beatrix Potter is an educator at Assignment Help Australia and Literature review help, as well as an online proofreader at Academized. Beatrix has been studying and writing about the music industry for the past 10 years, and she’s happy to share her expertise through her own blogs on the topic, and international workshops.