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Who Does What in the Music Industry?

Two people listening to a guitarist

The music industry is a complex and ever-changing business. There are many different players involved in making and distributing music, from songwriters and producers who create music, the engineers and technicians who record it, to the labels and distributors who get it out to the public.

Each of these players has a role to play in the music industry, and each brings something unique to the table. Here’s a look at some of the most important players in the music industry and what they do.

Songwriters and Producers

Songwriters are the creative force behind the music. They write the songs that artists perform and produce the tracks that musicians record. Songwriters can work independently or with a team of other writers, and they may be signed to a publishing deal with a record label or music publisher.

Producers are the ones who actually create the music. They work with musicians and engineers to create the sound of a record and are responsible for everything from selecting the right instruments and recording techniques to mixing and mastering the final product.

Engineers and Technicians

Engineers and technicians are responsible for recording the music that songwriters and producers create. They work in studios, using sophisticated equipment to capture the sound of the music. Engineers and technicians often have a deep knowledge of music theory and audio engineering, and they use their skills to produce high-quality recordings.

Labels and Distributors

Labels and distributors are responsible for getting the music out to the public. They sign artists to deals, manufacture and distribute CDs and vinyl records, promote the music to radio stations and TV networks, and book shows at venues around the world.

Music retailers

Music retailers sell CDs, vinyl records, and other music products to the public. They include online stores like iTunes and Amazon, as well as brick-and-mortar stores like Best Buy and Target.

PR Company

A public relations company works with the media to get coverage for its clients. This can include everything from setting up interviews and sending out press releases to organizing events and handling crisis management.

They are also involved in social media and online marketing and often work with bloggers and influencers to get the word out about their clients.


A manager is responsible for the day-to-day operations of an artist’s career. They handle everything from booking shows and negotiating deals to managing finances and handling press inquiries.

Music attorneys

Music attorneys provide legal advice to artists, labels, and other players in the music industry. They specialize in copyright law, contract law, and licensing and often work with clients to negotiate deals or resolve disputes.

Radio Plugger

A radio plugger is responsible for getting the music of their clients played on the radio. They work with DJs and program directors to promote the music and often have a good understanding of how the radio industry works.


These are just some of the many players in the music industry. Each plays a vital role in making sure that the music we enjoy gets produced and distributed.