Backline Essentials

The music industry changes every day. It’s important to follow industry trends, but the abundance of resources can be overwhelming, and it’s difficult to know which sources are reliable. This week, rather than creating content to share with you, Backline Support is a list of preexisting resources that are extremely valuable to musicians. The list will feature the best podcasts, publications, books and more! Check back often for updates!


Producergrind Podcast— A podcast to educate the producers who are in the early stages of their career. Guests have included Zaytoven, Sonny Digital and many more. Stream

The Combat Jack Show — This is THE podcast for hiphopheads. It allows the listener to take a look into the minds of some of the most powerful people in music. Stream

The Music Industry Blueprint Podcast — This is pretty much as the title says. It’s music business 101 for all, led by Taylor Swift’s former manager. Stream

Creative Juice — Creative Juice wants to pursue your art. They break down some of the highs and lows associated with chasing your dream. Stream

And The Writer Is…With Ross Golan —  Successful singer-songwriters share high-barrier to entry industry knowledge. Stream

Song Exploder—This podcast is less business focused than anything else on this list, but it provides fascinating insight into song creation from some of the biggest artists working today. Stream

Though we provided Apple links, all of these podcasts should be available at all major podcast platforms.


List from 

How to Make It in the New Music Business by Ari HerstandLink

How to Make It in the New Music Business covers every facet of the “new” business, including how to:

  • Build a grass-roots fan base―and understand the modern fan

  • Book a profitable tour, and tips for playing live, such as opening vs. headlining etiquette, and putting on a memorable show

  • Become popular on YouTube, Spotify and SoundCloud

  • Get songs placed in film and television

  • Earn royalties you didn’t know existed and reach your crowdfunding goals

 All You Need To Know About the Music Business 9th Edition by Donald Passman — Another key read in 2019. “This book offers timely, authoritative information from how to select and hire a winning team of advisors and structure their commissions and fees; navigate the ins and outs of record deals, songwriting, publishing, and copyrights; maximize concert, touring, and merchandising deals; understand the digital streaming services; and how to take a comprehensive look at the rapidly transforming landscape of the music business as a whole.” Link

Streaming, Sharing, Stealing; Big Data and The Future of Entertainmentby Michael Smith and Rahul Telang— Michael Smith and Rahul Telang, experts on entertainment analytics, write about how Apple, Amazon and others are shaping the entertainment industry. This book is certainly more technology based than the others on this list and for that reason I think it is a must purchase. We’re living through a period of unprecedented technological disruption in the entertainment industries. Just about everything is affected: pricing, production, distribution, piracy. Link

Music Money and Success 8th Edition: The Insider’s Guide to Making Money in the Music Business by Jeffrey and Todd Brabec —

This invaluable book tells you how the business works, what you must know to succeed, and how much money you can make in films, television, video games, ASCAP, BMI and SESAC, record sales, downloads and streams, advertising, ringtones and ringbacks, interactive toys and dolls, Broadway, new media, scoring contracts and synch licenses, music publishing, foreign countries, and much more.

Todd Brabec is an Educator, Entertainment Law Attorney and former ASCAP Executive Vice President and Worldwide Director of Membership, and Jeff Brabec is Vice President of Business & Legal Affairs, BMG. Two heavyweights and true insiders wrote this book. Link