The Business called Music in the Philippines

Music is a product in the form of songs which are consumed by the simple act of listening. The byproduct of people with the talent to create melodies with words most of the time, these intangible merchandises are referred to as intellectual properties.

People individually consume music and it has been enjoyed in so many ways to be entertained, feel good, or even get cured. It is a commodity that fills human psychological needs but undervalued in terms of remuneration for its creators. Sadly, the common perception is, music is free!

Everyone knows that it takes special talent, precision, and coordination to create music. It does not come to be by a stroke of the wand and voilà music plays and is heard. Music as a product goes through a process called “music production” and are enjoyed from records, transmissions, concerts, and gigs. Music production doesn’t only involve musicians but also technical experts and business people, embracing technology, physical and financial assets.

Music, therefore, cannot be free for it takes hard work, money, and equipment to able to make one. Its creators deserve to be compensated for their works as these more than just entertain but inspire mankind. We know how lonely life would be without music.

The creative industry involves a collection of economic endeavors concerning the production or management of knowledge and information. John Howkins expounded this perception in his book The Creative Economy: How People Make Money From Ideas, where the specified creative economy to include advertising, architecture, art, crafts, design, fashion, film, music, performing arts, publishing, R&D, software, toys and games, TV and radio, and video games.

While the creative industry produced 3% of the world’s GDP in 2015, amounting to $2,250B in value, the creative industry in the Philippines contributed P661B, comprising 7.34% of the country’s total GDP and employed 14.4% of the labor force.  The Philippine music scene has always been vibrant. Its contributions in making the lives of Filipinos more bearable outweighs its share to the country’s economy.

As part of the local creative industry, Pinoy musical skills have been an item in the export sector. Filipino musicians locally and internationally have been supporting and driving the country’s economic growth and sustainability. The details of these contributions to the economy are yet to be reported.

Almost everyone experience and consume music daily. Again, it is a necessity for people who say they couldn’t live without it. We could assume therefore that the music business is enormous. If we will attempt to quantify and justly put a price tag on the value it gives everyone, if the music is a kind of product where you cannot enjoy until you buy one, music would have been one of the most lucrative items to sell.

Recorded music is still the biggest form of music product. Recording companies since the invention of sound recording configurations have been raking incomes from sales as phonograph cylinders, phonograph records, reel-to-reel, 8-Track tapes, cassettes, laser discs, to compact discs. In the Philippines, there were no official or unquestionable data as to the exact number of recorded music were sold in any of these formats. Recording artists, composers, publishers, and musicians doubted the royalty statements that were reported to them. People would wonder that in spite of the news about gold and platinum sales performances of the recordings, the composers are left poor and underpaid, while the artists gets the privilege to raise their talent fees. Certification for gold and platinum sales performance of singles and albums in the Philippines are not supported by actual sales receipts but by the statement of replication or reproduction from suppliers.

Getting into the music business in the Philippines is difficult but exciting. As an industry, it encompasses all music related businesses for instance, in manufacturing and distribution of music instrument as creative tools including music production software and applications, in music education and nowadays music technology and business/management as foundations for the profession, in theater, film, concert, and live musical performances as important element in entertainment, in broadcast and music over the internet by way of content offering, digital games as stimulant, and all other affairs where music is used.

With the digitalization of music, the recording business was disrupted forcing the closure, merger or buy out of several companies. Recorded music is no longer lodged on physical formats instead has now become digital files filling our hard drives across our IT devices. While enjoying music remains to be an aural depletion, digitalization and the way music files are shared has intensified the view that music is free. There are sectors that say recorded music has turned out to be mere promotional items.

This disruption in the recorded music business did not discourage the creative musicians. In fact, they have found new avenues to promote themselves. Digitalization has open up opportunities that empowered the users to express their opinions and reactions in social media like YouTube. Even radio and television refer to these media for the upcoming and trending artists, while not long ago, these broadcast networks dictate what was hip.

Musicians in their business may either be a performer or creator. One who desires to take the creative route must be familiar about recording demos, salaries or talent fees, internships, self-employment and funding music projects. Like any other businesses, a good work ethic is very important. Music business persons should manage and balance various commitments, cope well under pressure, bounce back from failures or mistakes, and enjoy networking and cooperate with fellow musicians and people within the trade. [Become a Professional Musician]

In order reinforce a musician’s business perspective within his trade, it is imperative to have the knowledge or at the least familiarity with the legal, financial, artistic, and ethical issues that transpire and confront the contemporary music business professionals and the whole industry. The music business professionals’ network doesn’t only include a diverse community of musicians but also other musical careers as record producer, recording engineer, A & R coordinator/administrator, personal manager, radio DJ (DJ), tour manager, stage manager, sound technician, booking agent, concert promoter/producer, publicist, music journalist, music merchandizer and other careers involving legal and accounting services.

Like other businesses, music has its terminologies. In the recording, jingle production, film and broadcast, copyright and intellectual property laws related to the music industry apply. The digitalization of music forced the development of effective promotion and marketing mechanisms for monetizing music. The demand for effective communication within business environments weather musically, orally, or in writing further professionalize the unique music business.

The contemporary business practices developed through the corporate and entrepreneurial environments are no less the same practices that made Sony and Disney multi-billion dollar companies. The commerce of music is much the same like assessing financial and economic considerations contributing to the GDP. The business environments within the sphere of music have drastically changed and disrupted record companies at most but further developments in technology threaten even musicians. With this experience, music professionals for their survival need to integrate, use, and forecast emerging technological applications not just in the creation of music but more so in business transactions especially when bitcoin, blockchain, and fintech takes over the aging system of commerce.

Music executives like Berry Gordy the forefather of the Motown, Daniel Ek, Chairman/CEO of Spotify, Jeff Bezos, Founder/CEO of Amazon, and Vic Del Rosario of Viva Entertainments impart the leadership models and the ethical considerations upon which big music business operate.

So the jobs in the music industry are not only for musicians. This industry needs people who are interested in the management of musicians lives, events and business endeavors, music technology, agency work, graphics and web design, merchandise manufacturing and distribution, and other resources that the music business need will bestow job descriptions and afford the corresponding salaries.


Know more and nourish your desire to be in this business called music by reading some Frequently Asked Questions. Click and go to However, take note that some of the issues discussed may not apply in the Philippines.

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