Music Industry Scams: Everything You Need to Know


12 Music Industry Scams: Everything You Need to Know

This is a guest editorial by Mark Tavern, an artist manager, consultant, educator, administrator, and arts advocate with more than 20 years of music business experience.

“The music business is a cruel and shallow money trench, a long plastic hallway where thieves and pimps run free, and good men die like dogs. There’s also a negative side.” ? Hunter S. Thompson

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Navigating a complicated, ever-changing industry such as the music business is difficult for everyone. But because a tiny percentage make it look easy, it’s no surprise others will stop at nothing to gain a competitive edge, or think shortcuts are the fastest route to fame. 

While I wish that Thompson was wrong about the music business, I’ve seen my share of scams. There’s no shortage of low-lifes, frauds, self-promoters, liars, cheats, and thieves lurking in the dark corners of the industry. Each has their own con, and all are looking to take advantage of the artists they encounter, whether those marks dream of overnight success or want to game the system.

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