The music industry consists of the individuals and organizations that earn money by writing songs and musical compositions, creating and selling recorded music and sheet music, presenting concerts, as well as the organizations that aid, train, represent and supply music creators. Among the many individuals and organizations that operate in the industry are the songwriters and composers who write songs and musical compositions; the singers, musicians, conductors, and bandleaders who perform the music; the record labels, music publishers, recording studios, music producers, audio engineers, retail and digital music stores, and performance rights organizations who create and sell recorded music and sheet music; and the booking agents, promoters, music venues, road crew, and audio engineers who help organize and sell concerts.

The industry also includes a range of professionals who assist singers and musicians with their music careers. These include talent managers, artists and repertoire managers, business managers, entertainment lawyers; those who broadcast audio or video music content (satellite, Internet radio stations, broadcast radio and TV stations); music journalists and music critics; DJs; music educators and teachers; musical instrument manufacturers; as well as many others. In addition to the businesses and artists, there are organizations that also play an important role, including musician’s unions (e.g. American Federation of Musicians), not-for-profit performance-rights organizations (e.g. American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers), and other associations (e.g. International Alliance for Women in Music, a non-profit organization that advocates for women composers and musicians).