The music industry (or music business) sells compositions, recordings and performances of music. Among the many individuals and organizations that operate within the industry are the musicians who compose and perform the music; the companies and professionals who create and sell recorded music (e.g., music publishers, producers, studios, engineers, record labels, retail and online music stores, performance rights organizations); those that present live music performances (booking agents, promoters, music venues, road crew); professionals who assist musicians with their careers (talent managers, business managers, entertainment lawyers); those who broadcast music (satellite and broadcast radio); journalists; educators; musical instrument manufacturers; as well as many others.
In the late 19th century and early 20th century, the music industry was dominated by the publishers of sheet music. By mid-century records had supplanted sheet music as the largest player in the music business. Since 2000, sales of recorded music have dropped off substantially, while live music has increased in importance.
There are four "major labels" that dominate recorded music — Universal Music Group, Sony Music Entertainment, Warner Music Group and EMI — each of which consists of many smaller companies and labels serving different regions and markets. The live music industry is dominated by Live Nation, the largest promoter and music venue owner. Live Nation is a former subsidiary of Clear Channel Communications, which is the largest owner of radio stations in the United States. Other important music industry companies include Creative Artists Agency (a management and booking company) and Apple Inc. (which runs the world's largest music store, iTunes Store, and sells the iPod and iPhone).