Weekly in-depth reports on the complex technical operations of the music business including technology systems, business and pricing models, licensing issues, government policy and legal issues. All original reporting and analysis based on first-hand experiences of (mostly confidential) sources holding high-level positions with companies doing business in music, trade groups or governments. Subscription prices start at $136 per year. Music Confidential is distributed to thousands of paying subscribers across 49 countries.

Exclusive private gatherings bringing together senior-level executives working with entertainment and technology to discuss the most challenging business issues. Susan Butler created and produces each closed-to-press summit (attendance by invitation only) held in an intimate business setting to facilitate productive discussions to help find industry-wide solutions. Confidential Salons or The BIG Summits (Bridging Information Gaps; created for DDEX) have been held in London, Paris, Rio de Janeiro, New York, Seattle, Miami, and Nashville.



Research and analysis provided for unique, special projects meant to benefit the entire music industry. The projects include the first-ever gathering and analysis of revenue figures generated from digital music services for the use of musical compositions, as published by international trade group CISAC; Inside the Global Digital Music Market (peer reviewed by digital music business experts) and An Introduction to the Global Digital Music Market prepared for, and commissioned by, the World Intellectual Property Organization (a United Nations agency); Collective Rights Management Practices Around the World prepared for, and commissioned by, the US Copyright Office; and a White Paper roadmap to licensing rights in compositions for digital use in Europe.

Readers Say
Susan is an attorney turned journalist and is the best analyst in the music industry.. (Her) two-part narrative on fractional music licensing was OUTSTANDING and AMAZING… It should be considered the seminal piece of work regarding this issue.
Ed Christian
President/CEO, Saga Communications Inc. and Chairman, Radio Music License Committee that represents app. 10,000 U.S. radio broadcasters
Informative, on-the-point, accurate and timely. (Your report on SESAC is) all that anyone could wish for from the world class journalist that you are.
Pat Collins
CEO/President SESAC Performance Rights
Susan is by far the most influential commentator on music matters in our industry.
John Minch
CEO, Imagem Music UK, London
Always pays to speak with the best…
John Josephson
Chairman/CEO SESAC Inc.
I devour Music Confidential like a romantic devours a romance novel! If you want my Music Confidential subscription, you would have to pry it from my cold, dead hands!
Daryl Friedman
Chief Advocacy & Industry Relations Officer, The Recording Academy
Susan Butler is the most knowledgeable and trusted journalist in the business.
Hein van der Ree
CEO, Netherlands-based collective rights society Buma/Stemra
I think that reading Music Confidential makes me a better executive. We’re flooded with raw data and metrics—recorded music sales, streaming income, PRO income and distribution numbers, Nielsen numbers and the like. What makes us better executives is the understanding of those numbers that you provide through your expert analysis and synthesis and the trends you extrapolate.
Bill Josey
SVP Business & Legal Affairs, Discovery Communications (Discovery Studios, Discovery Global Music Services)
Music Confidential is a vital source of information – and I know from a number of people in the industry that it has become THE point of reference.
An executive now with the United Nations’ World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO)
The holy grail of music resources!
An executive with an international tech company

We sip Cotes de Provence from blush-colored wine glasses under the summer sun at the end of a European business day, talking about technology and the international music business. Not


You are about to read a very special report, one that provides revenue figures never before shared and in a way never before calculated—by product category rather than by type


True confessions. Some days I am unsure how or where to begin telling a story when something is occurring that perplexes me because it mashes up so many opinions and


Parental Guidance Suggested: Some of the following material may not be suitable for sensitive readers. To the attorney(s) in the music user community, whoever you are, who convinced the U.S.


We become numb to huge numbers after we hear them often enough. Like hundreds of millions and trillions, the number of reported performances of music that some performance rights societies


Rarely do any of us get even a glimpse of the inside story about how a digital music company, created with much hope and promise and money invested for its


About Susan Butler

Susan Butler is an American business journalist and media publisher, entertainment and tech attorney and published author. Through Butler Business & Media LLC, she writes and publishes the weekly international news & analysis report Music Confidential and produces select private executive summits she created internationally. Her award-winning memoir, Groove Found: Susan’s Business Journey, describes her entrepreneurial and personal path toward building a unique international business-lifestyle (

Since launch in 2008 under a unique business model and approach, Music Confidential has enjoyed double-digit growth in subscribership every year. Readers include senior-level executives with:

  • Major and independent music publishers
  • Major and independent record companies
  • Online, cable, mobile and telecommunication companies
  • Investment and corporate banks, private equity firms
  • Collecting societies and music licensing agencies
  • Business management, accounting and law firms
  • Trade groups for music publishers, record labels, digital media services, collecting societies, indie music companies, songwriters and recording artists
  • Also government officials and lawyers including U.S. Copyright Office officials; counsel and legislative directors for leading members of the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives; attorneys with the U.S. Trade Representative, Federal Trade Commission, Dept. of Justice and Patent & Trademark Office; U.S. Copyright Judges; Canadian Copyright Board; U.K. Parliament & U.K. Ministry of Culture; European Commission; French government lawyers and advisors; United Nations’ World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) in Geneva.

After practicing law for 21 years representing clients throughout the world in the entertainment and technology fields, Susan began writing full-time for Billboard before launching Music Confidential. Since then, Susan has achieved a number of “firsts” for an entertainment industry trade journalist:

  • Acquired confidential financial information on a $2 billion acquisition that no other financial journalist covering the story in Europe or in the U.S. could obtain. Her sensitive handling of, and reporting on, that information led to obtaining exclusively confidential financial information on subsequent $1.9 billion, $2.1 billion and $3.3 billion acquisitions as well as confidential European antitrust decisions, among many other sensitive financial, corporate and state-of-the-industry documents.
  • Secured exclusive in-person interviews with high-level government officials including U.S. Attorney General John Ashcroft (2004); U.S. Attorney General Alberto Gonzales (2005); China’s Chief of Ministry of Culture, Division of Audio and Video, Chen Tong (2007); French government task force members including former Member of the European Parliament and French Minister Jacques Toubon (2009); White House Intellectual Property Enforcement Coordinator Victoria Espinel (2010); European Commissioner Michel Barnier (2013 via phone) and others.
  • Obtained permission to join New York Police Dept. undercover detectives and Motion Picture Assn. of America and Recording Industry Assn. of America investigators on a bust of an illegal CD and DVD replication facility. Her investigative, first-of-its-kind cover story for Billboard, which included one-of-a-kind photographs of the bust, explained the international physical-goods piracy market.
  • Investigated and wrote Billboard cover stories on China and on India revealing potential music business opportunities in the emerging markets.
  • Reported and wrote a first-of-its-kind feature article explaining the complex music licensing structure throughout Europe, followed by an in-depth investigative commercial White Paper used by executives, lawyers and government officials & advisors in the U.S., Canada, Europe and Japan as a source of reference.

During her legal career, Susan’s clients have included corporations, partnerships and individuals including producers (film, multimedia, commercial and music producers), television network news correspondents, recording artists and musicians (including Oscar-winning film composer and artist Ryuichi Sakamoto and Grammy-winning artist Steve Vai), Internet content providers, software developers, Web site developers, Internet marketing consultants, authors, photographers, composers, publishers (music, magazine and audio book publishers), recording engineers, recording studios, performance artists, special event producers, nonprofit organizations (film, computer, music and marine life), visual and graphic artists, television hosts and others in San Francisco, Los Angeles, New York, Paris, London and Tokyo. She negotiated business deals throughout North America, Europe, Southeast Asia, Brazil and South Africa.

Music Confidential

Published by Butler Business & Media LLC
Based in the U.S.A.

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