Music Business/Management Courses

Senior Practicum 1 (Heavy Rotation Records)

MB-490

1 credit(s)
Course Chair: Don Gorder
Offered: Fall, Spring, Summer
Required of: MBUS majors in management and marketing tracks not taking MB-495
Electable by: MBUS majors
Prerequisites: LSOC-225, LMSC-251, MB-275, and MB-301; MB-255 or MB-355; and one of the following: MB-331, MB-341, or MB-375
Department: MBUS

Heavy Rotation Records was developed for students to receive hands-on experience in record company operations. HRR students oversee A&R, marketing, sales, publicity, publishing, promotion, artist development, concert promotion, and web design in the production and sale of recorded music. Students are assisted by faculty, guest producers, engineers, and major label personnel.

Senior Practicum 2 (Heavy Rotation Records)

MB-491

1 credit(s)
Course Chair: Don Gorder
Offered: Fall, Spring, Summer
Required of: MBUS majors in the management and marketing tracks not taking MB-495
Electable by: MBUS majors
Prerequisites: MB-325, MB-490, and one of the following: MB-331, MB-341, or MB-391
Department: MBUS

A continuation of the learning experiences gained in MB-490, with the added possibility of maintaining a key leadership/managerial role within the operations of Heavy Rotation Records.

Internship in Music Business/Management

MB-495

2 credit(s)
Course Chair: Don Gorder
Offered: Fall, Spring, Summer
Required of: MBUS majors in management and marketing tracks not taking MB-490 or MB-491
Electable by: MBUS majors
Prerequisites: LSOC-225, LMSC-251, and MB-325; MB-255 or MB-355; and one of the following: MB-331, MB-335, or MB-337
Department: MBUS

Monitored and evaluated professional work experience in an environment related to the music business/management major. Placement is limited to situations available from or approved by the Office of Experiential Learning and the Music Business/Management Department chair or designee. To apply for an internship, students must see the internship coordinator in the Office of Experiential Learning prior to registering. Note: Students in the music products industry track are required to take MB-495. Credit for prior experience is not available due to the requirement of concurrent contract between the employer/supervisor and the college. International students in F-1 status must obtain authorization on their Form I-20 from the Counseling and Advising Center prior to beginning an internship.

The Business of Flamenco Music

MB-P205

2 credit(s)
Course Chair: Don Gorder
Offered: Fall, Spring
Required of: None
Electable by: All
Prerequisites: None
Department: MBUS

This course presents an overview of the current business, economic, and marketing and production aspects of flamenco music. Topics to be explored encompass flamenco music as an exported product, including in the American market; marketing of flamenco through the use of various media (radio, TV, press, Internet and web design); publishing potential; major record labels for flamenco music; touring and endorsements; piracy issues; and creating a profitable business with flamenco and other music.

Online Music Marketing: Campaign Strategies, Social Media, and Digital Distribution

MB-P235

2 credit(s)
Course Chair: Don Gorder
Offered: Fall, Spring
Required of: None
Electable by: MBUS majors
Prerequisites: MB-201
Department: MBUS

The internet has created a seismic shift in the music industry. Traditional physical marketing outlets, while still important, have been augmented with a variety of online-based marketing, sales, and distribution outlets, all of which require their own specific marketing approaches and strategies. This course takes an in-depth look at the tools and emerging technologies artists can use to generate interest in their music, acquire new fans, and sell their music. The course begins with an introduction to online marketing—the opportunities available, case studies on how artists are generating interest online, ways to optimize the fan experience, and the major differences between online and physical marketing campaigns. From there, the course covers the basics of developing a website; securing a domain and hosting company, developing an optimization strategy so potential fans can find the site using the search engines, and best practices for creating a fantastic user experience. Once students have a website set up, the course will look at ways to optimize visibility and acquire new fans using social media and third-party sites like Twitter, Facebook, Last.fm, MySpace, Wikipedia, and more. The course also explores the best methods for generating demand, looks at successful artists and what they are doing to build their community online, and explores other organic (as opposed to paid) marketing opportunities online. This course also considers effective pricing and product techniques designed to reward students' most enthusiastic fans, while helping to generate a higher net margin for them as artists. To help expand marketing and sales outreach, the course discusses pricing details and options for third-party distribution and sales partners (such as iTunes, Amazon, Tunecore, CD Baby, and others), as well as artist-service-based partners (Reverbnation, Topspin, Nimbit, Bandcamp, and others). The final lesson in the course presents options for integrating all of these online concepts into offline activities (such as touring, selling merch, traditional retail options, and press) to enable a fully integrated marketing campaign, one that is timed to generate as much interest (and sales) as possible! By the end of this course, students will have mastered the art of online music marketing, and have a fully timed, integrated, and optimized marketing plan that they can use to build up digital touch points, generate interest in their music, and sell music online.

Copyright Law

MB-P311

2 credit(s)
Course Chair: Don Gorder
Offered: Fall Only
Required of: None
Electable by: MBUS majors
Prerequisites: MB-211 and MB-301
Department: MBUS

A comprehensive look at copyright law and its protections for all creative works, with a specific emphasis on copyright's applicability to the music industry. The course will take an in-depth look at copyright concepts first introduced in MB-101 Introduction to the Music Business and MB-211 Legal Aspects of the Music Industry, and further introduce students to enforcement mechanisms, defenses, and requirements for notice and registration. Pending legislation and the applicability of currently existing law to new media such as downloads and streaming will also be covered. The course would be helpful for anyone seeking a career in entertainment, but specifically law and licensing.

Music Industry Entrepreneurship

MB-P349

2 credit(s)
Course Chair: Don Gorder
Offered: Fall, Spring
Required of: None
Electable by: MBUS majors
Prerequisites: MB-211 and MB-301
Department: MBUS

Fundamentally, entrepreneurs see problems and fix them. Today managers, booking agents, publishers, music technology innovators, and artists themselves can enter the music business almost effortlessly because of easy access to web tools and marketing materials. However, with the low barriers of entry, success is difficult. This course teaches students how to maximize their competitive edge to reach the widest-possible audience by showing them how to combine passion for music with sound entrepreneurial principles. Students willl gain an understanding of the individual elements of a business plan, business structures, finance, marketing, management and organizational behavior, and leadership, as well as learning about the entrepreneurial tools particular to the music industry that will help them innovate and create new ventures. By the end of the course, students will emerge with a cogent business plan applicable to many different ventures within the music industry.

Managing Technology-Driven Business

MB-P389

2 credit(s)
Course Chair: Don Gorder
Offered: Fall, Spring, Summer
Required of: MBUS majors
Electable by: MBUS majors
Prerequisites: MB-255 or MB-355
Department: MBUS

This course will explore the underlying technology and terminology required to effectively communicate and conduct business in the technology-driven marketplace. In today's business environment, it is essential for managers and executives to understand the basic concepts behind contemporary information systems and how they can be used effectively in business. Topics include hardware, software, network architecture, information security, data warehousing, customer interfaces, and online marketing opportunities. Students will have the opportunity to work with common open source applications used for content management, customer relationship management, online purchasing and payment systems, and more.

Business Finance

MB-P395

2 credit(s)
Course Chair: Don Gorder
Offered: Fall, Spring
Required of: MBUS majors
Electable by: MBUS majors
Prerequisites: MB-255, LSOC-225, and LMSC-251
Department: MBUS

The course focuses on the role of money in a music enterprise, with particular emphasis on the emergence of nontraditional forms of funding for talent and music-based enterprises. In addition, the course covers critical tools of financial analysis, both basic and sophisticated, as used by business professionals in corporate settings and investors in private ventures.

International Music Licensing

MB-P415

2 credit(s)
Course Chair: Don Gorder
Offered: Fall Only
Required of: None
Electable by: MBUS majors
Prerequisites: LMSC-251 and MB-335
Department: MBUS

This course focuses on comparing and contrasting the licensing frameworks in the United States and European communities, paying special attention to the monetization of new licensing opportunities in media vehicles such as gaming, film, television, and the internet. Financial analysis and valuation of properties will be addressed through music industry case studies as used by business professionals in the international publishing corporations. In the first few weeks, students acquire a thorough understanding of the structure of the global music publishing industry, including its history, function, laws, and an overview of the financial income streams. In the following weeks, students unravel research subjects, analyze companies, acquire a song catalogue, and find ways to exploit and market their catalogue. The goal is to give students the competencies to work as a Music Supervisor at a film or television studio, an international music publishing company, or to start their own company.

Digital Marketing in the Music Industry

MB-P421

2 credit(s)
Course Chair: Don Gorder
Offered: Fall, Spring
Required of: MBUS majors in the marketing track
Electable by: MBUS majors
Prerequisites: MB-325
Department: MBUS

This advanced marketing course builds on the integrated marketing communication (IMC) concepts, functions, and processes covered in MB-325 Principles of Marketing with exclusive focus on digital marketing in the music industry. Students choose a music business entity of genuine interest to them for the purpose of creating an integrated digital marketing communication plan projected over a one-year term by quarters. Students define their offer, gather competitive intelligence, conduct primary and secondary market research, draw research findings, and apply them in the creation of a marketing proposal that uses all components of the promotional mix plus social media in the digital environment. At the end of the semester, students present and justify their digital marketing plan to a group of marketing experts including faculty and music industry marketing professionals.

Strategic Management

MB-P425

2 credit(s)
Course Chair: Don Gorder
Offered: Spring Only
Required of: None
Electable by: MBUS majors
Prerequisites: LSOC-225 and MB-301
Department: MBUS

An introduction to the challenge of managing in complex contemporary environments, with special emphasis on the music and entertainment industry. The course is integrative, reflective of the breadth of issues that underlies the overall Berklee Music Business/Management curriculum. Its student team-based and experientially focused emphasis is designed to promote awareness of real-world business developments and develop practical skills as well as fundamental strategic planning and performance management knowledge and abilities. The intellectual core of the course will emphasize a holistic and strategic inquiry of the driving forces of competitive markets, the importance of history, the complexity of resource allocation under uncertainty, and the need to develop client/business-specific capabilities that are flexible and responsive to changing situations. Considerable time will be devoted to the study and analysis of companies and the utilization of project based activities, which may include actual client-initiated practice.

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