This course will provide a survey of the music industry, highlighting those areas where music and business intersect. The focus will be on career possibilities in the music industry, the development of business-related knowledge and skills necessary for effectively maintaining a professional music career, the vocabulary and terminology of the music industry, and the distinction between music and business at the corporate level. The course will serve both the student wishing to increase his/her understanding of common business practices related to the music industry, and the student who is considering further study of music business/management.
A specialized study for musicians of local, state, and federal tax systems in the United States. Topics include personal, self-employed, corporate, and partnership taxation issues, with emphasis on effective record-keeping, filing requirements, taxable income determination, and allowable deductions.
An overview of the activities involved in managing a business, including marketing, accounting, finance, and the production of goods and services. The course focuses on the ability of the music business executive to analyze, plan, coordinate, and set objectives for these activities, through the presentation of business theory and problem solving.
An overview of business and legal issues of special concern to musicians and songwriters, with special emphasis on copyright law, recording and music publishing agreements, and relationships between artists and other parties, including managers, producers, and investors.
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.
A hands-on approach to the important role of computers in the music industry. Students work with the applications typically found in music business operations, including word processing, spreadsheets, databases, graphics, and visual displays. Emphasis is on the presentation and analysis of financial data. Particular attention is given to the use of the internet for communication and the location and retrieval of business-related data.
European Perspective on Intellectual Property and Copyright is a survey course reviewing the major legal aspects of music and copyright in the European Union and beyond. The course will look at the basic foundations of copyright, comparing the EU system to the US system, and then review the major issues affecting the music industry in the EU and how they function, including licensing contracts, EU directives, and intellectual property and trade agreements. Finally, the course will cover commercial music transactions in various territories and take an in-depth look at copyright concepts, as well as other forms of intellectual property protection, such as patents, trademark, and trade secrets.
An introduction to the fundamental principles of accounting and record-keeping in business operations. Emphasis is placed on the theory of debit and credit, the recording of business transactions, the preparation of basic financial statements, and the use of accounting information within music business organizations.
An in-depth study of the nature of human and electronic communication. Students write and edit a variety of business documents including cover letters, memos, reports, and proposals, among others, as well as practice extemporaneous speaking, presenting to a group, planning and running meetings, and supervising teams.
The application of theories of organizational behavior and structure to managerial processes, and the overriding influence of ethics in decision making. Through case study analysis, students enhance their leadership abilities while developing skills in organizational efficiency, managerial effectiveness, adaptability, and values clarification.
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.
An introduction to integrated marketing principles and practices within corporate and agency environments covering branding strategy and positioning, the value proposition, market research, customer relationships, target markets, buying behavior, the promotional mix, and related metrics. Students create an integrated marketing communication plan that reflects a comprehensive understanding of competitive strategy based on research findings as well as translating business objectives into effective marketing strategies and plans.