Music Business/Management Courses
The role of the intermediary in advising, representing, and furthering the careers of artists, focusing on the establishment of mutually beneficial working relationships. Topics include the mechanics of talent booking and contracting, union and government regulations, fee/commission structures, contractual considerations, fiduciary duties, budgeting, the development of a client base, and finding success through honesty and fair dealing.
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 aspects of producing and promoting successful tours and shows. Emphases include: (1) the promoter's ability to purchase talent and produce successful shows, taking into consideration such matters as competition, population, guarantees and percentage splits, ticket pricing and distribution, advertising budgets, production costs, sponsorships, rental agreements, labor, security, concessions, tour packages, and promoter-owned venues; and (2) managing and producing a successful tour, focusing on a tour theme and marketing plan, routing, itineraries, riders, offers, contracts, subcontractors, show and tour personnel, merchandising, sponsorships, day-of-show, and show settlements.
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.
As the follow-up to MB-387, this course focuses on the actual use of web sites in business. Technologies used in today's business sites will be presented, such as CSS (cascading style sheets), Flash, PHP scripting, and online databases. Students will develop workable sites with consideration of content, demographics, management and leadership strategies, user experience, accessibility, legal issues, and site support services. Existing web sites will be viewed and critiqued for effectiveness, and aspects of online business models, business-to-business, and business-to-consumer will be explored. Emphasis will be given to both corporate and entrepreneurial web environments.
Combines an examination of advanced legal topics relating to the music business with a workshop approach to the development of negotiating skills. Students will negotiate various agreements based on actual cases and work to settle disputes arising from the breaching and termination of agreements. Topics to be covered include record deals between artists and record companies, distribution deals between independent and major record companies, copublishing and administration deals, producers and production deals, touring and merchandising, trademark and copyright disputes, group breakups, and disputes between artists and managers. Intensive preparation and class participation by students is expected.
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. Note: Students in this class may have the option of visiting Inholland University in Haarlem, Netherlands for a week during the semester, as part of the student exchange program with Inholland students who are also studying international music licensing. This trip is not a requirement of the class. The cost of this trip is approximately $1,500.
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.
Students research topics of current importance in the music industry and participate in moderated panel discussions. The course emphasizes thorough preparation, extemporaneous speaking, and critical listening. Through the discussions, students gain skills in issue analysis, debate, evaluation, and professional dialogue. Students are assigned weekly responsibilities as panelists, moderators, critics, and scribes.
This class is designed to help students learn how to creatively solve business problems. More specifically, students will learn about: a) the innovation process and the role of the individual in generating innovations and b) the attributes, habits, and skills of individuals who have successfully started innovative new businesses. Students are then given opportunities to build their skills at creative strategic thinking so that they will be more successful at generating novel and potentially valuable ideas for their companies. Students will receive a creativity assessment to get a sense for their own creative abilities. They will also learn how individuals that started new companies (or who significantly added value to existing companies) came up with the valuable new ideas. Finally, students will also be asked to apply the knowledge acquired in class by coming up with a creative idea for a new product, service, or business.
This practicum course offers senior-level students an opportunity to apply their accumulated business knowledge in a problem-solving, laboratory environment. A continuation of the learning experiences gained in MB-340, the class places students into mentoring relationships with Berklee alumni, as well as other members of the Berklee community, who may have an operating business or who desire to launch a new business venture. Students will undertake, as class projects, the assistance of these hopeful entrepreneurs, in all aspects of starting and/or improving their enterprises. Appropriate business settings will be identified and chosen utilizing a simple proposal submission and screening process. Class sessions, which may include on-site visitations, will focus on developing options and action plans that lead to problem-solving areas students will encounter in business environments.