Music Business/Management Courses
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.
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.
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.
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.
This course explores the impact social media has had on the music industry, specifically for independent music professionals. Students learn how to leverage the combination of social media channels with new, DIY content publishing and distribution platforms to reach a wider audience. Finally, this course shows students how this combination can allow music professionals to reach a wider audience directly, allowing them to bypass the interference of traditional mediating partners and retain more creative and even direct compensation for their work.
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.
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.
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.
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.