Music Business/Management Courses
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.
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 global music industry is responsible for the supply of music content and brands to music consumers around the world. The digital environment in which this international flow of content occurs has created a new paradigm for regional and national music brands willing to expand beyond their home market, regardless of geography. In this course, students examine the national and regional music industries that have adapted particularly well to this new business model and forged paths into various international markets—many of which, to a great extent, remain impenetrable. Students analyze these successful businesses and the various ways they have reached transnational audiences, which often challenge common practices in the global music industry.
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.
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.
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.
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.