A qualification in music business, coupled with the knowledge and experience gained while studying, can open up a wide variety of career opportunities.
Let's have a look through some of the different career choices that can be boosted through gaining a qualification in music business.
For the Indie Musician
Too many creative and talented musicians find it very difficult to earn a living from music. This is not because there is no money to be made, or no opportunities out there. Unfortunately, many musicians fail to understand the workings of the modern industry, struggle to gain exposure and fail to monetise their talents.
Issues such as copyright and licensing can be a confusing maze to negotiate. Often musicians need a helping hand in producing a strategic plan to grow their career.
Studying music business will help you to:
- Understand how organisations like the PRS, PPL and MCPS collect and distribute royalties to artists.
- Learn how copyright works and the distinction between performers and songwriters.
- Form a plan for your music career and define achievable goals.
- Understand how to monetise your music through TV, Film and advertisement placement.
For Live Music Promoters
The live music scene can be extremely competitive at the grass roots level, especially in the big cities, where your event can easily be lost among hundreds of others all competing for an audience.
When you look at the increasing diversity of options in the wider entertainment industry, it's important to make your event stand out from the crowd.
Promoters are often seen as the bad guys, demanding money from bands for 'pay to play' gigs and not caring about the actual music. While there are sharks in the industry, the vast majority of promoters became involved through their love of music and from a desire to put on great live shows.
The pressures of this job can come from both sides; music venues are obviously keen to make a profit and the bands/artists want to be paid fairly and play to a big crowd. However, these can be seen as common goals and a good promoter should have the communication skills to work effectively with all parties to ensure that the event is a success.
A unique blend of skills and knowledge is required if you are a promoter who is looking to move from local to national events and beyond.
The areas covered in the music business course include:
- Communicating effectively with agents and tour managers
- Marketing through traditional channels
- Digital and social media promotion
- Contracts, insurance and other legal requirements
- Managing the budget for events and tour support
Studying a course in music business will help you to gain a wide range of knowledge in your chosen profession. This is the ideal platform from which to launch a career as a music promoter.
For Artist Managers
While many artists choose to manage their own business affairs, the role of the artist manager is still an incredibly important one. Modern music history is littered with stories of friends who have ended up working as a band manager and growing into the role as things have taken off. Equally, many of these managers end up being discarded as the job becomes too big for them.
The modern music industry requires artist managers to have a wide range of knowledge. By learning these skills and gaining real-world experience working with bands, the aspiring manager will be well placed to succeed.
Some of the essential skills that you will learn include:
- How to develop relationships and source finance from record companies
- The areas of responsibility required from an artist manager
- Copyright management
- Contracts and negotiations
Networking is extremely important for a manager, you must build a strong and influential network and always be on the lookout to make new contacts and build relationships.
For the Independent Label
While mainstream physical music sales have fallen sharply in recent years, the barriers to entry for the independent label have also followed suite.
The sea change in the way music is listened to and distributed can not be over-stated, and while many have bemoaned 'the death of the music industry', many new channels have opened for independent labels to gain a foothold, free from the restrictions of the old major distribution systems.
A strong understanding of the complex nature of the music industry is essential if you want to build a successful independent label.
Some important areas include:
- Knowledge of contracts, copyright and publishing
- Accounting and general good business practice
- Advertising through both traditional channels and Digital Marketing
- An understanding and passion for the music you are promoting
- A strong business plan
By studying these areas and gaining vital experience from running the college's own independent label, you will be in a much stronger position to build yourself a successful career in the music industry.