Music Business Fundamentals
Fast Track Your Future In The Music Business!
Our unique and immersive course has been designed to show you exactly how the music business operates today – providing you with the most up to date knowledge and skills you’ll need to fast track your future in the world’s most exciting business.
You’ll be taught by leading music professionals, meet likeminded individuals, examine real world case studies and take part in engaging activities. Most importantly – you’ll learn what the various areas of the music industry are, why they exist, and exactly how they function in the business today.
Once you’ve completed your study with us, you’ll receive a certificate of course completion to add to your CV. We’ll also spend some time with you privately, to discuss your plans for moving forward in the industry. Whether you’d like help launching your band, securing an internship or job placement, advice on setting up your new music business venture, or something else entirely – we’ll be here to support you.
Enrol today to secure your place on our next Music Business Fundamentals course, and see why our students leave us five star reviews across the board!
SMB: The School of Music Business. Online music business courses for all including Music Business Fundamentals. Learn how the music business works in this comprehensive online course. Study the music industry, online in our virtual classrooms.
Some of the areas we’ll cover:
The Structure and Revenues of the Music Business
Record Labels and A&R
Music Media, Press and PR
Marketing to Spotify and DSP Playlists
Digital Promotion Strategy
Music Publishing, Sync and Licensing
Live Music, Merchandise and Tour Management
Business and Brand Partnerships
The Future of The Music Industry and Music Tech
Entrepreneurialism, and Funding Sources
PLUS: a one-to-one career guidance consultation
Meet The Course Leader | Matt Errington
SMB: The School of Music Business. Online music business courses for all including Music Business Fundamentals. Find our about our music industry expert tutor, Matt Errington. Study the music industry, online in our virtual classrooms.
Hi, I’m Matt, the Music Business Fundamentals tutor at SMB: The School of Music Business.
I began my career as a music journalist, working at national publications such as Time Out, Dazed and Confused and Spin magazine. I later became a successful music business entrepreneur, music marketer and artist manager, running campaigns for a host of successful bands that saw me work alongside the likes of photographer Rankin, sign major international publishing and recording contracts, lead headline tours of the UK, Europe, America and much more. Today I continue to lead campaigns that have secured millions of Spotify plays, international playlist support and streaming chart entries. In 2015, I won the Music Export For Growth award from The BPI and UK Trade and Industry, for my work developing UK artists overseas.
In 2018 I was appointed Expert Board Member for Jump: The European Music Market Accelerator, co-funded by the Creative Europe Programme of the European Union, to help develop innovative new business models within the industry. From now until 2023, we will be supporting some of the most innovative music businesses in the world. You can also find me talking regularly at industry events, including SXSW, Liverpool Sound City, Line 6 What’s Next Conferences, MIL – Lisbon International Music Network and many others. I love passing on my knowledge and experience to help artists and new music business professionals find their feet in the business.
Music Business Fundamentals | Syllabus
Introduction To The Music Industry
A brief history of the development of the music industry
Where we are today – the most exciting time to work in music!
The structure of the industry – understanding how it works
An explanation of the roles and functions within:
Promotion & more
An explanation of the flow, and sources of revenue
Analysing the current trends in music industry revenue
Distribution and Streaming Services
What is music distribution, and how does it work?
Distribution for the independent artist
An introduction to the Streaming services:
The official charts, and how they work
Streaming marketing principles
A guide to ‘Spotify for Artists’ platform
How to secure Spotify playlists
Pitching and release week
‘Release Radar’ and ‘Discover Weekly’
Editorial playlists, major playlists & independent playlists
Spotify charts: Top 50 & viral charts
Music Marketing – Principles & Branding
Music marketing and promotion
Who does what in the marketing and promotion of an artist
Branding 101 – the three considerations
The fan funnel – the founding principle of successful music marketing and promotion
The single release strategy
The ‘attention economy’
The ‘expectancy loop’
The artist lifecycle, and how we use this to develop and nurture a fan base
Target fan analysis – finding the audience
Music Publishing and Sync
Publishing – what is it and why is it so important?
Who are the people involved in the music publishing sector?
The publishing contract
The artist as a writer
Sync (TV, film, advertising and computer games)
A guide to music copyright
Mechanicals – we’ll examine how writers get paid when their songs are recorded and released commercially
Public performance – we’ll look how writers receive revenue for the public performance (live, in-store, on tv, on radio etc) of their music
Collection agencies – PRS, PPL and MCPS
Working with writers
Class activity – we’ll choose music to fit specific and original briefs from music supervisors
The Future of The Music Industry
Growth of revenue sources
The world of streaming and where it may be heading
VR – a new way to experience live music
AI and it’s use in the music industry
Blockchain and digital currency
Future avenues of music promotion
Record Labels and A&R
Record Labels – what do they do?
The differences between independent and major labels
Income and costs in the record label business
Record contracts – signing artists
Royalty structures – where does the money go?
The record label meeting – a guide
A&R in 2020 – the rules of successful scouting
The Principles of artist development
How to find the ‘next big thing’
Class activity – We’ll put our A&R skills into practice, and analyse some new music submissions
Live Music, Merchandise & Tour Management
Live music and its importance in the industry
Booking agents and promoters – who they are & what they do
Sources of revenue in live music
Merchandise and merchandise deals
A guide to tour management:
What are tour managers and how do they operate?
Advancing tours – day sheets and tech plots
Tour budgeting and record label tour support
Class activity – Together we’ll budget a 20 day international tour, and work to make it profitable!
Digital Marketing Strategy, Social Media & Brand Partnerships
The marketing plan and release strategies
The time table of activity for successful releases
The role of press, radio and television
Finding a story; press angles, media hooks, and securing editorial coverage
Touring, live events and experience packages
Viral marketing campaigns
Product launches and artist sponsored products
Recent examples of successful brand and music partnerships, and why they worked so well
Class activity – you’ll each create a successful promotional plan from a range of marketing objectives and budgets
Artist managers – who they are and what they do
The key functions of management
The unique skills required for management
The artist/manager relationship
How do managers get paid? The various structures
The management contract
The new artist manager and where the role is headed
Strategising the artist’s career
Timed targets and action steps
The health and wellbeing of the artist
Entrepreneurialism, Music Industry Bodies and Funding
Working in the music industry – where do I fit?
The music business entrepreneur:
Working in a team
The art of successful networking
Setting targets and monitoring results
Pitching skills and techniques
A guide to writing successful business plans
Trade bodies and organisations:
The MU, The BPI, PRS, PPL, MCPS, The MMF, MPA etc.
Securing funding for artists and new music businesses
Consultation | Your Future In The Music Business
Students on this course also receive a one-to-one consultation to discuss your plans for moving forward in the industry and how we can help.