Music Business 101

Author: John Kellogg | Course Code: OMBUS-110

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The business of music is a global multi-billion dollar industry comprised of a relatively small amount of individuals creating the music, and a whole lot of people doing everything else: working at labels, distribution companies, publishing companies, recording studios, artist management, promotion, producing, and legal counsel. If you are looking to further your career in the business end of the music industry, you cannot be successful without first understanding the entire industry as a whole. Music Business 101 presents a broad overview of the recording and music industry, and explains how the various segments operate on a day-to-day basis: where monies are generated, who the key players are, how deals are made and broken, how to protect your interests, and new developments in digital technology that are changing the way that music is marketed, promoted, distributed, and heard. This course presents the career opportunities that are available within the industry, and the knowledge you'll need to achieve your goals.

By the end of this course, you will:

  • Understand the structure of, and relationship between, the recording, music publishing, marketing and live performance industries.
  • Learn about different career and income opportunities, and develop a strategy to break in and succeed in the music industry.
  • Understand the business aspects involved in producing, manufacturing, marketing, and distributing records.

Lesson 1: Finding the Right Label

A Quick History of Majors and IndiesWhat Is a Major Label?What Is a Subsidiary Label?What Is an Independent Label?

Lesson 2: Picking the Right Deal

Looking at the Artist/A&R RelationshipThe Production DealLabel DealsJoint VenturesPressing and Distribution DealsCross CollateralizationForeign Licensing

Lesson 3: Protecting Your Interests

Resources and AssociationsForming Your BusinessTaking Care of the Band's BusinessWhen Your Name Is Your BusinessRegistering a NameProtecting Your Work

Lesson 4: Signing the Deal

How Long?Who Owns the Record?Generating Royalty Streams: How Labels and Artists Protect their EarningsRoyalties

Lesson 5: Reasons That Record Deals Get Broken

When the Artist is Under Eighteen Years OldThe Seven-Year Rule and YouThe Keyman ClauseDeclaring BankruptcyJust Walk AwayWhen the Contract Amounts to a Restraint of Trade

Lesson 6: Making the Record

Determining Your BudgetChoosing the StudioChoosing the Producer and EngineerMastering

Lesson 7: Preparing for Your Record Release

Getting Your Paperwork in Order: The Mechanical LicenseGetting Your Permissions Together: SamplingPreparing for ManufactureCreating the Cover: Artwork, Graphic Design, or Photograph?Getting Your Information TogetherGetting Your UPC Bar CodeChoosing Your Format and ConfigurationPicking Your ManufacturerPreparing Your MarketArtist's MerchandiseGetting Airplay

Lesson 8: Building a Market

Overview of the Major Label Marketing ProcessRadioGetting PublicityTouringGetting Your Record into StoresFinding a DistributorPreparing the One-SheetWorking out the Deal

Lesson 9: Managing Your Career

Putting Together the Artist TeamThe Varied Roles of an Artist ManagerThe Manager's ResponsibilitiesSigning a Management AgreementThe Road ManagerBusiness ManagersAttorneysBooking AgentsIndependent Contractor vs. EmployeeSigning an Employment Agreement

Lesson 10: To Self-Publish or Not?

Background on Music PublishingDifferent Sources of Music Publishing RoyaltiesThe Publishing DealDifferent Types of Publishing DealsTypes of Publishing IncomeIs Self-Publishing Right for You?

Lesson 11: Licensing Music: Opening New Doors

Using Music in Film, Television, and Other MediaVideo GamesMusic on Your Phone

Lesson 12: What's Next?

Entertainment Marketing: A New Approach to Selling RecordsRecord Labels Redefining ThemselvesRoyalty AdministrationThinking Outside the Box: Starbuck's CoffeeMusic Publishers Working Out a Solution

John Kellogg

Author & Instructor

John P. Kellogg, Esq., is Assistant Chair of the Music Business/Management department at the Berklee College of Music in Boston, MA, and an entertainment attorney. Licensed to practice in the states of New York and Ohio, he has represented recording artists Levert, The O'Jays, Eddie Levert, Sr., LSG, Stat Quo of Shady/Aftermath Records, and G-Dep of Bad Boy Records. He also serves as a member of the management team for the late R&B recording star Gerald Levert, whom he represented throughout his career. Kellogg is President-Elect and a member of the Board of Directors of the Music and Entertainment Industry Educators Association (MEIEA), in addition to being a former board member of the Black Entertainment and Sports Lawyer's Association (BESLA) and a 2005 inductee into the BESLA Hall of Fame. He is the author of the book Take Care of Your Music Business: The Legal and Business Aspects You Need to Know to Grow In the Music Business, as well as numerous legal articles and editorials. A former vocalist with the group Cameo, Kellogg has been profiled in Billboard, Ebony, Black Issues, and In the Black magazines. He holds a Juris Doctor degree from Case Western Reserve University, where he also attended the Weatherhead School of Management. In addition, he holds a Master of Science degree in Television and Radio from the Newhouse School of Communications and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science—both from Syracuse University.

David Purcell


David Purcell, Esq., is the founder and president of Music Royalty Solutions, a business management firm specializing in business management and financial solutions for independent recording, performing, and songwriting artists, as well as independent companies and startups in the entertainment industry. He works as a business and legal affairs consultant for such clients as Roadrunner Records and Robot of the Century Music Publishing.

In addition to teaching with Berklee Online, Purcell is the assistant program director of music business at New York University and runs the summer Music Business Institute, "What Makes A Star." Courses he has taught on both the undergraduate and graduate levels include Landmark Cases in Music Copyright Law, Business Structure of the Music Industry, Economic and Legal Settings of the Music Industry, Village Records (an NYU student-run recorded music label), Village Records Leadership section, Music Industry Internship Supervision, and Managing the Performing Artist.

As a professional drummer and percussionist, Purcell has extensive performance experience both in the U.S. and internationally and has performed and/or recorded with Jesse Malin, Ashford and Simpson, Tom Wopat, Debbie Harry (Blondie), Jody Watley, Neil Patrick Harris, Mink Stole, Princess Superstar, John Cameron Mitchell, Ian Astbury (The Cult), The Rocky Horror Show, Phantom of the Opera, and The Great American Trailer Park Musical. He is a proud graduate of Berklee College of Music and The University of Wisconsin Law School.

Take Care of Your Music Business, Second Edition: Taking the Legal and Business Aspects You Need to Know to 3.0 by John Kellogg

The long awaited installation from the expert in the field of entertainment law. This Second Edition includes new chapters on the 360 degree deal and the emerging digital age as well as samples of the most-used industry contracts, options for business structure, royalty and accounting information, the author's Keys to Success in the world of entertainment and more. The reference book for DIY and label recording artists, managers, producers, songwriters, record company executives, accountants, and attorneys.

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  • Level
  • Duration
    12 weeks
  • 3-Credit Tuition
  • or
  • Non-Credit Tuition Add 6 CEUs
    $1,200 + $25

Fall Term Starts September 29 for Courses and Multi-Course Certificates

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