Business of Independent Music Production


Authored by David Bendeth


Course Code: OMPRD-690

Next Term Starts April 8

Graduate-level Course

In today’s music production landscape, independent producers must understand current music business trends, the market, and the hidden opportunities available for building a sustainable career. This course is designed to help students in recognizing revenue streams, budgets, contracts, negotiating skills, self-promotion and marketing, and remuneration for services rendered. The course will cover new technologies, revenue collection tools, and marketing methods, such as SoundExchange, online streaming, and the social media promotion and networking tools that can drive their careers.

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By the end of the course, you will be able to:

  • Describe how producers are compensated for work for hire regarding multiple sources of income
  • Calculate online streaming and the outcome of views
  • Seek alternative income through television and radio and performing rights organizations
  • Calculate song splits and publishing shares
  • Work with record companies in producing artists on their roster
  • Review and explain the various contracts an independent producer will employ
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Overview Syllabus Requirements Instructors Request Info


Lesson 1: Revenue Streams

  • Revenue Opportunities
  • The Role of the Record Producer
  • Managers, Accountants, Lawyers, and Engineers
  • The Physical Recording Process

Lesson 2: Monetizing Your Hard Work

  • Management Contracts and Publishing Contracts
  • Internet, Television, Film, and Radio Income
  • Production, Publishing Advances, and Statements

Lesson 3: Art and Commerce: Meeting in the Middle

  • Setting up an LLC and a Publishing Company
  • Identifying Talent
  • Hiring Different Musicians and Engineers for Your Session
  • Working with Music Manufacturers

Lesson 4: Going to Market with Your Music

  • Choosing a Style of Music to Work With
  • Presentation of Your Work to the Industry and Public
  • Promoting Online
  • Crafting Press Releases

Lesson 5: Working with Record Labels

  • Major Labels and Independent Labels
  • Starting Your Own Record Label
  • Artist/Manager-Owned Labels and Your Involvement

Lesson 6: Creating for Visual Media

  • Discovering Other Musical Avenues
  • Background Music and Commercials
  • Television
  • Building a Library

Lesson 7: The Traveling Producer

  • Taking Your Show on the Road
  • Budgeting for Other Locations
  • Working Remotely
  • Touring with an Artist

Lesson 8: Building Your Reputation in Today’s Market

  • Your Name Is Going on That Production!
  • Building Self-Awareness
  • The Long Haul
  • Continued Education in Music

Lesson 9: Trends and Predictions

  • Staying Ahead of the Curve
  • Old Music Is Also New Music
  • Working and Developing Young Talent

Lesson 10: Your Story, Your Career

  • Avenues of Promotion
  • Making Mistakes and Recovering
  • Investing in You

Lesson 11: Balancing Risk and Reward

  • The Risks of Speculation
  • Communication between Artists and Management
  • The Ever-Changing Landscape

Lesson 12: Review and a Look Forward

  • Recap Contracts
  • Recap Setting up a Label and a Production Company
  • Recap Studio Work and Touring
  • Current Music Production
  • Your Personal Growth and Applied Knowledge


Required Textbooks

Software Requirements

Mac Users

  • OS X 10.9 Mavericks or higher (click here for system requirements)
  • Latest version of Google Chrome

Windows Users

  • Windows 7 or higher (click here for system requirements)
  • Latest version of Google Chrome

Hardware Requirements

  • 500 MB free hard drive space
  • Speakers/monitors and headphones
  • Webcam
  • Internet connection with at least 4 Mbps download speed ( to verify or download the Speedtest by Ookla app from your mobile app store)




London-born David Bendeth has been around music and musicians most of his life as a guitarist, songwriter, producer, and A&R executive. David has worked with and produced more than 80 albums, totaling over 60 million records sold. As an A&R representative for CBS International, BMG Canada, and RCA Records, David signed such acts as Cowboy Junkies, Crash Test Dummies, Vertical Horizon, Bruce Hornsby, and SR-71. David produced and mixed The Red Jumpsuit Apparatus' Don't You Fake It, Breaking Benjamin’s Phobia, and Paramore’s RIOT, amongst others. All three records went platinum in 2007.


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