International Music Marketing: Developing Your Music Career Abroad


Authored by Shain Shapiro


Course Code: OMBUS-320

Next Semester Starts
Jan 10, 2022

Level 3

Level 3

3-Credit Tuition


Non-Credit Tuition


International Music Marketing is designed for artists who want to manage their own careers internationally, and managers and aspiring managers who want to develop their clients’ careers internationally while improving their own business skills. This course introduces the strategies and new structures emerging in the global music industry. It will teach you not only how to manage your music internationally, but also how to profit from your efforts. In the past, the easiest way to develop a music career abroad was to sign a licensing or publishing deal with an overseas representative, major or indie, and have them handle your international business affairs. Now, musicians and managers can release, market, publish, tour, and export music on their own but it requires time, expertise, and strategy. In this course, you will learn that there is more to the music industry than the US, UK, and Japan, and that copyrights—an artist’s pension—can be manipulated, restructured, and sold in myriad ways to enhance opportunities abroad. You will also learn about analytics and big data and how to leverage them to know what works where.

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

  • Develop a music internationalization checklist, which will help define when an artist is deemed export ready
  • Work with music export offices around the world
  • Make the most of international festival opportunities
  • Use analytics to maximize the impact of export activities
  • Take advantage of new revenue opportunities, new ways of manipulating copyrights, and new markets
  • Manage the release of recordings internationally
  • Manage licensing abroad
  • Geo-target marketing campaigns and music tours
  • Understand visas and withholding tax
  • Conduct an independent, international PR campaign
  • Maximize returns from merchandise, sync, and ringback tones
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Lesson 1: Are You Export Ready? Let's Start Developing Your Career Abroad

  • Introducing Music Export
  • Genres
  • Music Development Abroad
  • Developing Your Music Export Checklist
  • The Impact Statement

Lesson 2: National Music Scenes and Data Mining as the New Normal

  • Tricks of the Trade
  • Territorial Releasing
  • National Music Scenes
  • The New Music Industry: Research, Research, Research
  • Timelines and Geography
  • Terminology Matters
  • Planning It Out: Organizing Your Time and Effort
  • Creating a Schedule
  • Designing a Mockup
  • The Secrets of a Cold Call Email

Lesson 3: Export 101

  • Touchpoints
  • Consistency and Consolidation
  • Giving the People What They Want, Even If They Don’t Know It
  • What Works Best at Merch Tables?
  • Consolidating Your Assets
  • Preparedness
  • Deconstructing Past Successes

Lesson 4: Understanding and Marketing Your Strengths: Analytics, Research, Social, and Data

  • Introduction to Analytics
  • Create an Analytics Profile
  • Measuring Our Measurements
  • Social Media Primer
  • Geo-Targeting, the New Normal in Marketing
  • Analytics Platforms and Geo-Tracking
  • Back to Touchpoints

Lesson 5: Rights and Administration: Legal Requirements Abroad

  • Stage 1: Protecting Oneself
  • Stage 2: Monitoring As You Go
  • Stage 3: Exploiting Your Protected Resources
  • Stage 4: Visas and Withholding Tax
  • Adaptive Composition Strategies
  • Administrating Rights

Lesson 6: Working with PR, Radio, and Digital Media

  • Creating an Attractive Product for the Press
  • Image is Everything
  • Comparing Artist Brands
  • Taking Control of Your Product’s Image
  • The Perfect Artist BioAssets
  • Promoting an Unsigned Band
  • Your Own DIY PR Campaign
  • Golden Rules of Contacting a Journalist
  • Working with PR Companies
  • Digital PR
  • Managing a Campaign and Reporting

Lesson 7: Tour de Force: International Booking Primer

  • Market Research: Know Your Targets
  • The UK Agent’s Power
  • Germany
  • Genre is Important
  • New Markets and Opportunities: Assessing Risks
  • Case Study: The Perms
  • South Africa – Travelling Festivals and Block Booking

Lesson 8: The Rise of the Showcase Festival

  • Showcase Festival 101: Why Do They Matter?
  • Performance Tactics: What You Need to Prepare For
  • Networking at Showcase Festivals
  • The Discovery Process: Getting Ahead of the Curve
  • Meeting and Socializing
  • Case Studies

Lesson 9: Non-Traditional Revenue Opportunities

  • Understanding Sync’s Value in Music Export
  • Being a Culture Vulture
  • Sub Publishing
  • Being Pragmatic
  • The Role of the Major Labels
  • If You Are a Vocalist
  • Stems
  • Germany, Mexico, and Columbia
  • Tricks of the Trade
  • Ringback Tones
  • Merchandise: Who Buys What and Where?
  • Lucy Rose
  • Merchandise Bundles

Lesson 10: You and Label Services: Managing Campaigns and Expectations

  • Structuring Release Dates and Understanding Time Frames
  • Self-Releasing and Managing a Campaign by Yourself
  • Pan-European Release vs. Staggering Releases
  • Administration, Reporting, and Analytics

Lesson 11: Developing Markets

  • The Changing Music Export Landscape
  • Festival Expansion: What it Means in Developing Markets
  • Changing Rules
  • Case Studies
  • Putting Market Development into Practice

Lesson 12: Now That You’re Export Ready: Expanding on Our Case Studies

  • Research
  • Recapping Music Export
  • A Final Tour of the World
  • Final Project


Prerequisites and Course-Specific Requirements 

Completion of Music Marketing 101 or Music Business Trends and Strategies, or equivalent knowledge and/or experience is required.

Students should have basic knowledge of the music industry, including an understanding of copyright, publishing, and licensing arrangements.

Required Textbook(s)

After enrolling, please check the Getting Started section of your course for potential deals on required materials. Our Student Deals page also features several discounts you can take advantage of as a current student. Please contact for any questions.

General Course Requirements

Below are the minimum requirements to access the course environment and participate in live chats. Please make sure to also check the Prerequisites and Course-Specific Requirements section above, and ensure your computer meets or exceeds the minimum system requirements for all software needed for your course. 

Mac Users

PC Users

All Users

  • Latest version of  Google Chrome
  • Zoom meeting software
  • Webcam
  • Speakers or headphones
  • External or internal microphone
  • Broadband Internet connection


Shain Shapiro


Originally from Toronto, Canada, Dr. Shain Shapiro has worked in the music industry for over 15 years, including (before founding Sound Diplomacy) over three years as the UK and European Representative of the Canadian Independent Music Association. In this role, he helped produce over 100 showcases across Europe, working with 500 bands in the process. Before that, he was the UK Press Manager for One Little Indian and FatCat Records and an internationally published music journalist, working for Timeout, VICE, and others. He holds a PhD from Birkbeck, University of London, with his dissertation titled “The History of Popular Music Funding in Canada. He has advised on the Momentum Music Fund, guest lectures at four universities in three countries and has spoken at MIDEM, SXSW, WOMEX, Liverpool Soundcity, Eurosonic, Canadian Music Week, and over 30 other festivals and conferences.

Tony Boden


Tony Boden is a booking agent, consultant, panellist and label partner with a background in show promotion and management. He started promoting shows back in 2006 in Brighton, UK before moving on to become a booking agent in summer 2007. Since then he has had experience in booking a host of acts across a variety of different musical genres throughout Europe, Scandinavia, Russia, Latin America, Japan, Australia, New Zealand, South East Asia and India. These have included headlining and supporting tours as well as festivals. He is now an agent with Northern Music Co. Live and continues to represent a powerful and diverse live roster.

What's Next?

When taken for credit, International Music Marketing: Developing Your Music Career Abroad can be applied towards these associated programs:

Associated Degree Majors


Contact our Academic Advisors by phone at 1-866-BERKLEE (U.S.), 1-617-747-2146 (INT'L), or by email at

We can also answer basic questions in the comments below. Please note that all comments are public.


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