International Music Marketing: Developing Your Music Career Abroad

Author: Shain Shapiro   •   Course Code: OMBUS-320

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 U.S., U.K., 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.

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

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

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.

Leo Silverman


Leo has worked in the UK music industry for over 20 years including roles in marketing, product management, PR and A+R during 11 years at leading independent XL Recordings. He also set up XL U.S. through Beggars Banquet/Matador and was responsible for developing the U.S. careers of their UK signed artists.

Since 2005 Leo has run his own independent label (Brille Records), music publishing company (Psychotic Reaction Music) and music discovery website ( releasing music worldwide, and helping develop the careers of a number of globally successful artists.

Leo is excited by the modern music world with all it’s challenges and rewards and believes there’s never been a better time to be an artist making music."


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

Students should have basic knowledge of the music industry, including an understanding of copyright, publishing, and licensing arrangements. In addition, they should have access to a finished master and the ability to export material, in order to fully apply what they are learning in the course.

Required Textbooks

The Art of Music Publishing: An Entrepreneurial Guide to Publishing and Copyright for the Music, Film, and Media Industries by Helen Gammons, Focal Press

Music Marketing: Press, Promotion, Distribution, and Retail by Mike King, Berklee Press/Hal Leonard

All You Need to Know About the Music Business by Donald S. Passman, Free Press

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

  • 2 GB RAM (4 GB recommended)
  • 500 MB hard drive space
  • Speakers or 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)


Got a question? 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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