Music Business Trends and Strategies


Authored by Mike King


Course Code: OMBUS-240

Next semester starts April 5

Level 2

Level 2

3-Credit Tuition


Non-Credit Tuition


This course provides an in-depth look at the main structures of the music business, the important changes that are guiding its future, and strategies for creating successful business models. Music Business Trends and Strategies will guide you through the critical areas of the music industry, including publishing and licensing, marketing and promotion, distribution best practices, artist management, and live events and touring.

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You will also learn about fan funding and other forms of creative revenue for musicians, current practices for utilizing video, and new business opportunities. You will gain a deeper understanding of the pressing issues that all musicians, music industry entrepreneurs, managers, and other music business professionals face in these main segments of the music industry, and you will learn how to leverage opportunities to innovate in the field.

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

  • Execute on marketing ideas and techniques for building up awareness targeted at your specific community
  • Analyze the impact of technology on record label operations and finances
  • Discuss current and developing approaches to copyright
  • Recognize the structure, the traditional and emerging partners, and the revenue opportunities available from music publishing
  • Identify players, payment, and pricing models associated with traditional music retail and distribution outlets and the nuances and best practices associated with the current models of music consumption
  • Discuss current and developing approaches to artist management
  • Evaluate the impact of technology and world events on the live event and touring business
  • Apply best practices and recognize opportunities available with third-party video services
  • Analyze how musicians are making money, and how to properly prepare and execute on a fan-funded campaign
  • Discuss new and evolving technological developments that are driving the overall music industry
  • Apply innovative approaches to building a music-focused business

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Lesson 1: The Recorded Music Business

Lesson 2: Music Copyright

Lesson 3: Music Publishing and Licensing

Lesson 4: Music Marketing

Lesson 5: Music Distribution

Lesson 6: Artist Management

Lesson 7: Live Events and Touring

Lesson 8: Video Opportunities and Strategies

Lesson 9: Artist Revenue Streams

Lesson 10: Funding Creative Projects

Lesson 11: Technology in Music: Music Discovery, Music Marketing, Music Consumption

Lesson 12: Music Entrepreneurship and New Business Opportunities


Prerequisites and Course-Specific Requirements 

Completion of Music Business 101, Music Marketing 101, or equivalent knowledge and experience is recommended.

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 (available in the course when joining your first chat)
  • Webcam
  • Speakers or headphones
  • External or internal Microphone
  • Broadband Internet connection


Mike King


Mike King is a course author, instructor, and the Vice President of Enrollment at Berklee College of Music and Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) at Berklee Online. Prior to working at Berklee, Mike was the Marketing/Product Manager at Rykodisc, where he oversaw marketing efforts for label artists including Mickey Hart, Jeb Loy Nichols, Morphine, Jess Klein, Voices On The Verge, Bill Hicks, The Slip, Pork Tornado (Phish), Kelly Joe Phelps, and Frank Zappa's estate. Mike was the Director of Marketing and Managing Editor of Herb Alpert's online musician's resource, ArtistsHouseMusic, for three years.

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Mike has written and teaches three courses for Berklee Online: Music Marketing 101; Online Music Marketing: Campaign Strategies, Social Media, and Digital Distribution; and Music Business Trends and Strategies. His book, Music Marketing: Press, Promotion, Distribution, and Retail was published by Berklee Press in 2009. Mike was recognized as the Best Music Business Teacher by the National Association of Record Industry Professionals (NARIP) in 2011.

Mike has written for Making Music magazine, International Musician, Hypebot, and American Songwriter, and has been quoted in NPR Morning Edition, the Huffington Post, Billboard, The Boston Globe, Wired, CNN, the Boston Phoenix, The Chicago Tribune, Music Connection, and Muso. He's also presented at MIDEM, CMJ, SXSW, NAMM, NARM, SF Music Tech, Futures of Entertainment @ MIT, and Music 2.0. Read Less

Chandler Coyle


Chandler Coyle is a partner and "digital geek" at the Topspin-certified digital marketing firm Music Geek Services based out of Chicago. Music Geek Services provides artist services for the music industry and been Topspin-certified since 2009. Music Geek has worked with, or is currently working with, acts such as Barenaked Ladies, Sloan, Said The Whale, Josh Rouse, The Odds, and Rhett Miller. From 2000-2010, Chandler managed a 10-person web development firm and has done everything from setting up networks to programming content management systems to create graphic designs for clients. Then, in 2010, Coyle brought his web skills to Music Geek Services where his passion is to help bands establish or enhance their online presence to increase their fan base and sell more music.

Bruce Houghton


Bruce Houghton is founder and president of Skyline Artists Agency, representing a diverse roster of national and international touring talent including Zoe Keating, Darlingside, Poco, Freddie McGregor, Roger McGuinn, and many others. A sought-after industry expert and speaker, he has served on the Advisory Boards of Midem and SXSW Accelerator, is a graduate of the prestigious Leadership Music program, and serves as a senior advisor to Bandsintown. His top-ranked sites Hypebot and MusicThinkTank cover the new music industry and the way that technology is changing how music is created, marketed, consumed, and monetized.

Jay Coyle


Jay Coyle is the founder and "Music Geek" at the digital marketing firm, Music Geek Services. His company provides artist services for the music industry and has been a Topspin-certified marketer since 2009. Built upon a life-long omnivorous obsession with marketing bands and mixing in equal parts of knowledge gained from an advertising-focused Journalism degree at the University of Georgia along with his skills running a Marketing consultancy for 5 years in Atlanta, Music Geek Services was finally created in 2008 immediately after Jay left a marketing position at the EMI CMG label in Nashville.

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Jay's first project under the Music Geek moniker was doing work as band archivist and label product manager for Canadian music veterans, Barenaked Ladies. Since then, Jay has worn a lot of hats including sales, marketing, artist development, business development, tour management, and product management. Jay is currently working with Sloan, the Presidents of the United States of America, Jars of Clay, and Carbon Leaf. Jay's core focus is to help further the careers of artists while partnering with them in a "D.I.Y. +" sort of way to have long-lasting and fan-focused careers. Read Less

Benji Rogers


Benji Rogers is a British-born, New York-based entrepreneur, technologist, musician, and the CEO and co-founder of the Dot Blockchain Music Project. A pioneer of the direct artist-to-fan model of music distribution, Rogers founded PledgeMusic in 2009, which is now one of leading artist-to-fan platforms online with more than 4 million users and over 50,000 artists. In his current role heading Dot Blockchain, Rogers is working to revolutionize the commercialization and movement of music in the digital economy. The project aims to create a decentralized global registry of music rights through a new music format by leveraging blockchain technology and to forge meaningful industry partnerships to overhaul how artists get paid. Straddling the worlds of technology and music, Rogers advises a range of tech and music companies on how to bridge the divide between their industries and is also an instructor at Berklee College of Music on digital trends in the industry. A dedicated patron of arts and creativity in all its forms, Rogers’ work is rooted in a belief in the democratizing power of the Internet.

Jeff Apruzzese


Jeff Apruzzese graduated from Berklee College of Music in 2008 with a degree in Music Business. Jeff is the Media and Operations Manager for the Berklee Popular Music Institute, which provides students with an experiential learning experience in live music and performance. He is also a course instructor for Berklee Online’s Concert and Touring course.

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Jeff was the bassist of Passion Pit (signed to Columbia Records) for 8 years. During his time in the band, he toured the world extensively, performed at some of the largest festivals (Lollapalooza, Coachella, Summer Sonic, Austin City Limits), and played on some of the most high profile late night shows (Saturday Night Live, David Letterman, Jimmy Kimmel). A career highlight for Jeff was selling out the iconic Madison Square Garden in New York City on February 13, 2013 during a blizzard. Read Less


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