Online Master's Degree Course

Next Steps: Getting Paid in Music and Monetizing Your Songwriting Career


Authored by Stacey Peck


Course Code: OSONG-676

Next Semester
Starts Sept 27

Level 6 - Degree Only

Level 6

This course will highlight the many paths and combinations by which artists, performers, songwriters, producers, composers, and diverse creators pursue their goals in music to get paid and build a sustainable career. You will learn how to value and monetize essential income streams from publishing and licensing, to streaming, touring, social media, fan funding, sound design, production, and more.  From mainstream to niche, we will discuss where, when, and how you should optimize and track your income.

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As a new music entrepreneur, you may be intimidated by the process of getting started, but together we will build your knowledge base and confidence in taking your career step by step towards financial stability and creating a variety of income streams. Since hardly any creatives rely on only one- or two-income streams, we will heavily emphasize diversification throughout this course.

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

  • Evaluate your current skill set to recognize where you should immediately focus on earning income, as well as where you can expand their talents and network for future opportunities
  • Identify the vast array of revenue streams available to creators and discuss how these streams are created and then monetized
  • Identify what you can own, what you might not own, and how you can leverage your ownership and make money
  • Identify the value of collaboration and expanding your network of resources
  • Describe the difference between publishing and master revenue and income and how important these two assets are to every creator
  • Discuss how social media works to develop a brand as well as generate income via marketing or direct monetization
  • Discuss how sync licensing works, how to get your songs placed, and the general value of their songs being used in film, TV, trailers, advertising, and more
  • Discuss the options for independent music distribution on digital service providers and how much money can be generated via streams and downloads
  • Create a successful fan-funded model for an album, a tour, a specialty event or other creative musical endeavor
  • Identify all the opportunities for artists, players, and performers to make money from album releases, touring, and working with brands and sponsorships
  • Compare the many niche ways in which artists and music creators follow a more unique path and build a career that is financially stable
  • Build better systems for managing your money and keeping track of your revenue
  • Interpret royalty statements and assess basic deal terms within the industry
  • Begin your entrepreneurial plan for strengthening your economic foundation and building upon your assets for a more successful future
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Overview Syllabus Requirements Instructors Request Info


Lesson 1: Becoming a Music Entrepreneur

  • Identifying Your Key Skill Sets and Your Passion
  • Finding your Champions
  • Dominating a Niche that leads to Working in the Mainstream
  • Diversifying through Collaboration
  • Assignment 1.1: 5-Year Plan

Lesson 2: One of Your Most Valuable Revenue Streams: Publishing

  • The Basics of Publishing, Getting to Know Your Royalties
  • When to Sign with a Publisher: Major Co-pub vs. Indie vs. Admin vs. No deal
  • How to Keep Your Relationship Going with Your Publisher
  • I’ve Recouped, What’s Next?
  • Assignment 2.1: Schedule a Creation
  • Assignment 2.2: Favorite Artist Publishing Companies Research

Lesson 3: Masters and Music Production

  • The Basics of Creating and Owning Masters as an Artist
  • Becoming a Power-House Producer
  • The Wild World of Producer Fees
  • Collecting Your Master Royalties
  • Building Music Libraries
  • Assignment 3.1: Favorite Album Research Project
  • Assignment 3.2: Favorite Producer

Lesson 4: The Art of Sync Licensing

  • What is Sync Licensing?
  • Becoming an Advertising, Film and TV Sync Superstar, Case Study #1
  • Dominating a Field: Writing for Trailers, Case Study #2
  • Alternative Options for Licensing to Keep this Revenue Stream Flowing
  • Assignment 4.1: Episode/Movie Songs Research

Lesson 5: Digital Distribution Services & DSP Streaming Platforms

  • Which DDS is Right for You?
  • Making Money on the DSPs: Apple, Amazon, Spotify & You Guessed It, Many More
  • Playlists and Editorial Features
  • In-Store Retail Streaming, Jukebox Services, Hotels, and Gyms
  • Assignment 5.1: Independent Album Release

Lesson 6: Fan Funding & Brand Partnerships

  • Kickstarter Level One
  • Patreon for the more Developed and Devoted Fan Base
  • Facebook Subscriptions, PayPal, Venmo, and more Direct Asks from Your Fans
  • Landing a Lucky Brand Sponsorship
  • Assignment 6.1: Fan-Funding Project Plan

Lesson 7: Making Money Online and on Social Media

  • Still on Top: YouTube
  • Building your Fanbase Online: Instagram, Facebook, Twitter plus Direct Email
  • TikTok, Triller, and That New New
  • Online Concert Streaming
  • Assignment 7.1: Social Media Six Month Plan 

Lesson 8: Touring and Getting Paid for Performing

  • Artist Development and Beginning to Tour
  • Sustainable Touring Plus VIP Experiences and Merch
  • Joining the Band on the Road
  • MDing, Session Players and Singers, Onscreen Talent and Consulting
  • Assignment 8.1: Artist Development/Touring 18-month Plan

Lesson 9: The World of EDM

  • Making Beats, Sample Packs, Preset packs and More
  • Releasing Music and Remixes
  • DJing Club Nights and Touring
  • Ghost producing and Toplining for EDM
  • Assignment 9.1: Independent EDM Album Release Plan

Lesson 10: Recording Studios, Engineering, Mixing, Mastering, Sound Design, and More

  • Owning a Recording Studio
  • Mixing, Mastering, and Engineering
  • The Wonderful Life of Scoring
  • Sound Design and Editing
  • Assignment 10.1: Studio Expert Essay

Lesson 11: How To Manage Your Money

  • Keeping Track of Your Expenses, and the Basics of Saving
  • Organization and Understanding That You’re a Business from Day 1
  • Understanding the Supply Chain and Planning Ahead
  • Hiring a Business Manager and Working with a Team
  • Assignment 11.1: Five-Year Plan Review and Creative Revenue Streams Essay

Lesson 12: So Many Other Revenue Streams

  • Podcasting and Authoring are Victorious
  • Teaching and Consulting
  • A&R and Music Supervision
  • Building a Multimedia Experience!


Prerequisites and Course-Specific Requirements 

Students should have:

  • An understanding of songwriting, publishing, and creating a master, as well as the basic rules of ownership and how compensation for these sides of a composition work
  • A general knowledge in branding and creating your Artist or Band project
  • Knowledge of basic and popular social media platforms, digital distribution services, streaming platforms, and generally how they work
  • Knowledge of building a fan base and awareness of the multiple ways you can engage fans and earn money
  • An overall knowledge of how the various sectors of the music industry interact, communicate and collaborate

Required Textbook(s)

  • None required

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


Stacey Peck

Author & Instructor

Stacey Peck is an artist manager based in Los Angeles, CA. As a manager, she draws upon her 15+ years of experience in project management, marketing, promotions, creative services, event production, and more to bring a well-rounded approach to her artists. She has led release campaigns for multiple award-winning independent album releases, indie and major label strategies, as well as worked with various A&Rs and publishers to secure record and publishing deals, licenses, and writer-producer album cuts on Gold- and Platinum-selling records (Demi Lovato, Selena Gomez, Jonas Brothers, Big Freedia, and more). A maverick of fan funding models, Stacey has executed and/or consulted on numerous successful campaigns including Bleu’s Kickstarter Music Project of the Year for the album Four. Stacey currently works with an eclectic roster of acts including the writer-producer Bleu, indie act Air Traffic Controller, plus the one and only PPL MVR.


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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