The Business of Music Marketing


Authored by Mike King


Course Code: OMBUS-522

Next Term Starts January 14

3-Credit, Graduate Level Course

In The Business of Music Marketing, you will gain a professional-level knowledge of cutting edge marketing techniques essential for any music-centric business. Starting with evergreen marketing best practices, you will learn specific approaches for building an engaged community, applying different forms of media for visibility, and utilizing professional marketing tools to plan, execute, and report back on results. Learn how to plan and support a product release, create and execute an integrated marketing campaign, and explore ways to create and run a successful music business. You will master marketing philosophy and gain critical knowledge and skills for both music product and marketing. 

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

  • Synthesize web analytics to develop the niche of an artist or music product and target the relevant audience
  • Create an effective product and pricing strategy, along with a supporting business plan 
  • Create a professional music marketing plan
  • Analyze marketing segments available to musicians and music products, with a particular focus on online-related initiatives
  • Develop sophisticated approaches to marketing and selling music and music-related products online, including implementing web optimization strategies
  • Apply the essential pillars of successful music marketing campaigns 
  • Implement effective messaging, branding, and communication for artists or music-related companies

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Overview Syllabus Requirements Instructors Request Info


Lesson 1: Setting the Stage

  • What Is Music Marketing?
  • Essential Framework to Creating a Successful Marketing Campaign
  • The Breadth and Scope of Music Marketing
  • Product Trends in Music Business and Associated Marketing Opportunities
  • Inside the Business of Music Marketing: Kevin Breuner 
  • Your Music Marketing Tool Kit
  • Assignment 1: Music Marketing Campaign Analysis and Comparison 

Lesson 2: Branding

  • Branding Overview
  • An Analytical Approach to Defining Brand: Market and Brand Research
  • Inside the Business of Music Marketing: Jeff Jampol
  • Brand Stewardship and Brand Marketing
  • Brand and Behavioral Science
  • Assignment 2: Brand vs. Time 

Lesson 3: Integrated Marketing Communication Campaigns: Introduction and Owned Media

  • Marketing Trifecta: Owned, Paid, and Earned Media 
  • Integrated Marketing: Convergence of Owned, Paid, and Earned Media
  • Owned Media: Web
  • Owned Media: Social 
  • Owned Media: Blog 
  • Assignment 3: Owned Media Research and Analysis 

Lesson 4: Integrated Marketing Communication Campaigns: Paid and Earned Media

  • Paid Media: Google and YouTube, Paid Social, and Appropriate Third-Party Outlets
  • Earned Media: Press and Communication
  • Inside the Business of Music Marketing: Russell Ward
  • Earned Media: Social, Word of Mouth, and Buzz Marketing Campaigns
  • Paid Endeavors Driving Earned Results
  • Additional Forms of Initiating and Nurturing Earned Media
  • Assignment 4: Owned, Paid, and Earned Media: Best Practices 

Lesson 5: Music Marketing Tools and Technology

  • The Medium Is the Message: An Integrated Approach to Music Marketing and Commerce Tools
  • Successful
  •  Approaches to Creating Your Marketing Stack
  • Website Development, E-Commerce, and Web Analytics Tools and Approach
  • Marketing Communication Tools: Social and Email
  • Inside the Business of Music Marketing: Michael Fiebach 
  • Case Study: DJ Shadow - The Mountain Will Fall Album Release
  • Assignment 5: Music Marketing Technology Stack 

Lesson 6: Building and Engaging your Community 

  • Community and Communication: Foundation and Approach 
  • Community Engagement and Expansion: Referral and Word of Mouth 
  • The Nitty Gritty of Acquisition
  • Email Acquisition
  • Social Acquisition
  • Assignment 6: Acquisition Deep Dive 

Lesson 7: Go to Market Strategy

  • Unit Economics
  • Product Launch
  • Inside the Business of Music Marketing: Christopher O’Donnell
  • Pricing and Participation
  • Assignment 7: Create a Music Product and Pricing Plan

Lesson 8: Marketing Creative

  • Identifying Your Goals and Associated Outlets
  • Campaign Strategy: Creative Alignment
  • Inside the Business of Music Marketing: Rob Cosinuke
  • SEO Considerations, Testing, and Execution
  • Assignment 8: Create an Effective Marketing Creative

Lesson 9: Marketing and Sales Data Analytics

  • Capturing Effective Data
  • Data Visualization
  • Inside the Business of Music Marketing: Alex White
  • Utilizing Data to Make Marketing Decisions
  • Assignment 9: Outline the Most Important Trends

Lesson 10: Starting and Operating a Music-Focused Business

  • Identifying Your Target Market
  • Creating a Business Plan
  • Inside the Business of Music Marketing: David Macias
  • Building Your Team and Raising Capital
  • Assignment 10: Create a Business Plan

Lesson 11: Presenting Your Marketing Ideas

  • Creating a Marketing Plan
  • Public Speaking and Presentation
  • Inside the Business of Music Marketing: Seth Godin
  • Effective Use of Presentation Utilizing Audio and Visuals
  • Assignment 11: Marketing Plan

Lesson 12: Marketing Case Study Deep Dives: Planning, Execution, Results

  • Madame Ghandi: Kirin Ghandi on Growing a Base
  • Charlie Puth: Utilizing YouTube for Marketing Success
  • Jason Feinberg/Pandora: Product Release Essentials
  • Dave Balter/BzzAgent


Recommended Textbooks

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

Permission Marketing by Seth Godin, Pocket Books

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 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)




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



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.

To learn more about Jay Coyle or Music Geek Services, visit:

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A public speaker and global media strategist, Russell Ward started The Confluence years ago before “digital” and “publicity” were a unified concept. Bringing the two together, Russell has led hundreds successful campaigns across industries and mediums and on behalf of brands and causes from over 20 countries. He maintains cross-industry relationships with press, artists, brands and tastemakers alike. In addition to leading campaigns in tech, blockchain, fashion, luxury lifestyle, travel and beyond, Russell has been the publicist and/or filmmaker for Coachella, Lightning in a Bottle, Shambhala, Wonderfruit, Zoukout, Ondalinda, Bestival Bali, Envision, Decibel, The Great Convergence, Northern Nights, DirtyBird Campout, Symbiosis and engaged national campaigns at EDC and SXSW.

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Currently, Russell leads campaign strategy, business development, and production at The Confluence and is crafting an ICO to disrupt the booking process for live events globally. He has led a course on tastemaker marketing at General Assembly in Santa Monica, CA and been seen in the The Times of London, by LA Weekly, and NBC LA as a pioneer of digital content strategy. Russell graduated from the Leeds School of Business at the University of Colorado at Boulder with a BA in Marketing with an emphasis in entrepreneurship. Additionally, Russell is part owner of several global festivals including VujaDay in Barbados, Tmrw.Tday in Jamaica, and Restival Global, whose next event takes place in Oaxaca this New Years. Read Less


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

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