The Business of Music Marketing


Authored by Mike King


Course Code: OMBUS-522

Next Semester Starts
June 26, 2023

3-Credit Tuition


Non-Credit Tuition


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
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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

  • Market Research
  • Unit Economics
  • Determining Revenue and Costs for Unit Economics
  • Unit Economics in Action
  • Inside the Business of Music Marketing: Christopher O’Donnell
  • Further Unit Economics Considerations
  • Freemium: An Alternative Approach to Pricing
  • Assignment 7: Music Business Finances, Research, and Analysis

Lesson 8: The Intersection of Marketing and Sales 

  • Overview and Organization of Sales and Marketing 
  • Organizing and Building Your Sales Team 
  • Sales Techniques
  • Inside the Business of Music Marketing: Lou Orfanos 
  • The Intersection of Marketing and Sales Technology: KPIs, Tracking, Reporting, and Communication 
  • Marketing Automation Software and Your Sales Team
  • Assignment 8: Developing a Sales Structure and Approach

Lesson 9: Marketing Data Analysis and Reporting 

  • Why Data? Overview and Approach
  • Why Data and Marketing?
  • Data Analysis Framework and Process: Collection and Cleaning of Data
  • Inside the Business of Music Marketing: Liv Buli 
  • Marketing Data Tracking and Utilization
  • Data Visualization
  • Assignment 9: Marketing Data Analysis

Lesson 10: Starting a Music-Focused Business

  • The Basics
  • Validating Your Idea
  • Market Research and Analysis
  • Your Business Infrastructure
  • The Business Plan
  • Inside the Business of Music Marketing: Dave Balter 
  • Assignment 10: Create a Business Plan

Lesson 11: Presenting Your Marketing Ideas and Results of Your Efforts

  • When, What, and How to Present
  • Providing Updates on Your Results
  • Anatomy of a Marketing Plan
  • Marketing Plan Details
  • Public Speaking
  • Assignment 11: Create a Marketing Plan

Lesson 12: Pulling It All Together: The Business of Music Marketing Case Studies

  • David Macias from Thirty Tigers: Diversification of Efforts
  • Chris Wrenn from Bridge Nine Records: Guerilla Marketing
  • Kate Schutt, Songwriter, Producer, and Musician: Connecting with People
  • Kiran Ghandi aka Madame Ghandi: Turning Art into Business


Prerequisites and Course-Specific Requirements 

This course does not have any prerequisites.

Recommended 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


Mike King


Prior to authoring courses with Berklee Online, Mike King 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 also 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 four courses for Berklee Online, and 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.

He has written for Making Music magazine, International Musician, Hypebot, and American Songwriter, and has been quoted in the Huffington Post, Billboard, The Boston Globe, WiredThe Chicago Tribune, and more. He has also presented at MIDEM, CMJ, SXSW, NAMM, and more. Read Less

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

What's Next?

When taken for credit, The Business of Music Marketing can be applied towards these associated programs:

Associated Degree Majors


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