The Future of Music and the Music Business

Course Authors:

Enrollment Information

1-617-747-2146 (outside US)

Course Info


Most of what we take for granted in the music business today is brand new. A decade ago there was no iPod, YouTube, Myspace, Facebook or Apple iTunes store. A decade from now, the industry will be very different than it is today and anyone seeking a career in music needs to learn to adapt and exploit the trends that are shaping the future of the music business.

Now in its 5th revision, this best selling music business course is about discovering successful strategies for the future. This course is essential for all artists, songwriters and music business people seeking successful careers in the music business.

This course is packed with insight, facts and examples from artists and business people creating the future of music. The discussions, interactive exercises, and interviews with music industry leaders, will get you to challenge the conventional thinking about the business of music, and explore new ways of creating, financing, promoting, and distributing it. Each week, we will examine an aspect of the evolving music industry, reflect on changes that are affecting it, and evaluate how these changes, technologies and powerful trends can directly impact your career.

The music industry has been utterly ripped apart by the impact of technology and social media and will never be the same again. New structures and strategies for driving revenue and opportunity are forming and new approaches to the business of music are working more successfully than past approaches. Find out about what is happening and will happen in the music business and how to apply that to your future.

The Future of Music online course lets you examine scenarios for the future from the perspective of both the creative aspect and the business aspect. Together we will look at the landscape of artists, writers, managers and publishers sitting in the center of an entirely new digital ecosystem.

You will learn:

Based in part, on the best selling book "The Future of Music: Manifesto for the Digital Music Revolution" this online course could be the most important music business course you will ever take. In it, you will learn directly from interviews, quotes, and insight from music industry heavy-hitters such as: Arcade Fire, Pomplamoose, Paramore, Jill Sobule, Steve Jobs and Apple, Terry McBride and Nettwerk, Ian Rogers and Topspin, Courtney Love and Kurt Cobain, Chris Blackwell and Jimmy Buffett, Steve Schnur, Electronic Arts, Primary Wave, Amazon, Rockband, Hypebot, Pandora, and many others.



Lesson 1: Music Industry Overview

Lesson 2: The State of the Industry Today

Lesson 3: The Flow of Money

Lesson 4: Marketing and Promotion

Lesson 5: Distribution

Lesson 6: Artist/Writer Perspectives

Lesson 7: Customer Perspectives

Lesson 8: New Business Models

Lesson 9: Impact of Technology

Lesson 10: What to Do If You Are an Artist/Writer

Lesson 11: What to Do If You Are on the Business Side—Part 1

Lesson 12: What to Do If You Are on the Business Side—Part 2

Faculty bios

About Bruce Houghton


Bruce Houghton is founder and president of Skyline Music, a booking agency that represents a diverse roster of nationally and internationally known talent, including Paula Cole, Black 47, DMC, Arturo Sandoval, Ritchie Blackmore's Night, Taylor Dane, Tom Rush, and many others. A sought-after music industry expert, he serves on the Advisory Boards of MidemNet, New Music Seminar, Band Metrics, and several music technology startups. His music and technology blog covers the music industry and how technology is changing the way music is made, promoted, and monetized. was named to cNet's Top Blog 100.

About Mike King


Mike King is a course author, instructor, and the Chief Marketing Officer at Berklee Online, the online continuing education division of Berklee College of Music. Prior to working at Berklee, he 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,

Mike has written three courses for Berklee Online: Online Music Marketing with Topspin; Music Marketing 101; and Online Music Marketing: Campaign Strategies, Social Media, and Digital Distribution. He also teaches The Future of Music and the Music Business for Berklee Online. 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 The Huffington Post, The Boston Globe, Wired, CNN, The Boston Phoenix, The Chicago Tribune, Music Connection, and Muso. He's also presented at MIDEM, NAMM, CMJ, Rethink Music, NARM, SF Music Tech, Futures of Entertainment @ MIT, and Music 2.0.




About David Purcell


David Purcell, Esq., is the founder and president of Music Royalty Solutions, a business management firm specializing in business management and financial solutions for independent recording, performing, and songwriting artists, as well as independent companies and startups in the entertainment industry. He works as a business and legal affairs consultant for such clients as Roadrunner Records and Robot of the Century Music Publishing.

In addition to teaching with Berklee Online, Purcell is the assistant program director of music business at New York University and runs the summer Music Business Institute, "What Makes A Star." Courses he has taught on both the undergraduate and graduate levels include Landmark Cases in Music Copyright Law, Business Structure of the Music Industry, Economic and Legal Settings of the Music Industry, Village Records (an NYU student-run recorded music label), Village Records Leadership section, Music Industry Internship Supervision, and Managing the Performing Artist.

As a professional drummer and percussionist, Purcell has extensive performance experience both in the U.S. and internationally and has performed and/or recorded with Jesse Malin, Ashford and Simpson, Tom Wopat, Debbie Harry (Blondie), Jody Watley, Neil Patrick Harris, Mink Stole, Princess Superstar, John Cameron Mitchell, Ian Astbury (The Cult), The Rocky Horror Show, Phantom of the Opera, and The Great American Trailer Park Musical. He is a proud graduate of Berklee College of Music and The University of Wisconsin Law School.


Future of Music

The Future of Music: Manifesto for the Digital Music Revolution by Dave Kusek and Gerd Leonhard

The Future of Music will show you cool new ways to find music and connect with your favorite artists. Discover the top-10 truths about the music business of the future and how you can benefit from the explosion in digital music, today and tomorrow.


Hardware Requirements: PC Users

Hardware Requirements: Mac Users

Media / Press Coverage

Performing Songwriter, May, 2005
School Of Rock

"By far the biggest benefit of the online course was the wealth of information. The class took us from music industry basics all the way up to intricate copyright laws."

Get the PDF Article Here

Mass High Tech, May 2, 2005
A cyber-sales superhero from Newbury Comics

"It's not easy being in the music industry nowadays. Whether you're an artist, label executive or record store owner, online technology has made it tougher for everyone in the business to turn a profit unless they keep up with the times. There are rewards, however, for those who do."

Get the PDF Article Here

Mix Online, May 18, 2005
Newbury Comics CEO Enrolls in

"Decades after earning his marketing degree at M.I.T., Newbury Comics CEO Mike Dreese enrolled at, the online extension school of the Berklee College of Music, to study "The Future of Music."

Get the PDF Article Here

Check out The Future of Music book Website

For sample chapters, author tour updates, author blogs, and interactive games, check out the Future of Music book Website by clicking below.

The Future of Music book Website