Music Business Management Studies 2019-2020


It is my great pleasure to reveal part of the curriculum for the next semester. Next year’s music business management studies include at least following areas. More information about the location coming soon.

Booked guest lectures and industry representatives are also impressive to read. They will be added later.

music business book on top of stool made of teak

International Music Management                              


Characteristics of International Music Management

Music business management is commonly associated with the artist management, management of the artist’s business. It is however, there’s much more to this. The business models adopted by the music business are widely used in other industries. The rise of streaming brought with it a new operating environment and new ideals. This requires new skills from the management. As the level of requirement sets bar higher, traditional negotiation-based activities no longer reach the desired results. In this context, management competence’s up-to-date is a relevant issue. The music business is the industry where technology development is most rapidly taken for the industrial use. Nevertheless, the basic idea of everything has remained the same. The first module deals with the basic issues specific to the field, such as active and passive income generation, management’s tasks, responsibilities, and what kind of affiliations are included in each mandate.  

Copyright and Derivative

The music business is still an artist-centered operating environment. Relevant business always stays in the b-to-b sector. This is due to copyright and related (neighboring) rights. In order to benefit from the production, the industry must obtain the consent of the right-holders. The second module discusses in detail the basic idea, content, derivative, and the importance of copyright in the field. We also tangent new businesses and how to get prepared for their wider appearance – and of course, what it means in terms of copyright.

Medium of Exchange

Rights transfer instruments are contracts. Hardly any other industry has agreements that play such a key role as in business based on IPR (immaterial property rights). Without consent from rights holders, investments are unusable. This derivative also requires legal understanding. The third module presents the most important type agreements of the industry (manager agreement, agent agreement, music publishing agreement, recording agreement in various forms, and other agreements transferring rights from the originators to the industrial needs – to the extent that the professional manager must be aware of them.

Streaming and its impact to the Industry

Technological innovations of the 21th century brought with it a completely new music distribution channel and the associated platform for the promotion. Although the laws are pretty much the same as 20 years ago, they are presented differently. This changed the focus areas and their indirect effects. In the past, sales of physical albums with extensive distribution networks as well as radio playing loop are now being sought for streaming services. Live business has also reached the electronic forums. The trend is moving from active to passive. This in turn affects the consumer behavior – the new generation is increasingly going to the gigs on the internet, or visiting metaverse. The artists are naturally seeking their audience there, or trying find their position in these communities. This module discusses the factors influencing the implementation of streaming distribution, how to get there, and the importance it has for the artist and artist’s interest groups. Special attention is given to its indirect effects – that is, how success in those forums reflects the other business areas.

Strategic Social Media

Success in the music business always requires presentation. For this purpose, promotion is run. Although traditional media still have a foothold, promotional strategies require knowledge of how the social media’s mechanisms work. It is not indifferent what the artist’s metadata will consist at any given context. This module reviews the interaction between the content and the form, but also how they should support each other. Also, tracking as a prerequisite for meaningful progression and factors affecting the meaningful differentiation are presented to the extent they impact on the promotion.

Update August 1st. To learn more about current trends about strategic social media, read this book.

Music and Tech

Technological advances bring with it new fields of activity and thus professional groups. Music supervisors and playlist curators are growing professional groups to name a few. Business around the synchronization as its only purpose is not rarity in the industry anymore. The possibilities of a block chain and the introduction of cryptocurrency are elaborated every day. More and more successes are generated from the independent basis. The production is also being used in the most surprisingly contexts. This has created completely new career planning opportunities. It is not uncommon for an actor known as a performing artist to acquire a large part of income the other way as one could first imagine. This module introduces prospects of music&tech and identifies weak signals where the future may us lead.

© Mika Karhumaa 2019