Start a Music-Related Business

A great way to combine your love of music with your professional aspirations is to start your own music-related business. Although the digital age of music has certainly correlated with an overall decline in music industry revenue, it has also leveled the playing field between the once-dominant major labels and the increasingly successful indie labels and small companies offering services like distribution, publishing, public relations (PR), management and performance booking. This provides a wealth of opportunity for entrepreneurs with a creative drive and an in-depth knowledge of both the music world and effective business models. Students in an online Master of Music in Music Business and Entertainment degree program can expect to study successful small business practices as well as the diversity and particularities of the many different companies establishing themselves in today’s changing music industry.

Developing Your Music Business Skills

As with any business, knowing a variety of business practices and models is key to success. To start, aspiring small business owners should know their own skill sets, including both their strengths and weaknesses. If you are good at finances and budgeting, starting a business in a similar aspect of the industry may help you succeed, such as running an independent record label or managing artists’ and labels’ finances. If you are adept at marketing, networking and building relationships, you could develop a music-specific PR firm or promotion company. Someone with a diverse knowledge of music revenue streams from synchronization and placement for film, TV and video game rights might start a publishing company. Or if you are familiar with different types of music performance venues and festivals, a booking agency can be a lucrative business option.

This is not to say that businesspeople need to limit their options to their areas of strength. Earning a music business degree builds both your strengths and your weaknesses, developing a diversified skill set that can benefit any music-related business.

Knowing Your Market

Success in any music-related business relies on knowing your market. Every musical genre caters to a different crowd, and every population enjoys music differently. Indie labels with relatively small budgets tend to focus on modern social media promotion to build fan bases for their artists. Yet promoters dealing with mainstream pop acts still rely heavily on traditional forms of marketing such as TV, radio and magazines. Publishers representing artists need to understand all possible revenue streams, whereas publishers who focus on building their own catalogs of music to license can tailor that body of work to the aspects of the industry they are most familiar with.

Staying Current with Industry Trends and Integrating New Music Business Ideas

Although modeling your business plan on established practices and methods can build a solid foundation for your music-related business, using your passion for music and creativity to develop new, innovative approaches can help put you on the cutting edge of the industry. With the dawn of the digital age of music and the concurrent decline of music industry revenue, companies have had to constantly think of new ways to build revenue and market new music. Keeping an eye on new industry trends, like the advent of digital streaming, can help inform these and other lucrative business model innovations.

Earning an online Master of Music in Music Business and Entertainment degree can strengthen your knowledge of the current music industry, its small business potential for the creative entrepreneur, and the aspects of business practice necessary to success in the industry. Synthesizing your passion for music, innovative music business ideas, and appropriate business models can help you find a niche in the music-related business world.

Learn about the Frost School of Music’s online master’s in music business and entertainment industries program.


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