Although many musicians are quite talented, they often lack the business acumen to commercialize their music products to the fullest. A music business degree focuses on addressing such shortcomings. It equips students with the concepts and methodologies to manage the financial and legal facets of music production. Graduates can help performing artists earn staggering amounts of money from their talents.
Before giving brief descriptions of the career options that are available to music business graduates, here are some of the universities offering the program:
- Berklee University, Massachusetts
- University of Miami, Miami
- University of Colorado Denver, Colorado
Upon graduation, you can become an:
1. Artist Manager
Artist managers or agents promote the commercial interests of their clients. When musicians are busy writing or producing songs, their managers are busy sealing corporate sponsorship deals or recording contracts with record labels. Artist managers also help their clients make sound career decisions and build and widen their fan base. In this career, you will certainly begin by working at an artist management agency. After establishing yourself in the industry, you can be hired by well-established artists. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, agents and business managers of artists earn an average annual salary of $96,410.
2. Music Publisher
Since many music business programs have coursework in music law, graduates are well-positioned to handle music copyright issues. Working as music publishers, they acquire copyright and publish song copyrights. So any person who wishes to use a copyrighted song for commercial purposes must obtain a license and pay a royalty fee. Music publishers also begin by working with music publishing firms before venturing into self-employment. According to Careers in Music, these professionals can earn as little as $20,000 a year to as much as $1 million, depending on the popularity of the songs they copyright.
3. Music Merchandiser
Record companies, artist management agencies and individual artists hire music merchandisers to distribute music products. In this profession, you will develop and implement marketing strategies that can maximize the sales revenue of a song. Other duties include setting up displays at music stores and scheduling promotional events and performances. Job site Indeed reports that music merchandisers earn an average annual salary of $102,000.
4. Music Booking Agent
Musicians, especially those who are upcoming, need to secure regular performance gigs in clubs, bars and other entertainment joints to earn a steady stream of income. Booking agents are responsible for securing these performance engagements. They reach out to an artist’s manager and negotiate performance fees and other fees. According to Careers in Music, booking agents also earn between $20,000 and $ 1million a year, often depending on the number of performance engagement they can secure, and the popularity of artists they can get to perform.
5. Music/Entertainment Facility Manager
Organizations that run concert halls, auditoriums and other types of entertainment venues also hire music business graduates to serve as facility managers. Their main responsibility is to maximize the profitability of the venue. To do this, they can organize live events and liaise with booking agents to secure performance commitments with popular musicians to perform during the event. These managers also manage the cash flow of a music venue. If this is the career that interests you, Indeed says you should expect to earn about $66,000 annually.
So if you have strong business awareness, and would love to work in the music and entertainment industry, then you should earn a bachelor’s degree in music business.