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Online Music Business Degree Program Information

Learn about online degrees with music business courses. Get an overview of the program types, requirements and course descriptions available for this field.

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Essential Information

Online bachelor's degree programs in music management are rare. They may be offered as full four-year degree programs or as completion programs that require the student to have finished general education requirements through an associate's degree program.

The curriculum includes courses in basic business topics, such as accounting, finance, marketing and management. Students also learn about topics specific to the music business, such as copyright and publishing law, artist management and record label development. They may also take classes and seminars in critical listening, networking and music distribution. For technical courses in recording or editing, special software and hardware might be required. Many programs call for a final project before graduation.

Bachelor's Degrees in Music Business

Those who enroll in an online bachelor's degree program in the music industry are exposed to traditional business subjects. However, they also focus on the specific needs and requirements of music industry performers, agents, promoters and labels. Concepts relevant to the music industry include artist management, intellectual property rights, contracts, publishing and revenue streams.

Information and Requirements

Distance-education programs for music business are not numerous. Some offer a 4-year curriculum online while others are degree-completion programs, requiring applicants to complete the equivalent of an associate's degree in general education courses before taking music industry courses on the Web. Some programs are designed for business majors who are interested in the music industry, while others are intended for performers who wish to hone their musical abilities while sharpening their business acumen. Schools may present music business as its own field or as part of a business program targeting a broader spread of entertainment fields.

Students interested in the technical aspects of studio recording, editing and distribution might wish to consider acquiring a fairly powerful computer, with memory and speed sufficient to accommodate desktop studio software and hardware. Those taking courses with fewer technical requirements need a computer with modern multimedia capabilities and high-speed connectivity to the Internet.

Music Business Courses

A music business curriculum generally includes core business courses, technical media training and management classes specific to issues in the media industry. Most classes are completed entirely online, but some may require synchronous connection with a live classroom at scheduled times. Sample courses may include:

Business Ethics

Case studies present management decisions that illustrate key ethical problems. Students learn to analyze the roles and responsibilities of a performer, manager and company when it comes to responsible decision-making.

Business Law

Legal issues pertinent to music entertainment are explored. In particular, lessons may discuss copyright, publishing, insurance, taxes, contracts and the formation of business entities.

Studio Techniques

Music managers must understand the process of producing, preparing and distributing audio products. Examples range from the industry's label-dominated vinyl roots to desktop self-publishing.

Music Business Management

The traditional music company model is compared to the current state of independent music production and distribution. Students are asked to evaluate the management roles played in each model.

Online Music Marketing

This course addresses campaign techniques and strategies specific to emerging platforms. Topics include social media, digital distribution and online event promotion.

Concert Management

Issues specific to concerts and touring are covered, from small-venue acoustic gigs to complex arena spectacles. Topics include contracts, public safety, unions, equipment and transportation.


Career Information

An online bachelor's degree in music business is a solid launching pad for an entry-level job in a talent agency, publishing company, management company, public relations firm or music studio. The range of positions and companies is vast, and the future of the music industry is difficult to predict, so job prospect and salary information is likely to be imprecise.

Online bachelor's degree programs in music business or management, while rare, can be completed fully online. Courses cover a variety of business topics as they relate to the music industry, from marketing to ethics and law.

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