The business of music is changing very rapidly. As a result of this, music business degree education is changing as well. A few years ago, reaching stardom in the world of music would be down to sheer luck, being ‘discovered’ on a street corner or while gigging in a dark café. Now, however, we have programs like American Idol, which have redefined how people enter the world of music. And yes, someone who has appeared on a program like American Idol, and it doesn’t even have to be the winner, can sell out stadiums. Not just that, with the advent of the internet, the way music is marketed and sold has changed completely as well.
You may have heard of the ARK Music Factory, an independent label in Los Angeles, CA. They were paid, quite royally, for recording the song ‘Friday’ by Rebecca Black. Rebecca was 13 years old and wanted to be an artist, and her parents were all too happy to fork out thousands for that. The song went down the record books as most hated song on YouTube, currently having 2,626,825 dislikes. But it has also been viewed 107,989,548 times.
What ARK Music Factory did, and they were the first to do this, was to truly capitalize on the changes in the music business. They used social media, public relations, and word of mouth, and created a superstar overnight. This was a radical transformation, and it has shaped, and continues to shape, music business today. What this did was create an opportunity for entrepreneurs to create unique and completely new models that have never seen before. The business as it was before, during the time of The Beatles or even Queen, has now become virtually obsolete.
Technology is something that everybody can access now. Hence, recording an album is a lot more affordable. This, in turn, has enabled far more independent musicians to create and market their music. However, there are now so many of these people around, that demands are changing once again. The thing with music is that someone has always had to stand out and be better than anyone else. The field is hugely competitive, and that has remained unchanged. This is why it is so important for people to complete a degree, because that is what will make them competitive.
During a music business degree, students will learn a lot about how to set up and manage a record label. This involves things such as supervision, music publishing, artist management, A&R, marketing, booking, public relations, and marketing. During a degree program, students learn about all of this, while being fully immersed in the industry at the same time. This allows them to start building a professional network as well, still vital for success in the industry. A good music business degree should include an internship requirement, providing even more opportunities for networking.
Whether you want to be the next Rebecca Black, or the next ARK Music Factory, it all starts with an education.