module specification

LT5080 - Music Industry Management (2017/18)

Module specification Module approved to run in 2017/18
Module title Music Industry Management
Module level Intermediate (05)
Credit rating for module 15
School Guildhall School of Business and Law
Total study hours 150
120 hours Guided independent study
30 hours Scheduled learning & teaching activities
Assessment components
Type Weighting Qualifying mark Description
Coursework 60%   Assessment 1: Coursework 2,500 words
Unseen Examination 40%   Assessment 2 Exam 2 hours
Running in 2017/18 No instances running in the year

Module summary

This module develops student’s knowledge of the fast-evolving music industry by focussing on historical and contemporary issues and the acquisition of practical skills.

It provides an intellectual framework for the past, present and potential future management of the music industry, within the UK and internationally. The module uses case study examples and industry frameworks, and enables students to develop the necessary specific management competencies to operate successfully as managers and/or artists within the music industry.

It will cover all key areas from artist management agreements, recording agreements, digital technology and business models, production, royalties and music publishing, through to live music, distribution, social media, promotion, marketing, copyright and core legal issues.

The aim is to provide students with a comprehensive understanding of the scope and nature of the music business management processes, from the development of creative ‘product’, to its management, promotion and consumption. Students will have the opportunity to explore how management and business practice is applied across key music industry sectors, from independent businesses, through to large corporations.

Module aims

1. To explain the role of management and managers in the music industry

2. To explain the contractual relationships and legal and financial implications

3. To enable students to understand how to manage the business affairs of performing artists, and management companies in the music industry

5. Recognise the tension between managing the creative process and meeting end consumer needs

6. To enable students to express the depth of their discipline intrinsic knowledge and transferable discipline skills.

7. To develop the attributes of self-evaluation and a creative and ethical approach in a variety of contexts


  1. The pivotal role of the music industry manager
  2. Artist Management business operations, protecting and developing the manager’s business interests
  3. Advising performing artists on their careers – the manager as entrepreneur and svengali.
  4. Maximising a performing artist’s earnings and longevity
  5. Composition and recording, music publishing, live music and gigs, A&R, promotion and development, marketing and social media and digital business, independent artists, major corporations, legal and contracts outline, royalties, copyright, retail and distribution.
  6. The relationship between the manager, performing artists, and other parties and how to structure the necessary contracts between them all.
  7. Business ideas and opportunities; enterprise start-up; legal forms of business entity; sources of funds
  8. Business models in the modern industry incl; fan-funding sites, record labels, social media, digital music providers, streaming, downloading, internet radio, cloud services, brands and licensing

Learning and teaching

This module will be delivered as a series of 3 hour workshops. The workshops will focus on key topics each week with a related focus on group and individual activities – research, case study, presentations, and problem solving questions in relation to music management and business practice issues.

Where possible, guest speakers will be invited to lecture.

The module will use a blended learning strategy where student learning is supported and enhanced by both classroom contact and on-line support.

Reflective learning will be based around tasks where students will be invited to submit research, as well as feedback on their process and learning experience surrounding the task. Multimedia tools – e.g. vlogs, will be used to generate comments for the student and class to reflect on.

The module and assessment process effectively assists in improving student employability through: understanding how music businesses are run, professional experience, reflection on personal development, consideration of career goals and articulation of skills and knowledge gains.

Learning outcomes

On successful completion of the module, students will:

  1. Analyse the role and importance of the music industry manager.
  2. Be able to propose and evaluate managerial advice for performing artists in hypothetical situations, including how to break an artist.
  3. Understand and analyse the complex relationships between the manager, record company, promoter, lawyer, agent and performing artist.
  4. Evaluate new artist management businesses
  5. Evaluate good contractual drafting and arrangements between the manager, artist and third parties.
  6. Demonstrate the application of the subject specific knowledge and transferable academic skills using different problem solving approaches requiring an external awareness

Assessment strategy

Formative assessment

Formative assessment will be carried out during sessions where students will discuss issues and themes, and carry out problem-orientated tasks arising from the role play and case studies relating to issues pertinent to the music industry and management.

Summative Assessment:

  1. The summative assessment will require the student to research and write a related 2,500 artist management report. Students will analyse and critique the business and management handling of a chosen artist’s career, or a particular phase in their career. The aim is to consider the range of factors impacting the success or decline of the artist’s career, and the way in which they have been ‘handled’ by management, and the  impact on their ability to generate a livelihood.
  2. Unseen exam testing students understanding of a range of music management and business practice topics as outlined above. The exam will feature a range of short form questions as well as an essay section.


Passman, D. (2015) All you need to know about the Music Business. Penguin Books

Harrison,A (2015) Music The Business: The Essential Guide to the Law and the Deals. Virgin Books

Krasilovsky, W. and Shemel, S. (2013) This Business Of Music. Billboard Books, 10th Ed

Music Managers Forum (2014) The MMF Guide To Professional Music Management. Sanctuary Publishing

Davis, S. & Laing, D. (2009) The Guerilla Guide To The Music Business. Continuum International Publishing Group

Kemp, C. (2005) Music Industry Management and Promotion. 2nd edition. Elm Publications

Kusek, D & Leonhard, G (2012) The Future of Music: Manifesto for the Digital Music Revolution (Omnibus Press)

Bagehot , R. & Kanaar, N. (2012) Music Business Agreements. Sweet & Maxwell, Second edition

Anderson, C. (2006): The Long Tail London, Random House

Smith, J. (1998) The Sounds of Commerce: Marketing Popular Film Music (Film and Culture Series). Chichester: Columbia University Press

Tremblay, T.O. (2011) Music Licensing Rights & Royalty Issues. New York: Nova Science Publishers Inc

Branson, R. (1998) Losing My Virginity: How I've Had Fun & Made a Fortune Doing Business My Way

Steve Jobs: The Exclusive Biography

Burns, P. (2011) Entrepreneurship and Small Business, 3rd ed. Palgrave, Hampshire, UK.

Parker, S. (2009) The Economics of Entrepreneurship. Cambridge University Press: Cambridge

Barrow,C.The Business Plan Workbook: The Definitive Guide to Researching, Writing up and Presenting a Winning Plan

Bannatyne, D. Anyone Can Do It: My Story

King, M. (2009) Music Marketing: Press, Promotion, Distribution, and Retail. Berklee: Berklee Press Publications

McLoughlin, N (2012) Rock and Popular Music in Ireland before and after U2 Dublin: Irish Academic Press

Music Week
The Financial Times

Websites (Music Managers Forum)  (The Association of Independent Music’s site)