About the Course
This course is organized into lectures. It starts with big-picture topics like copyright, income streams, team members, and label responsibilities. The middle lectures dive into the elements of most music projects, such as studio time, production, metadata, distribution, and marketing, with special chapters dedicated to touring and video platforms.
The final lectures offer information on business organization, finances and long-term planning.
While we organized the course to follow the pattern and tasks of most music releases, we encourage you to jump around. Read the parts that are relevant to your project, and then come back to other sections as necessary.
The Music Business Toolbox eBook has now been modified into an interactive course that you can take at your own pace, mark off lectures and assignments as you review/complete them, and more.
History of The Music Business Toolbox
The first edition of the Music Business Toolbox was written to give emerging musicians, especially those who are managing (and likely funding) their own musical projects, the knowledge, advice, and tools that you need to record, package, distribute, market, and make money from their own music. I am happy to say that the first edition, released in 2007, was well received and widely used.
Then in 2015, Music Business Toolbox 2.0 with my friend, Kristin Thomson. With 2.0 comes not only new platforms and players, but also new concepts, strategies, tasks and opportunities.
This 2.0 edition provides you with information about the current landscape, but we are well aware that platforms and strategies will undoubtedly change in the future. You will have to adapt, but some core elements will remain the same. Things like:
Copyright law, and an understanding of how your compositions, sound recordings and brand can make money
The value of budgets and timelines, to forecast your project expenses, delegate project tasks, and stay on schedule
A sense of your own interests and skills, and your relationships with team members that support your musical career
An understanding of your music’s metadata, which has become the key to ownership, attribution, and payment in the digital age
As much change as we’ve already witnessed in the music industry, there is one thing that’s still the same: it is still very, very difficult to break through and become a superstar musician. It would be foolish for us—and for you—to promise that this book would guarantee that level of fame in the music industry. Nobody can promise you that.
But the changing landscape has also meant that there are now more ways than ever to achieve your goals. The Music Business Toolbox is designed to give you advice, guidance and tools, to reduce the mystery and strengthen your core skills. Whatever your aspirations, Music Business Toolbox can help you build and sustain a musical career.
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