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How To Get a Record Deal - Music Artist Development 101

A comprehensive guide to developing a workable strategy for pursuing a career as a professional music artitst
5.0 (1 rating)
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12 students enrolled
Created by Billy Allen
Last updated 4/2016
$10 $75 87% off
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  • 4.5 hours on-demand video
  • Full lifetime access
  • Access on mobile and TV
  • Certificate of Completion
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Having worked in the music industry for over 15 years, I am well aware of the challenges and obstacles that many artists face during the early stages of their careers. 

Given that the music industry is continuously evolving and becoming increasingly competitive, it can often be difficult for aspiring singer-songwriters to develop a solid workable strategy for pursuing careers as professional music artists.

They often find it difficult to devise a workable strategy that suits their particular needs and objectives due to the fact that the Internet is congested with information that is too general and vague to offer any real insight.

This is compounded further by the fact that many modern-day educational programs contain excessive amounts of theory. The curriculum contained in these programs is usually created by tutors and teachers who work in the educational sector as opposed to people who have first hand experience of working in the music industry.

And that is precisely the difficulty that this course aims to address. It’s designed to help aspiring music artists to develop a solid workable strategy for progressing and succeeding in the modern day music industry

The lectures cover a wide range of topics that encompass music business, artist development, marketing, branding, web technology, copyright and contractual agreements. The main focus of the course is Strategy development – knowing what to do and how to do it

 So if you’re intent on pursuing a career as a professional music artist and are looking to increase your chances of securing a record deal then this is definitely the ideal course is for you.

Who is the target audience?
  • Music Artists
  • Singers
  • Songwriters
  • Music Producers
  • Band Members
  • Talent Coordinators
  • NOT FOR Music Hobbyists
  • NOT FOR Independent Music Artists
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What Will I Learn?
Navigate the various subdivisions of the music industry
Develop an effective strategy for fitting the record label profile
Manage and overcome stage fright
Create a confident and unique stage presence
Network effectively with music industry professionals
Develop and improve as a songwriter and composer
Deal with rejection and use constructive feedback to your advantage
Hone your artistic niche and learn how to identify you target audience
Grow a strong social media presence through effective fan engagement
Leverage YouTube to increase exposure and visibility
Develop your brand, image, and musical style
Build a fully functional music artist website
Grow an email list of newsletter subscribers
Protect your musical material from copyright infringement
Exercise your exclusive rights as the creator of original musical works
Partner with a publishing company to open other royalty streams
Identify which type of record deal suits your individual needs and career objectives
Campaign for a record deal in an effective and organized manner
Negotiate the terms and conditions of contractual agreements
View Curriculum
  • A basic understanding of the music industry
  • Familiarity with social media
  • Good interpersonal skills
  • Basic songwriting ability (Preferred)
  • Good work ethic and a commitment to career advancement
  • Serious intention to pursue music as a career
Curriculum For This Course
Expand All 31 Lectures Collapse All 31 Lectures 04:21:21
Music Business 101
5 Lectures 32:46

The introductory lecture outlines the main objectives of the course

Preview 03:19

In this lecture I discuss the main differences between pursuing music as a hobby and pursuing music as a career. I also explain why having a business-orientated mindset is hugely important for modern day music artists

Preview 07:19

In this lecture I explain why having a well-rounded understanding of the music business is so important to career development. I also address some of the common mistakes that many young artists make, particularly during the early stages of their careers

Understanding The Business of Music

This lecture expands further on the contents of lecture 2 and provides a detailed overview of the various subdivisions that make up the overall music industry. I also highlight some of the main advantages that signed artists have over independent artist 

Organizational Structure of The Music Industry

In this lecture I provide an overview of the business model of commercial radio and explain why the majority of independent artists struggle to get their music played on mainstream radio shows

Understanding Commercial Radio
Understanding The Record Label Business Model
4 Lectures 29:40

In this lecture I summarize the main talking points from lectures 2, 3 and 4 and use them to explain why Record Labels have such a major influence on the music industry in general. I also explain the key role that they play when it comes to music marketing   

The Influence of Record Labels

In this lecture I provide a breakdown of the key skills and attributes that record labels tend to look for in modern music artists. The purpose of this lecture is to help you to understand how you can “fit the profile” of a commercially viable music artist

What Record Labels Look For in Modern Artists

In this lecture I recap on some of the content contained in lecture 1 and explain why establishing the right mindset is such an important part of career development. I also present a number of case studies that prove the benefits of having a positive mental attitude

Establishing The Right Mindset

In this lecture I expand further on the contents of lecture 6 and show you how you can begin formulating a workable strategy for progressing and succeeding in the modern day music industry. This lecture lays the foundation for sections 3 and 4 of the course

Developing Your Strategy
Artist Development
6 Lectures 01:04:25

In this lecture I explain why performing live is such an important component of artist development. I also explain how it can help you to establish credibility, gain media exposure, and develop relationships with other industry professionals

The Importance of Performing Live

In this lecture I explain why stage fright is so common in the performing arts. I also explain the environmental and psychological factors that cause it and provide a list of useful strategies that you can use to combat and control it

Overcoming Stage Fright & Performance Anxiety

In this lecture I explain why an artists stage presence has a significant bearing on how an audience reacts to their performance. I also provide a list of strategies and tips that you can use to develop in this area

Preview 08:30

In this lecture I talk about the importance of networking and explain why building strong relationships with other music industry professionals is an essential part of career development

The Importance of Networking

In this lecture I list the main reasons why artists encounter rejection during the early stages of their careers. I also use specific case studies to explain the difference between criticism and constructive feedback

How To Manage Rejection

In this lecture I explain why becoming a proficient songwriter can give a music artist a significant amount of bargaining power when it comes to negotiating record deals and publishing contracts. I also explain the causes of “writer’s block” and the steps you can take to combat it

Songwriting: Practice & Productivity
Music Marketing & Branding
5 Lectures 42:05

In this lecture I talk about the multi-faceted nature of music marketing in the digital age. I also stress why it’s important to avoid a “one size fits all” approach and why understanding your audience demographics is the best way to formulate an effective marketing plan

Introduction to Marketing

In this lecture I continue to talk about the importance of identifying your target audience and explain why profiling your fans is a great way to hone your artistic niche. I also provide a number of strategies you can use to create your ideal fan profile

Preview 06:59

In this lecture I talk about fan engagement and the various ways you can interact with your audience on social media. The strategies that I share in this lecture are designed to help you to build and develop a good long-term rapport with your audience

How To Grow Your Social Media Presence

In this lecture I talk about the role of video production and why it’s such a crucial part of driving brand awareness in the modern digital age. I also outline why the creation of video content is a critical component of modern music marketing

Video Production & Leveraging YouTube

In this lecture I discuss the key differences between marketing and branding and outline the steps you can take to influence how your audience perceives your artistic image and persona

Understanding Branding
Utilizing Web Technology
3 Lectures 29:23

In this lecture I explain why having a dedicated website is a crucial part of marketing and driving brand awareness. I also share some tips and strategies for ensuring that your website is laid out effectively. I conclude the lecture by recommending an automated website builder that will enable you to launch your own website quickly and easily

Building a Music Artist Website

In this lecture I explain why building a list of email subscribers is the number 1 marketing strategy used by the majority of mainstream music artists. I also outline some of the key advantages that email communication has over social media  

Building an Email List

In this lecture I show you how to set up an auto responder to build your database of email addresses. I’ll also show you how you can use your auto responder to streamline and personalize the emails you send to your subscribers

Setting up Auto Responders
Earning Income From Songwriting
4 Lectures 34:35

In this lecture I provide a detailed explanation of creative copyright and outline the steps that you can take to ensure that your musical material is protected by copyright law

Creative Copyright

In this lecture I expand on the contents of lecture 23 and walk you through all of the exclusive rights that you automatically hold as the author and creator of original musical works

Understanding Your Exclusive Rights as an Artist

In this lecture I explain how mechanical copyright pertains to recorded sounds. Or in other words, the copyright that protects the musical performance contained on a physical CD or downloadable MP3. I also include a case study to help differentiate mechanical copyright from creative copyright

Mechanical Copyright

In this lecture I explain the role that music-publishing companies play when it comes to ensuring that songwriters and composers receive royalty payments. I also outline the potential benefits of aligning with a music-publishing company

Music Publishing
Securing a Record Deal
4 Lectures 28:27

In this lecture I cover the 5 main types of record deals that Record labels generally offer to new artists and explain the main contractual conditions that are commonly found within each one

The 5 Main Types of Record Deals

In this lecture I talk about effective campaigning and how to work in an organized and active way towards securing a record deal. I also share some strategies that you can use to strengthen your eligibility

Campaigning For Your Record Deal

In this lecture I explain why negotiation is hugely important when it comes handling contractual dealings. I also share some strategies that you can use when negotiating any contractual offers you may receive from a major record label

Preview 09:03

About the Instructor
4.5 Average rating
81 Reviews
3,155 Students
3 Courses
Recording Engineer and Lecturer in Multimedia Technology.

As founder of Music Production Institute, one of New York’s leading music and multimedia learning facilities, I continually endeavour to verse myself in the various creative and technical disciplines that modern technology has placed at our fingertips.

I believe that living in the digital age should not be seen as a luxury. I believe it should be seen as an opportunity for us explore, innovate, and push the boundaries of commercial accomplishment and personal development


Post Graduate Diploma: International Entrepreneurship Management

Graduated: University of Limerick 2015

Masters Degree: Sonic Arts & Spatial Audio Engineering

Graduated: Queens University Belfast 2011

Bachelors Degree: Music Technology & Video Production

Graduated: Limerick Institute of Technology 2010

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