Damien
Nina Cliff

Member Article

Running a music business

Damian Baetens, Director of Business Development at Generator and MMBE Course Director discusses what it takes to run a music business.

The UK’s music sector is a great success story, contributing £6b of GVA to the UK economy. In March 2010, UK Music published its ‘Liberating Creativity’ report which gives the most recent data on the value of the UK music sector within the creative industries as a whole. The UK is second only to the USA as a source of repertoire and as a nation, UK consumers buy more music per capita than almost anywhere else in the world.

Of the 95,010 people working in the UK music industry, 47% are classed as self-employed, so what does it take to run a music business? This is something that Newcastle-based Generator, UK’s leading music
development agency is here to do. Generator runs a range of programmes to support the music industry in the region and nationally. We have recently formalised our business support programme with an industry approved and fully accredited music business course. Managing A Music Business Enterprise (MMBE) is a full level 3 Diploma that covers the fundamental areas of building a successful music business.

Whether you are a new or established music business, navigating your way in the industry, exploiting opportunities and finding the best route to market can be tough. Headlines such as ‘We earn five grand a year’ in the recent Guardian article on local band Field Music can be pretty disheartening. When you are performing for the love of music, business and money is often secondary.

Running your own music business is essentially like running any other business. There is never a magic formula, but understanding the intricacies of the industry and having a greater understanding of business models and opportunities will certainly give you a better head start on making your music
business a success.

It also depends on what area of the industry you are in, the list is not exhaustive but includes artists, managers, promoters, booking agents, record labels, publishers and a whole raft of music entrepreneurs
taking advantage of emerging opportunities in digital technology and social media.

Formal business training and accelerator programmes for creative industries are on the rise and are becoming a legitimate way to focus on business growth and success. MMBE is taught by industry experts and is designed to covers all commercial music ventures with a firm focus on business.

A solid business grounding can only be an advantage in a fragmented and emerging music industry.

This was posted in Bdaily's Members' News section by Nina Cliff .

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