What Can I do With a Music Business Degree?

Learn all you need to know about music careers and the variety of career paths a music business degree can create...


The world of music business is an exciting industry with a huge range of opportunities available.

From music management and music publishing to working for a record label, in artist management or the live music industry, there are myriad roles out there.

By studying one of our Music Business degree courses, you can equip yourselves with the skills to take your industry aspirations to the next level.

Why study a Music Business degree?

Music careers come in many different shapes and forms as the industry continues to grow and evolve. Our School of Music Business is well placed within the industry to serve as the starting block of a successful career in the multifaceted music industry.

Our undergraduate Music Business courses aim to offer students a range of practical skills alongside classroom music theory to help them make the most of any professional development opportunities.

Whether it be providing a deep understanding of event management, music publishing, how to work at a record label to researching consumer trends around music marketing and live music, there are various ways of preparing students to take on the wider music industry. We hope our comprehensive programme of courses covers every angle. 

What do you study on a Music Business degree?


A Music Business BA needs to match up to the rainbow of opportunities afforded by the music industry itself.

If you are to enjoy a successful career in the music business, then the skills gained by studying should ensure you are industry ready once you have reached the point where you are on the brink of leaving the classroom.

Those wishing to study a three-year Music Business degree programme at ICMP can choose from:

For students looking to progress their studies to postgraduate level we also run the MA Music Business masters course.

For those looking for a shorter course, we also offer the Music Business and Entrepreneurship programme as a one year Cert HE course

Is music business difficult?

The music industry can be complex and very competitive, meaning it can be a challenge to break into. 

Still, this does not mean it is impossible as it continues to evolve and create more jobs and roles.

Getting to grips with music publishing, music licensing or record labels can be an effective way of giving yourself the knowledge to take advantage of any opportunity that comes your way."

Whether you are a music producer, songwriter or sound engineer, you will still have what it takes to break into the music industry if you work hard, are aware of contemporary issues impacting the sector and take the necessary steps to gain great knowledge and experience.

What does music business do? 

'The music business' is a term used to describe the various companies, professionals and organisations involved in the creation, selling and distribution of music.

While artists and bands are responsible for the songs and sounds, it's down to the different companies and professionals involved within the business to ensure that music goes from the recording studio to the fans. There are many different organisations and individuals involved in this process.

Employability skills - how can a Music Business degree help?

Studying music business can be a brilliant way of refining a range of necessary employability skills and abilities that will make you employable within a range of creative industries.

By focusing on learning the processes involved in the music industry, you can give yourself the best chance of fulfilling any career aspirations or adapting yourself to one or many disciplines within other sides of the entertainment industry. 

This combined with gaining practical experience in the music industry can be invaluable in helping you on your journey.

Some of the skills you can learn by studying music business include:

  • Business planning
  • Marketing campaigns
  • Project management
  • Financial management
  • Excellent communication skills
  • Event planning
  • Digital strategies
  • Digital distribution

The salary range for roles within music business can vary vastly depending on what stage of your career you are at and whether you're working as a freelance professional or with a company. Negotiating contracts can be part of your work but if you have undertaken further study and music business degrees, then you will be more qualified and should expect a higher salary. 

If you are working as a freelancer within the creative industries, then be prepared to negotiate around hourly/daily or monthly rates for your role. 


Some of the numerous music business roles are below:

Music Producer

Studying a Music Business degree can provide the skills and knowledge needed to produce and manage the creation of music recordings whether that be in a professional recording studio or when using a home set up. 

The role can include finding and signing artists, managing recording sessions, and overseeing the production of a finished track or audio product, either for a band or a piece of media such as an advert or film soundtrack. 

Music Publisher

Music Publishers work with songwriters and composers to promote their music, license their songs, and collect royalties. A Music Business degree can provide a solid foundation in music copyright law, marketing, and publishing business practices. 

Music Venue Manager

Venue Managers are responsible for managing the day-to-day operations of a music venue, including booking artists, coordinating events, managing staff, and handling finances. A Music Business degree can provide the skills needed to excel in this role. 

Music Publicist

Music Publicists work to promote musicians and their music through various channels such as social media, radio, and streaming services. A Music Business degree can provide training in marketing strategies, social media and the latest digital marketing techniques. 

Artist Manager

Artist Managers work closely with musicians to help them navigate their career, negotiate contracts, and manage finances. A Music Business degree can provide the knowledge needed to develop a successful artist management career in today's popular music world. 

Music Licensing Specialist

Music Licensing Specialists work with artists, publishers, and music libraries to license music for use in films, TV shows, commercials, and other media. A Music Business degree can provide training in the legal and business aspects of music licensing as well as more experience in working with collection societies and contract negotiation. 

Music Event Planner

Music Event Planners are responsible for coordinating music festivals, concerts, and other live events. A Music Business degree can provide the skills needed to manage large-scale events and ensure their success as well as how to use marketing channels such as social media to help promote any events or live gigs. 

Music Entrepreneur

A Music Business degree can provide the skills and knowledge needed to start a successful music-related business, whether it's a record label, music venue, or music production company. With the right combination of music business degrees, savvy and musical passion, the possibilities are endless.

Recording Studios Manager 

A Music Business degree can give you the skill and knowledge to run a recording studios. You will need to be an effective communicator, able to liaise with artist management, sound engineering professionals, a record company and sometimes the artists themselves. You will also be expected to be well organised and able to ensure sessions run up to time and to deadlines. 

Financial management can also be an important aspect of the role as can a love for recorded music. If you are just starting out with your own business venture, then it is likely you will have to look after every aspect of your operation. It's only after you've achieved a certain level of success that you will look to expand and assign different roles to other members of your team. 

How can a Music Business degree help me with my career?

As a Music Business student at ICMP, undertaking a three-year course will help you learn an extensive range of core business principles, and develop specific skills pertinent to the music and wider creative industries.

You’ll become part of the ICMP music business community and will be challenged to build your skills in marketing and promotion, negotiations and contract law, management, financial and business planning, project management, and strategic and new business development."

The best way to approach this is to employ effective research methods, look at media outlets, other musicians, popular culture and work out where you want to work in this rapidly changing musical landscape. 

The best musicians are entrepreneurs

In the current music industry landscape, it's more important than ever for musicians and artists to think beyond their songs, instruments and gear. 

Due to the way the digital world now works, emerging artists need to look at themselves as businesses to leverage every opportunity to get their sounds heard by as many people as possible. 

Adopting an entrepreneurial mindset can be a highly effective way of creating opportunities where they may not previously exist. 

If you are looking to pursue professional development in careers such as music management or music promotion or even run your own record label or company, work in sound engineering or a recordings studio, then be prepared to strive hard and make connections through your college and dedicated networking events.

How to choose the right music business course for me

Our industry-focused approach to our Music Business degrees means we really get to understand you and your ambitions as an entrepreneur or future industry executive.

We’ll provide you with a learning experience that’s unique to you, and will work alongside you to promote your natural talent and explore your future career goals, providing opportunities for internships, new business start-ups, networking and artist development.

We understand that each of our students will have different career motivations and your vision of ‘success’ will be individual, so we encourage you to follow your own distinct path.

ICMP Music Business Success Stories

Lewis Speirs


Since leaving ICMP in 2021, Lewis has been making waves within the grassroots music sector.

As both an artist and an entrepreneur, Lewis has launched and grown two successful companies in Shoot First - a PR and Digital Marketing agency for emerging artists - and One For The Ditch – a promotions company working on supporting the next generation of fans and musicians alike within the emerging music scene; all while being the frontman of the fast growing alt rock band Picture The Scene.

Find out more.

Luana Pires


Luana is a Music Business and Entrepreneurship degree alumna and the latest recipient of the Ace Accelerator @Bureau fund.  

As part of the award, Luana and her business Aguaia will benefit from office space at the Bureau in the Design District alongside mentoring opportunities from ICMP's Ace and developer Knight Dragon's Richard Margree. 

The venture is currently working with rap artist Slicko on his debut album and Duque, an emerging talent with new material due in 2023. 

Find out more.

Carl Casagrande


Carl is not only a recent graduate of our Music Business Degree but a respected music manager within the live music industry. Carl has spent his time travelling across the world as a tour manager for some of the biggest guitar bands and artists before it came to a sudden halt thanks to the pandemic. It was at this point that he decided to spend time with music theory, adding extra value to his vast experiences within the live sector. 

Originally hailing from Brazil, this mature student has been working in the industry for his entire life, playing with and working with various top bands until he was drawn into its inner-workings. 

Find out more.

Our conclusion on Music Business degrees

The music industry is in a constant of evolution as shown by the way our music business courses have expanded to include different areas, including digital marketing and the live music industry. 

If you are looking to the music business for a career and wondering where to start, then get in touch with our admissions team who will be able to assist and answer any questions you may have on our different Music Business degrees. Good luck!

Equally focused on Music Business & Entrepreneurship

The music business is an incredibly competitive environment – and over the last 30 years, ICMP has developed and refined a cutting-edge degree that now focuses equally on entrepreneurship. We’re the first music school in the UK to recognise that you need to understand not just marketing, management, finance, digital, creativity and all the structures and quirks that make the industry unique, but also how to forge your own path, create your own job, and change the future for the better. With access to ICMP’s fully equipped music facilities, exclusive industry events, masterclasses and a peerless contact network, we have it all covered.

To completely immerse yourself in your music career, email our friendly Admissions Team at enquiries@icmp.ac.uk or call them on 020 7328 0222.

School of Music Business
by Jim Ottewill
April 21, 2023
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