What Are My Career Options in Music Merchandising?

If you love music and have a strong business sense, then an educational background in music merchandising can open up a host of career opportunities in the promotion of artists, music and instruments. Read on to learn about various career options in this field. Schools offering Music Business degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

Career Overview

Many careers within the music merchandising field require you to ensure the relevance of the artist you are working with. Most careers are found working behind the scenes and involve increasing profits resulting from effective product placement and marketing. The products can include the musicians, their music and various related merchandise.

Important Facts About This Occupational Field

Required Education High school diploma or equivalent; associate and bachelor's degree in business or music; a master's degree could be beneficial
Key Skills Finance, marketing and advertising; music composition, genre types and music theory
Work Environment Typical business hours, sometimes long hours; business meetings, frequent travel
Similar Occupations Advertising, Promotions, and Marketing Managers; Cost Estimators; Public Relations Specialist; Administrative Services Manager; Financial Managers

Career Opportunities

Opportunities exist in sales, wholesale supplying and music importing. Depending on your area of education and your understanding of musical instruments, you can find careers manufacturing and repairing instruments, recording equipment and accessories. Customer service positions can also be found at retail, music and record stores. Some of the most popular career fields include music merchandising, music management, music publishing, and music promotion.

Music Merchandising

Careers in this field are usually positions located in the retail marketing departments of music-related companies, which can include online or brick-and-mortar retailers and recording companies. As a music merchandiser, you may have a variety of duties, including storefront and online product placement, managing product inventory, creating new marketing strategies, assistance in product development and providing accurate product descriptions. You may also be involved in tracking product sales and responding to retail competition. If you work through an online retail store, you may also assist in social media marketing.

Some specific jobs in this field include merchandise displayer and market research analyst/marketing specialist. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) estimates job growth of 3% for merchandise displayers and 23% for market research analysts from 2016-2026. The May 2018 median wages for these occupations were $28,450 and $63,120, respectively.

Music Management

Possible responsibilities can include keeping track of musician budgets, handling transactions and contractual obligations, negotiating contracts and keeping artist finances in order. Managers may also be in charge of keeping the artist fresh to consumers, finding potential venues and establishing a tour schedule. Your role may also include keeping an eye on ways to maintain artist popularity, recognizing new talent and booking recording time.

According to the BLS, managers of artists will experience a 5% employment increase from 2016 through 2026, and they earned a median wage of $66,040 in May 2018.

Music Publishing

By pursuing a career in this field, you may need to be familiar with the copyright laws necessary to make sure that your artists receive royalties. You may also be in charge of recognizing potential hit songs, licensing protocol and tracking licensed song use. Other publishing positions can include editing licensed sheet music, assisting the creation of music software and editing music periodicals.

The BLS estimates that chief executive employment will decrease by 4% from 2016-2026. Chief executives of all types made a median wage of $189,600 in May 2018.

Music Promotion

This focus includes promoting radio and concert venues. As a venue promoter, you may be charged with seeking out funds to run and produce a concert. You can also be expected to set up advertising campaigns, be responsible for initial start-up funds, organize talent, maximize ticket sales and attract talent to venues. If you are working with radio formats, you may be expected to generate press and audience buzz that corresponds with major music releases.

According to the BLS, music promoters are grouped with agents and business managers of artists, performers, and athletes, and the educational requirements are the same as those for music managers. This field will experience the same 5% job growth over the 2016-2026 decade, and the median wage was the same at $66,040 in May 2018.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

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