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The University of Southampton

MUSI6038 Global Music Industry

Module Overview

The business of music is evolving at an accelerating pace. Technological change is driving disruption to models of production, distribution and consumption – and globalising the music industry in ways never seen before. The global music industry, worth billions, is a unique field for exploring issues of innovation, translation between fields, new modes of collaboration, and the interface between the arts and technology. This module introduces you to the global music industry. It takes a practical approach and will introduce you to industry issues such as budgets (income streams and production costs), markets (models and patterns of distribution and consumption), legal aspects (including copyright), and marketing and communications (including social media strategies and data-driven approaches). Our teaching staff and industry guest speakers are all practitioners in the international music industries and will prepare you to enter this dynamic field.

Aims and Objectives

Module Aims

• To introduce you to questions relating to the economics of the global music industry including income streams, production costs and royalties (budgets), • To provide you with knowledge of models and patterns of distribution and consumption (markets), • To consider the importance of IP in the creative industries and legal aspects of global music industry

Learning Outcomes

Knowledge and Understanding

Having successfully completed this module, you will be able to demonstrate knowledge and understanding of:

  • Key roles and contemporary marketing & communication strategies in the global music industry
  • Key challenges and potential opportunities, including economic and legal ones, within afforded by the global music industry
Subject Specific Intellectual and Research Skills

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • Research relevant music markets and audiences, budgets and schedules, technologies and platforms using established techniques of research and enquiry
  • Understand and apply professional music industry language and terminology
  • Critically evaluate information from multiple sources to develop a coherent market position
Transferable and Generic Skills

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • Demonstrate self-direction and originality in planning your own career and that of others
  • Demonstrate ability to synthesise current academic and industry literature and data.
Subject Specific Practical Skills

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • Identify audiences and create a budget and schedule for an IP-specific project
  • Create a media strategy, using traditional and new (social) media
  • Write a press release
  • Understand IP-specific contracts


This module introduces you to the economics of the global music industries. Topics that typically will be covered in the module include: - Income streams and production costs (budgets) - Models and patterns of distribution and consumption (markets) - Legal aspects of global music industry - Marketing and Communications - Creators (Artists, Producers, Technicians, etc) - Administrators (agents, booking agents, publishers, labels, royalty collection societies) - Distributors (venues and presenting company managers, associated technicians, caterers, etc, sponsorship co-ordinators)

Learning and Teaching

Teaching and learning methods

You will attend regular seminars taught by global music industry professionals on University of Southampton staff. You will also attend masterclasses by invited guests from the global music industry and academics from other specialist Academic Units in the Univeristy, such as the Southampton Law School, the Southampton Business School, Winchester School of Art, The Future Worlds Engineering incubator….so as to learn of areas such as copyright, entrepreneurship and media management Help will be available through tutorials. You will have an opportunity to work on your individual study skills with support from Blackboard and other online resources.

Independent Study264
Practical classes and workshops6
Total study time300

Resources & Reading list

Fairchild, Charles (2016). "Crowds, Clouds, and Idols: New Dynamics and Old Agendas in the Music Industry, 1982–2012.". American Music. ,33 , pp. 441-476.

Nordgard, Daniel (2018). The Music Business and Digital Impacts: Innovations and Disruptions in the Music Industries. 

Moser, David J (2012). Music Copyright Law. 

Fairchild, Charles (2008). Pop Idols and Pirates: Mechanisms of Consumption and the Global Circulation of Popular Music.

Herstand, Ari (2017). How to Make it in the New Music Business: Practical Tips on Building a Loyal Following and Making a Living as a Musician. 


Assessment Strategy

The mid-semester essay will assess your ability to - research and analyse a problem or problems related to the contemporary global music industry - test your familiarity with relevant music industry language and terminology. Write clearly and convincingly in English appropriate to academic and/or industry contexts. The final portfolio will assess the practical skills acquired in this module. You will have to conduct your own research using appropriate library and web resources to research relevant music markets and audiences, budgets and schedules, technologies and platforms and devise your own strategy to manage your career and that of others.


MethodPercentage contribution
Essay  (1000 words) 30%
Portfolio  (3000 words) 70%


MethodPercentage contribution
Portfolio  (3000 words) 100%


MethodPercentage contribution
Portfolio  (3000 words) 100%

Repeat Information

Repeat type: Internal & External


Costs associated with this module

Students are responsible for meeting the cost of essential textbooks, and of producing such essays, assignments, laboratory reports and dissertations as are required to fulfil the academic requirements for each programme of study.

In addition to this, students registered for this module typically also have to pay for:

Printing and Photocopying Costs

Where possible, coursework such as essays; projects; dissertations is likely to be submitted on line. However, there are some items where it is not possible to submit on line and students will be asked to provide a printed copy. Current printing and copying costs can be found here. They also provide a large format printing service, e.g. Academic posters. Details of current costs can be found here. You can pay for your printing by using the money loaders or by using print copy payment service by going to Printing for Students The University Print Centre also offers a printing and copying service as well as a dissertation/binding service.


Where a module specifies core texts these should generally be available on the reserve list in the library. However due to demand, students may prefer to buy their own copies. These can be purchased from any source. Some modules suggest reading texts as optional background reading. The library may hold copies of such texts, or alternatively you may wish to purchase your own copies. Although not essential reading, you may benefit from the additional reading materials for the module.

Please also ensure you read the section on additional costs in the University’s Fees, Charges and Expenses Regulations in the University Calendar available at

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