Is becoming a music executive right for me?

The first step to choosing a career is to make sure you are actually willing to commit to pursuing the career. You don’t want to waste your time doing something you don’t want to do. If you’re new here, you should read about:

What do music executives do?

Still unsure if becoming a music executive is the right career path? to find out if this career is right for you. Perhaps you are well-suited to become a music executive or another similar career!

Described by our users as being “shockingly accurate”, you might discover careers you haven’t thought of before.

How to become a Music Executive

Becoming a music executive involves a combination of education, relevant experience, networking, and a genuine passion for the music industry. Here's a guide to help you navigate the path to becoming a music executive:

  • Educational Background: Start by obtaining a relevant education in fields such as music business, music management, business administration, entertainment law, or a related discipline. Many successful music executives hold degrees in these areas, providing a solid foundation for the business side of the industry.
  • Gain Practical Experience: Internships and entry-level positions are invaluable for gaining hands-on experience in the industry. Seek internships at record labels, music publishing companies, talent agencies, or related organizations. Practical experience is needed for understanding the day-to-day operations of the business.
  • Networking: Build a strong network within the music industry by attending industry events, conferences, and networking mixers. Connect with professionals, including executives, artists, managers, and legal representatives.
  • Specialize in a Niche: Consider specializing in a specific area within the music industry, such as A&R, marketing, legal affairs, or digital strategy. Specialization allows you to develop expertise in a particular domain, making you a valuable asset to potential employers.
  • Pursue Advanced Education (Optional): While not mandatory, pursuing advanced degrees or certifications in music business, law, or related fields can enhance your credentials and open doors to higher-level positions.
  • Develop Leadership and Communication Skills: Music executives need strong leadership and communication skills. Develop your ability to articulate ideas clearly, negotiate effectively, and lead teams. Take on leadership roles in student organizations, industry associations, or relevant projects to hone these skills.
  • Build a Personal Brand: Establish a strong online presence to showcase your expertise and passion for the industry. Create a professional LinkedIn profile, contribute to relevant discussions, and consider starting a blog or podcast to share your insights and perspectives.
  • Stay Adaptable: The music industry is dynamic and continually evolving. Stay adaptable to technological changes, industry trends, and shifts in consumer behavior. Embrace new technologies and platforms that may impact the way music is produced, distributed, and consumed.
  • Apply for Entry-Level Positions: Start applying for entry-level positions in areas that align with your skills and interests. Look for positions such as A&R coordinator, marketing assistant, or administrative roles within record labels, publishing companies, or talent agencies.
  • Demonstrate Passion and Commitment: Music executives often work long hours and are deeply committed to the success of the artists and the business. Demonstrate your passion for music, commitment to the industry, and willingness to go above and beyond to contribute to the success of the organization.

Helpful Resources
Aspiring music executives can benefit from various resources to enhance their knowledge, skills, and network within the dynamic music industry. Here are some helpful resources:

  • Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA): The RIAA represents the interests of major record labels in the U.S. and provides industry insights, research, and advocacy.
  • National Music Publishers' Association (NMPA): NMPA focuses on music publishing and offers resources, events, and advocacy for professionals in this sector.
  • Berklee Online - Music Business Courses: Berklee College of Music offers online courses in music business, providing insights into the industry's legal, financial, and managerial aspects.
  • NYU Clive Davis Institute of Recorded Music: Explore the programs and resources offered by NYU's Clive Davis Institute, known for its emphasis on music business and entrepreneurship.
  • South by Southwest (SXSW): SXSW is a major annual conference that covers various aspects of the music industry, including panels, workshops, and networking opportunities.
  • Music Biz Conference: This industry event offers networking opportunities, educational sessions, and discussions on current trends and challenges in the music business.
  • Billboard: A leading source for music industry news, charts, and insights. Billboard covers a wide range of topics, including business strategies, market trends, and artist developments.
  • Music Business Worldwide (MBW): MBW provides in-depth articles, analysis, and commentary on the global music industry.
  • Music Industry Network (MIX): An online community that connects professionals across various sectors of the music industry, offering a platform for networking and collaboration.
  • The U.S. Copyright Office website provides information on copyright laws, registration processes, and resources related to intellectual property in the music industry.
  • The Future of Music Business with Steve Gordon: A podcast covering legal and business aspects of the music industry.
  • Music Business Worldwide Webinars: MBW occasionally hosts webinars featuring industry experts discussing current topics and trends.
  • IFPI Global Music Report: The International Federation of the Phonographic Industry (IFPI) publishes annual reports offering global insights into the music industry's performance, trends, and challenges.
  • "All You Need to Know About the Music Business" by Donald S. Passman: A comprehensive guide covering legal, business, and financial aspects of the music industry.
  • "Music, Money, and Success" by Jeffrey Brabec and Todd Brabec: Focuses on the financial and legal aspects of the music business.