MUSI2087 Entrepreneurship and Music
Course Type: disciplinary elective for music majors/minors, free elective for others
Prerequisite: NIL
Instructors: Mr. Jonathan SERBIN, Dr. Rujing Stacy HUANG
Semester: First Semester 2023/24
Time: 6:30pm-8:20pm, Monday
Venue: CRT-11.01 Seminar Room
This course aims to provide students with an overview of entrepreneurship and investment opportunities within the music industry. We will explore ways to identify business opportunities in the music business and create value. With respect to start-ups, we will focus on how to identify an opportunity, build a business plan, raise capital from investors, and execute a growth strategy. We will also discuss exit strategies for these ventures. Relating to investment opportunities, we will explore a variety of music catalogues, learning how to value the content and identify undervalued assets prime for investment. We will discuss management strategies once such assets are acquired. Other topics include M&A structures/valuation, execution, and integration in the music industry, as well as routes to creating valuable music IP. The goal of the course is to equip students with the tools (both qualitative and quantitative) needed in order to identify entrepreneurial opportunities in the music business, evaluate the upside and risks, structure deals, and manage ideas and assets to maximize value. The course will frequently feature guest speakers who will visit the class to share with students their real world experience.
Upon successful completion of this course, students will be able to:
  • develop entrepreneurial thinking and methods appropriate to one’s musical interests and implement them for career development and for life-long learning.
  • engage in critical discussion of a wide array of issues related to the music industry and entrepreneurial practices.
  • demonstrate the ability to write and speak effectively about the music business today.
Mid-Term Test 25%
Final Test 30%
Group Project(s) 30%
Tutorial Participation 15%

  • Music Startups I: Identifying and Assessing an Opportunity
  • Music Startups II: The Nuts and Bolts of Launching a Music Business
  • Music Startups III: Success Factors in the Music Business
  • Music Catalogues: Building Value through Content Libraries
  • Indie Record Labels & Talent Management Companies
  • Mergers & Acquisitions by Record Labels and Investors
  • Creating and Investing in Music IP
  • An Ever-Changing Landscape: AI /VR, Web 3.0, and the Music Industry
  • Innovating within a Large Music Company
    Readings and listening/viewing materials for the course will be made available on Moodle or on reserve in the Main Library.