New Artist Model Review: How Good is the Music Business Accelerator ?
With the proliferation of digital platforms and independent distribution channels, entering the music business nowadays should be easier than ever. However, the reality is quite different. With no more than a few dozen popular artists receiving major label push and hogging the spotlight, indie artists have to work hard to get their music released, promoted, distributed, and ultimately noticed online.
To achieve success, many up-and-coming musicians, songwriters, producers, and other music creatives turn to online courses which promise to help them make it in the business. New Artist Model’s Music Business Accelerator has quickly become one of the most popular online courses for aspiring artists.
Aimed at newcomers looking to build value around their music and fans, this course consists of 12 comprehensive, easy-to-follow modules filled with valuable expert advice and practical, actionable tips.
Graduates of the Music Business Accelerator are uniformly satisfied with the results this course has helped them achieve. Also, unlike most similar programs out there, this one is taught by a bona fide music industry expert, Dave Kusek, who is also the founder of New Artist Model. In this article, we will take an in-depth look at the Music Business Accelerator, its contents, pricing plan, and author.
Who Is Dave Kusek?
For more than four decades, Dave Kusek has been one of the leading music business executives, educators, and software developers. He started his career in the mid-1970s as chief engineer for Star Instruments, the company behind the Synare line of electronic drums. At the turn of the decade, Kusek became the co-founder and CEO of Passport Designs, a music software development company.
Under Kusek, Passport Designs developed many popular computer programs that incorporated the then-new MIDI audio format. As a result, Kusek became known as a MIDI pioneer. After leaving Passport Designs in the mid-1990s, he became a teacher at the Berklee College of Music. He was the founder of Berklee Online, the first online educational platform aimed at musicians. In addition, he created the school’s online curriculum that has helped thousands of students launch their careers.
Some of the most famous alumni of Berklee Online include Dave Matthews Band’s Stefan Lessard, the original three-member lineup of Sugarland, as well as members of Nine Inch Nails, Train, and Karmin. All these artists went from humble indie roots to mainstream success. More importantly, they managed to either launch or revive their careers in the digital era thanks to the online courses Kusek helped develop.
In 2005, three years after the successful launch of Berklee Online, Kusek co-wrote “The Future of Music: Manifesto for the Digital Music Revolution” with futurist Gerd Leonhard. This critically acclaimed book predicted how people would acquire and discover music in the digital age and advocated for the development of a new music business model to replace the outdated content protection strategies.
Concerned for the future of music – not only as a business but also a creative industry – Kusek left Berklee in 2012 to launch New Artist Model, a new educational platform for musicians.
The New Artist Model Story
Officially launched in 2014, New Artist Model was born out of a strong desire to help up-and-coming independent artists make a name for themselves in the increasingly competitive industry. With the decline of major labels and the marketing machine that used to give aspiring artists a much-needed commercial push, young musicians were finding it much harder to reach their audience.
Not that long ago, record companies would scout for undiscovered talent, cherry pick the best, and give them everything they needed to launch a successful career. Nowadays, however, young artists would have to become famous on the internet and amass a sizeable audience before one of the few remaining record companies would even consider investing in them.
Rather than becoming part of one large music business, young artists have to build a business around themselves, and that’s what New Artist Model enables them to do. Worried that a lack of new talent would stall the business, Kusek wanted to help aspiring musicians set their career on the right path.
He was also aware that not all people who are interested in music education can afford it. For this reason, New Artist Model aims to offer comprehensive music courses at a fraction of the price university platforms, including Berklee Online, normally charge for them. Seeing as many users are already touring musicians, they also have the flexibility to view course materials when and where they want.
Five years since its launch, the platform currently offers several courses that focus on different aspects of the new music business. Taught by Dave Kusek and featuring valuable input from his music industry friends and colleagues, the course topics include music licensing, writing a hit song, and making money from Spotify and other streaming services. The Music Business Accelerator is the most popular course that combines all this knowledge into an easy-to-follow, step-by-step program.
Introducing the Music Business Accelerator
New Artist Model’s Music Business Accelerator is a self-paced, 12-month online course that provides full music business training for up-and-coming musicians, songwriters, producers, managers, and others who aspire to find work in the industry. Upon the completion of the course, you will gain the confidence you need to step into the music business and all the knowledge and skills required to make it big.
Over the course of a year, the Music Business Accelerator will teach you how to develop strategies and plans for your career, manage your time and finances, produce, package, and promote your music, sort out copyrights and licensing, book shows, organize tours, and secure funding for your projects.
A Look Inside the Course
Combining in-depth videos with intuitively designed, user-friendly interface, the Music Business Accelerator is one of the most comprehensive music business courses available on the internet. The program is organized into 12 modules, each focusing on a different aspect of the music business.
Module 1: Setting Goals
In the first module, Kusek shares his knowledge of the changing music business and the artist ecosystem, compares a music career to a fledgling company, and provides 10 expert tips for success. As part of the tasks, you will be asked to identify your key motivators, strengths, and expectations from the industry.
Module 2: Creating a Brand
The second module is all about setting your own brand. You will learn how to come up with a catchy name, build a successful team, and network with other industry professionals. In addition, you will learn which professionals you need on your team (e.g. managers and attorneys) and what roles they play.
Module 3: Going on Tour
As a working musician, you will spend a lot of time on the road, and the third module helps you prepare for that. Apart from learning about the value of live performance and fan interaction, you will learn to book, budget, and manage tours, prepare merchandise, and set up revenue streams while on tour.
Module 4: Promoting Your Tour
The fourth module builds on the previous part of the course and teaches you more about tour promotion and the types of merchandise you can sell on gigs and tours. You will learn how to get people to see your live shows and discover creative ways to sell more merchandise.
Module 5: Recording
This module is all about recording your own music and securing the deals you need to turn your dream into reality. You will gain insight into the current music landscape in respect to record labels, learn how to plan and budget your recording sessions, and find out how to release your music independently.
Module 6: Producing and Distributing Your Music
Here you will learn all about metadata and audio quality and discover valuable production tips that will help you prepare your music for release. Kusek also shares his extensive knowledge about digital distribution and gives advice on how to get your music on Pandora, Spotify, and other popular platforms.
Module 7: Understanding Copyright
To control how your music is distributed and ensure that no one can profit from your creative work, you need to understand how copyright works and how to protect your music, and that’s what the seventh module will teach you. You will also learn the rules regarding fair use, creative commons, and sampling.
Module 8: Publishing Your Music
In this module, you will learn how to publish your music – whether with the help of a record label or on your own – and how to manage your rights as a performer and/or writer. You will also gain insight into how music licensing works and how co-writers can determine their share of the profits.
Module 9: Advertising Your Music on Social Media
Social media gives artists an unparalleled chance to get their music noticed, get people to talk about it, and build a sizeable audience. In module nine, you will learn how to use popular social media platforms (Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram), blogs, and YouTube to bring your music closer to potential fans.
Module 10: Promoting Your Music
The tenth module will teach you how to build a strong brand and image, create and nurture a strong fan community, and ultimately monetize your fandom. You will also learn how to use your website, email marketing, and free downloads to entice people to buy your music.
Module 11: Managing Your Finances
As an independent musician who lives off touring and selling their music, your income is bound to vary from month to month. Having worked with musicians for more than 20 years, Kusek knows all about this and shares his knowledge, experiences, and useful financial tools in the eleventh module.
Module 12: Crowdfunding Your Projects
In recent years, many artists have launched successful crowdfunding campaigns in which fans helped finance their albums and other projects in return for rewards. In module 12, Kusek teaches you about different crowdfunding platforms and explains how to determine your budget, pitch your project, and see it to fruition. He also gives ideas about the rewards and benefits you can offer fans.
What Is Included in the Course?
A subscription to the Music Business Accelerator will give you access to all the videos and course materials for a full year. Seeing as there are 12 modules in all, this means that you can dedicate a month to each module, giving you plenty of time to master the skills and knowledge Kusek shares in it. The materials include templates, checklists, and video extras to help you get the most out of the course.
Whereas most similar platforms stop at providing video lessons and course materials, the Music Business Accelerator goes a step further and includes several bonuses at no extra cost.
First, you will gain access to a private Facebook networking group that gathers fellow independent musicians and industry professionals from all parts of the world. Here you can exchange experiences, share ideas, and strike up professional partnerships that could help propel your music career.
You will also have access to Kusek’s own musician resource database filled with information about record labels, distributors, publishers, merchandise companies, and tour support, as well as their contact details. The database also contains info about products and services that will help you in your career.
The subscription also includes three valuable documents – a project planner, budget planner, and career planner designed especially for musicians. By filling in the blanks in these neat virtual notebooks, you can map out the budget for your projects, create plans and career goals, and track your progress.
How Much Does It All Cost?
The Music Business Accelerator offers two pricing plans – you can either make a one-off payment of $497 that will give you unlimited access to all the videos, course materials, and extras for a full year or subscribe to the program at $49 per month over a period of 12 months.
While $497 is more than other music business courses on the internet, it is important to keep in mind that this isn’t just one course but 12 courses rolled into one. For the purpose of comparison, a similar course from Berklee Online, Kusek’s previous home, costs three times as much ($1,497) and doesn’t offer the comprehensiveness, flexibility, or perks that the Music Business Accelerator provides.
Speaking of the perks, each of the bonuses is valued at $497, which means that you get close to $1,500 worth of bonuses for the price of the course. If you’re still not sure whether or not this is the right course for you, the Music Business Accelerator offers a 30-day money back guarantee, giving you plenty of time to sample the videos, course materials, and bonuses risk-free.
Is the Music Business Accelerator Worth Your Money?
If you want to find success in the music business – be it as a performer, musician, songwriter, manager, or producer – the Music Business Accelerator is an excellent choice. Comprising dozens of in-depth video lessons, this course allows you to study at your own pace and earn a certificate upon completion.
With a career that spans 40 years, half of that working with independent artists, Dave Kusek has a lot of experience, knowledge, and tips, which he shares across the 12 modules that make up this one-of-a-kind online course. At $497 per year or $49 per month, you get access to an academic-quality music business course at just a fraction of what you would pay elsewhere.
Although you may be able to find more affordable courses, they won’t be as comprehensive as this. The Music Business Accelerator combines twelve courses into one, providing a thorough knowledge of all aspects of the music businesses in the digital era. On top of that, you get a unique opportunity to network with fellow independent artists, exchange ideas, and track the progress of your career in music.