Record Company Operations


Dr. Mark Snyder
Fine Arts 207
(904) 256-7665
Office Hours M 2:30-4:00 PM, TR 2:30-4:30 PM, and by appointment.

Record Company Operations is course that investigates the market structure of album releases and merchandising, along with the business structure of a record label including: physical/digital album distribution, royalties, promotion,
production, charts, and radio airplay.

Text Books
Hutchinson, Tom.  Record Label Marketing. Boston: Focal Press, 2010.
Baskerville, David. Music Business Handbook and Career Guide. Los Angeles: Sage, 2013

I am not a licensed or practicing attorney. The materials contained in this course are provided for educational and informational purposes only and do not constitute legal advice or legal opinions. Transmission of the information is not intended to create, and the receipt does not constitute, an attorney-client relationship between sender and receiver. You should not act or rely on any information contained in this course without first seeking the advice of appropriate legal counsel.

Course Goals

  • Students will be able to articulate how a record company functions, including the process of releasing records.
  • Students will be able to articulate a marketing strategy for album releases, and create a marketing portfolio.
  • Students will develop promotional materials and a publicity campaign for an artists’ album release.

Class Participation & Attendance
Education is mostly experiential and therefore class attendance is critical. I go to great lengths to make this course beneficial to you even if you can’t see what it’s value is in the moment. Trust me and come to class!

Absences and Excuses
Each student is directly responsible for absences and for making up missed work.

Assignments are due at the beginning of class. Late work will not be accepted, except in accordance with the University’s bereavement policy. The instructor has the right not to accept late homework. Class participation is expected, and constitutes 10% of the total course grade. Class participation is defined as being attentive in class and participating in class activities and discussions.


Students are expected to participate in the critiques of the projects that occur when these projects are played in class. Failure to do so will lower the grade of your project. Critiques are designed to offer insights, suggestions for improvement, support to encourage you to improve your work. Each of you will provide an affective grade for each of final projects that is averaged in with my affective grade and feedback.

In addition to the above requirements, participation will be measured against the following criteria:

  • Contribute original thoughts or ideas to the critiques.
  • Give relevant reasons to validate points.
  • Demonstrate openness to divergent points of view.
  • Be respectful of the perceptions of others.
  • Integrate material from previous units to formulate ideas and generate dialogue.

Assignments will be graded by timeliness and the fulfillment of the requirements as well, but grades of A and B will be reserved for students going above and beyond the requirements and overall quality.

Students will be expected to spend an average of 6 hours per week on the readings, research and working on projects. All work will be completed and turned in on time.

August 29/31: Introductions. The Big Story: Record Labels/Components of a Record Label. Pt. 1., Read RLM: Ch. 5.
September 5/7: Recording Contracts: Physical Distribution/Physical Distribution: Retail Strategies, Read MBH: 8.
September 12/14: Digital Distribution/Retail strategies: Identifying Markets, Read MBH: 9
September 19/21: Marketing and Retail Strategies/Publicity, Read RLM: Ch. 6, MBH: 11, 12.(Quiz 1)
September 26/28: Publicity, Pt. 2/Grassroots/New Media Marketing, Read RLM: Ch. 1, 12.
October 3/5: Bios/Press Release/Onesheets/Web presence, Read RLM: Ch. 2, MBH: Ch. 15
October 10/12: Radio, pt. 1/Radio, Pt. 2, Read RLM: Ch. 13
October 17/19: Open/Midterm, Read RLM: Ch. 10, 14
October 24/26: Examining Indie Labels The A&R Process, PT. 1/The A&R Process, PT. 2, Read RLM: Ch. 4
October 31/November 1: Recording Contracts, PT. 1/Recording Contracts, Pt. 2: 360 deals, Read RLM: Ch. 8, 9.
November 7/9: Indie Labels, and labels of the future/Open, Read RLM: Ch. 11
November 14/16: International recording Industry/International Markets
November 28/30: Marketing Presentations/Marketing Presentations, Read RLM: Ch. 16, 17
December 5/7: Working on Marketing Portfolios, Marketing Portfolios due

*****Schedule may be ahead or behind at any point. Pay attention in class to make sure you are aware of important dates and times. The schedule will also fluctuate depending on how many of which emphasis are in the class.*****

Midterm Exam                                                                    20%
Final Exam                                                                            25%
Marketing Portfolio and Presentation                   30%
Unannounced Quizzes/Assignments                     15%
Class Participation                                                           10%

Academic Honesty
Students at JU are expected to adhere to the highest standards of academic honesty. Refer to the information on academic integrity and misconduct found in the online  JU catalog, p.101. Academic dishonesty will be handled appropriately by the instructor.

Student Support Services 
Students at JU are expected to adhere to the highest standards of academic honesty. Refer to the information on academic integrity and misconduct found in the online 2015-16 JU catalog, p.101. Academic dishonesty will be handled appropriately by the instructor.