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.

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 27/29: Introductions, Marketing concepts and definitions, Read Chapters 1 & 2.
September 3/5: Market Segmentation, Consumer behavior and Marketing Research, Read Chapters 3 & 4.
September 10/12: The value of branding, Read Chapter 5. Market Research Assignment due.
September 17/19: Marketing Plan, Read Chapter 6. (Quiz 1)
September 24/26: Label Operations, Read Chapter 8. Faculty Jazz Single Release.
October 1/3: Publicity, Read Chapter 10. Branding assignments due.
October 8/10: Social Media, Read Chapter 11. Label operations assignment due.
October 15/17: Promotion, Airplay, Radio and the Charts, Read Chapters 12 & 13. (Quiz 2)
October 22/24: Distribution, Read Chapter 15. Marketing Plan due.
October 29/31: Tour Support, Read Chapter 17. Publicity assignment due.
November 5/7: Music Videos, Read Chapter 14. Social Media Plan due.
November 12/14: Grassroots Marketing and Advertising in the Recording Industry, Read Chapters 18 & 19. (Quiz 3)
November 19/21: US Industry Numbers and Record Label Finances, Read Chapters 7 & 9. Tour assignment due.
November 26/28: Thanksgiving Break!
December 3/5: Technology and the Music Business, Epilogue, Read Chapters 16 & 20. Continue working on Final Project.
December 10: Final Exam and Final Project 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.*****

Quizes                                                         30%
Final Project                   30%
Homework Assignments                     30%
Group Participation                                                 10%

Academic Honesty
Any act of academic misconduct in this course will result in an F for the assignment involved. To see examples of what counts as academic misconduct, as well as the university-level consequences for academic misconduct, look to JU’s policy at

“Members of the Jacksonville University community are expected to foster and uphold the highest standards of honesty and integrity, which are foundations for the intellectual endeavors we engage in.
To underscore the importance of truth, honesty, and accountability, students and instructors should adhere to the following standard:
I do not lie, cheat, or steal, nor do I condone the actions of those who do
Academic misconduct occurs when a student engages in an action that is deceitful, fraudulent, or dishonest regarding any type of academic assignment that is intended to or results in an unfair academic advantage. In this context, the term “assignment” refers to any type of graded or ungraded work that is submitted for evaluation for any course. Academic misconduct includes but is not limited to cheating, collusion, falsification, misrepresentation, unauthorized collaboration on assignments, copying another student’s work, using or providing unauthorized notes or materials, turning in work not produced by the individual, and plagiarism. Furthermore, providing deceitful, fraudulent, or dishonest information during discussions of an academic manner with faculty are also examples of academic misconduct.” (Jacksonville University Academic Catalog)
Throughout this course we will be reading and reporting about the work of others. All information that is not original to the student must be appropriately attributed in both presentations and written work. All students are expected to do their own work and give appropriate credit for all sources used in the process of preparing papers, presentations, and homework assignments. Group assignments will be graded based on the product of the work, although some adjustment may be made for participation. [If you have a question about whether or not collaboration is allowed, or how to cite a reference, please ask. It is always better to check than to be accused of an unintended violation of the academic honesty policy.] Violations of the academic honesty policy will be dealt with in accordance to university policies [Refer to current Academic Catalog “Academic Integrity and Misconduct”].
Course Level Penalties: A first offense may result in a failing grade for the assignment. Second offenses may result in failure in the course. Significantly egregious violations may result in expulsion from the university. When in doubt give credit for all information that did not come directly out of your head!

Disability Statement 
Students with a documented disability requesting classroom accommodations or modifications, either permanent or temporary, resulting from the disability are encouraged to register with the Disability Support Services (DSS) office. This office will assist in recommending accommodations that eliminate barriers in academic coursework and/or guide you through the different supportive mechanisms that we have to offer. This office is located on the third floor of the Davis Student Commons, room 336. The office can also be contacted through their website (
Note: Students are encouraged to register with the DSS office at the beginning of the term and/or prior (if/when possible), as accommodations are not provided retroactively.