Tommy Darker and Mike Exarchos

Musician as a Startup

  • FREE
  • English
  • Marketing
  • Certificate included

About this course


Have you ever wondered why 90% of musicians (and artists) don't make a living in the digital era - although they want to?

The answer is simple: they are still stuck in the last century mindset. The truth is, if you want to become a full-time artist doing what you love, you have to structure a business around your art, not just merely hope!

In this practical, 8-week course, two full-time practitioner musicians and academic educators, Tommy Darker and Stereo Mike, will guide you though the process of creating your very own business model, how to market yourself as a startup, how to be agile, motivated and productive, how to develop a work-in-progress brand, and how to adapt to the new mindset.

This is a course for all artists, and 'music' will be used as a case study. You will learn through practical assignments, so that you can implement what you learn in the real world, and get practical results.

This is the first MOOC in the world of its kind. It will be exciting. Shall we start?


The course would be of interest to musicians and artists seeking entrepreneurial knowledge, as well as business practitioners working within an artistic context.

The specific target audience for the course includes practitioners in the field of music and arts, with an active interest in developing professional careers and becoming full-time artists.


There is no academic prerequisite necessary in order to be able to engage with and benefit from the course - just bring your appetite to learn.

However, an active musician or arts practitioner will be able to leverage the philosophy, practice and challenges set by directly applying the studied principles to their developing careers.


Upon completion of the course, the students should be able to:

1. Apply contemporary entrepreneurial approaches to their musical/artistic careers

2. Identify changing industry trends in order to define relevant opportunities for their practice

3. Balance artistic and business personal development, ensuring longevity

4. Discover scalable business models and recurring revenue streams

5. Produce actionable plans to exploit their art entrepreneurially, through practical assignments

6. Innovate, recognising future trends and technological progress


Week 1: Introduction

Historical Context | The New Ecosystem | Modern Concepts

Week 2 & 3: Business Models

Business Model Structure | Revenue models | Audience

Week 4: Lean Startup

Validated Learning | MVP | Prototyping | Management

Week 5: Agile Philosophy Principles

Productivity & Motivation | Startup Mindset | Communication

Week 6: Presence, Product, Process

Work-in-progress Brand | Demo | The Drip Method

Week 7: Digital Opportunities & Digital Paradigms

Power of Free | Digital-to-analogue | Network

Week 8: Deconstruction

Case Studies | Leadership & Innovation | What's Next?

Course instructors