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MMBE Taster Session at Belfast Music Week


After a hugely successful first course delivered in Belfast, we are pleased to announce that Managing a Music Business Enterprise (MMBE) is coming back for a second beginning in November.

The course begins on Thursday 28th November, but there will be a FREE Taster Session held at Oh Yeah Music Centre on Tuesday 12th November, 5pm-7pm as part of Belfast Music Week.

This session is designed to give those attending an overview of what the course has to offer and how it can assist them with progressing their career within the music industry.

The taster is strictly limited and will be allocated on a first come first served basis. If you’d like to attend please email .

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Funding Available for New Music Businesses

If you read Generator’s blog/newsletter The Gen then you’ll be well up to date with the new SME Access to Finance Schemes Report, which has this week been released by The Department for Business Innovation and Skills (BIS). In general terms, the report is a guide for labels, management companies, recording studios and other small music businesses to various lending and investment schemes.

Often, for a new business, looking at possible avenues for funding, or ways to generate some startup income is a daunting and rather confusing prospect. 

Jo Dipple

There are many questions to ask, such as how much money can a business get? Where can it get these funds from? What are the terms and conditions of getting these funds? UK Music CEO Jo Dipple suggests that ‘this is the Government’s attempt to make things a lot easier and put all the available funding opportunities into one comprehensive document’.

This is therefore good time to start up a music business, and there is no better way to equip you for the music industry than the MMBE Course. If you’d like to hear more about the course, take a look at our previous post (which includes a brief summary of what the course contains, including a list of all the units), and call Jonny on 0191 255 4469 or email

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Michael Hughes – MMBE Graduate


We recently caught up with Michael Hughes, graduate of MMBE, who was awarded a £5000 start-up loan from Virgin Money for his business Music Tutor Direct. Initial pessimism from those outside the business has made Michael even more determined to make it a success. Boasting over 125 clients, the business is certainly on its way up.

What is the programme you have gone through with Virgin Money?

The programme that I went through is called ‘Start up Loans’. It’s brand new and I’m one of the first people to go through it in the first batch of businesses. Only 35 businesses have actually been a part of it so far before it gets rolled out properly. The reason we’re getting so much publicity is because it’s new, and to advertise the start up loans, so the fact that they’re choosing us is great.

Did Branson offer you any pearls of wisdom when you met him?

I went into tunnel vision and went straight to shake his hand, and he almost dropped the cheque!

He was saying well done, and good luck for the future. He replied to a tweet I sent him not long before, so he said keep tweeting and keep in touch. He’s not an intimidating character to be around, really down to earth, and seems really people orientated. He’s known through Virgin as Mr. Yes, and I hope one day I’m known through Music Tutor Direct as Mr. Why Aye!

What do you plan to do with the £5000?

We’re going to use it mainly to gain more customers, and to improve the website and the management of the business. We’re growing that quickly I’ve now got to utilize technology to come in and do the hard work so I’m using things like an iPad now, whilst before it was all on paper. I was using the whole Amazon Rainforest!

Before I set it up people said it was a bad idea, and we then also had 7 months with no customers… but since March 2012 to the present we’ve gained 128 customers. Bit of a ‘I told you so’ to some people, and it illustrates the quick growth that Music Tutor Direct has had.

How did MMBE help you with Music Tutor Direct?

To be honest what kept me going was the support from MMBE. After going through the course it gave me some confidence. Deep down I knew it was going to be successful. The MMBE gave me more knowledge about the music industry. If you want to be successful then you’ve got to have the knowledge, or it’s the equivalent of having a one hit wonder like ‘I Am the One and Only’ but in business!

Tell us a little more about the business model of Music Tutor Direct…

The best way I can describe the Music Tutor Direct business model is that it’s changing the way people are learning to play an instrument.  Normally music tutors would work in a 5-10 mile radius but with Music Tutor Direct we can cover a much wider area. In the near future we’re hoping to expand outwards, so definitely within this year we’re going to be opening it up in more city centres. A big advantage to Music Tutor Direct is that because there are plenty of tutors covering various areas, we don’t need the main premises; all the central business from my end is done from home. Therefore a massive overhead is gone and it helps to put more money into the actual business itself.

Any highlights then so far?

Well because of all the negativity that was sent towards the business plan in the first place, if someone had said in my second year of business I would meet Richard Branson I would be like…erm! We’ve also had publicity in the Sunday Sun, which I’ve framed.

To be honest there are not many businesses that have done what we have and it’s not only because I’ve kept so dedicated, but also because the tutors are so fantastic. They’re the unsung heroes. I ask them what could be done better, and what we do wrong and they tell me. They’ve really got behind Music Tutor Direct and they are one of the things that have made it so successful.

Getting a virtual office to take and organize customer contact details is a big help. The future is looking really fantastic, especially because we’re still growing in one of the biggest recessions that we have ever had. There is also something planned for the future in our services and I can’t wait to reveal it very soon. It’s the next step in Music Tutor Direct.

Sounds brilliant Michael, anything else you’d like to add?

I’d just like to say thank you to everyone, who instead of dismissing it as a business, accepted it and helped it grow. Thanks to Generator, MMBE, and everyone who believed in it. We can’t wait to expand even more and provide an even bigger and better service.


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Midemlab 2013


Music Ally recently posted a page featuring all 30 music startup pitches from Midemlab 2013. It features many of the best new companies, services and apps in the world of music, such as instruMagic, jamplify, Stagelt (who all won the main categories)., launched this year, won the Coup de Couer prize. What’s interesting is that integrates all the social media platforms to bring the artist and fan together. So a fan can engage heavily with its artist, and more importantly an artist can identify who its fans actually are and create effective campaigns based on this information. It gets to see who its ‘hardcore fans’ are for instance, so they can ensure that the fan doesn’t miss out on anything important or exciting. It allows the fan to create a profile that seamlessly links SoundCloud, Spotify and other streaming services to collate who they listen to most, as well as measuring artist-fan engagement across these sites and others like Facebook. Its innovative in the sense that it acts as a bridge between all the platforms, which works in a way that’s beneficial for both parties. Wired spoke to CEO Jules Terrien when was featured on their Startup of the Week, and when asked what the biggest misconception was about his reply was that ‘we’re yet another social network for music. We do have social and gamification features but we primarily use them to make sure that users have a seamless experience, that their privacy is respected, and that they get the rewards they’ve earned.’s core is the artist and label features (analytics, fan targeting, and the reward system); our business model is solely B2B’.

The site is one of many new businesses in the music industry that is seeing and acting upon the value in online fan interaction and engagement. Have a look at the three videos Music Ally have posted (if you have a spare 6 hours!). Which ones do you think were the best?

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Stewart Platt – MMBE Gateshead Graduate

Stewart Platt - MMBE Graduate

Good to hear that Stewart is putting his knowledge from the MMBE Gatehshead course to good use in securing additional funding for Future Proof!

“I started by managing a couple of friends who were DJs and quickly realized that it was a lot tougher than I had thought. Being part of the course offered me the opportunity to make new contacts and develop the skills needed to create a sustainable business, inspiring me to start my own record label, and event and artist management company.”

“My coursework formed the basis of my funding application to O2 Think Big, my platform for launching Future Proof, an event which supports up and coming DJs to get the break into the industry that they need.”

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by | Thursday February 21st 2013 · 3:59 pm

30 Rock

30 UNDER 30Music Week has today released their ’30 Under 30’ list. The list contains 30 people under the age of 30 that Music Week are ‘tipping for big things in the coming years’. It features young movers and shakers of the music industry including leading executives from the world of labels, live, publishing, management, media and more. The list goes to prove that a huge amount of success can be achieved in very little time.

As you can see there are plenty of opportunities out there for young starters in the music industry; but knowing where to start can be tricky. The MMBE course is a full Level 3 diploma, recognised across the music business and equips you with all the skills needed to run a successful music business in just 13 weeks. It thoroughly covers all bases from running a record label to making the most of digital media to licensing and synchronisation. It’s a fast track, affordable route to success in the music industry.

To book your place or register your interest in MMBE contact:
0191 255 4469

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Free Taster Session – Gateshead

Following the success of Generator’s Managing a Music Business Enterprise (MMBE) courses at Gateshead College, the course will be back for a new intake of students beginning on 14th November 2012.

MMBE covers the fundamental areas of building a successful music business including publishing, marketing, digital media, revenue streams and business models.

If you’re a DIY artist, a manager, promoter, booking agent, record label or publisher, MMBE is ideal, enabling you to build and implement a business plan immediately. The MMBE qualification is a full Level 3 Diploma giving students a nationally recognised qualification that is backed by UK Music. 

Due to high demand for places we have announced another MMBE taster session on Wednesday 24th October from 4.00pm to 6.00pm where you can meet the Generator team and lecturers to find out more information about the course. This session is strictly limited and will be allocated on a first come first served basis. If you’d like to attend please email

For more information on the MMBE course visit

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So, You’d Like To Sell Your Music?

As the debate rages on as to whether Spotify is in fact the Devil, it is safe to say that income from it is nominal at best and it should probably be viewed simply as a promotional tool. This handy infographic demonstrates exactly how much an artist can make digitally and how. Encouragingly, it seems that the DIY method serves best, good news for all struggling musicians! However, the highest returns come from vinyl. If an artist can afford the initial layout and the consumer actually has the means to play it… could (or should) this signal a return to the much-beloved medium of wax?

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Fancy a Career In The Music Industry? MMBE Taster Session Alert!

Following the success of Generator’s Managing a Music Business Enterprise (MMBE) courses at Gateshead College, the course will be back for a new intake of students beginning on 7th November 2012.Image

MMBE covers the fundamental areas of building a successful music business including publishing, marketing, digital media, revenue streams and business models.

We will be holding a special MMBE taster session on Wednesday 26th September from 4.00pm to 6.00pm where you can meet the Generator team and lecturers to find out more information about the course. This session is strictly limited and will be allocated on a first come first served basis. If you’d like to attend please email

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Creator of Bestival, Rob Da Bank, Reveals His Musical History

To have a thriving career as a Radio 1 DJ is the dream for some. Rob Da Bank however, decided to dream a little bigger! Having established Bestival back in 2004, the weekend long festival which is held on the Isle of Wight has gone from strength to strength. Having grown 10 times it’s original size and now including the family friendly sister event, Camp Bestival, here Rob explains the influences that led to such an impressive creation…

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